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This week has been a blessing and a curse

standard August 15, 2008 4 responses

Our daycare rocks. No joke. It’s just awesome. It’s clean, fun, loving, and usually chaos free. All things that are signs of a great place. C and Little L love it there too. They are bonded to their caregivers and have close friends they are thrilled to see every day. To top it all off it’s affordable. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Over the last three years C has thrived there. She’s learned a ton of stuff that she wouldn’t have learned here at home with me. (The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme song for one.) M and I firmly believe that a lot of the credit for her incredible personality and already broad knowledge base is due to her daycare.

Which is why when I decided to freelance we decided to keep the girls in daycare. It felt wrong to tear C from her friends and to deny Little L all the great benefits. Plus, I need time to actually do work and stuff. So despite a few lingering misgivings (If I stop working 9-5 shouldn’t I be spending more time with the kids? Isn’t that kinda maybe a bit of the point?) and the hassle of having to drive 20 minutes to get to the daycare, we didn’t pull the girls out.

For the last month Little L, C, and I have stumbled along trying to find our groove. Because of the cost of gas I can’t head home to work after dropping them off every day, so I’ve been bouncing around looking for the perfect free wifi/good coffee/peaceful crowd balance. Depending on the gym class schedule and the morning grump level we head out around 9am and I don’t pick them up until almost 5. That’s a long time to be hanging out at Peet’s. A very, very long time.

Plenty long enough to be second guessing our decision to keep them in full time daycare.

This week the daycare has been closed so I’ve been working from home while the girls play at my feet. Literally at my feet, because their favorite spot is on the floor right next to where I sit on the couch. Which is fine until Little L’s fingers creep around the screen and start tapping whatever keys she can hit. Hello? Have you looked at your keyboard recently? That’s right, her favorite keys are the escape key and the delete key.

Monday was awesome. They played nicely and took decent naps, I got lots of work done, we had a blast goofing off while I wasn’t busy writing. That night I was morose, sad that this was a temporary state of being, really second guessing our decision. Being home with my kids and working! It was fun! I could totally handle it, in fact it was totally what I was meant to be doing! Yeah!

Good thing a week has more than one day.

Now it’s Thursday, and while I have definitely loved being close to the girls all day every day this week, I heave a sigh of relief when the babysitter shows up to play with them for a few hours so I can focus on something other than Dora, dolls, and Weeble Wobbles. I’ve yelled more this week than I’m proud to admit and frankly I think I suck at this “working from home while the kids are around” gig. I’m pretty sure no one is having much fun and that the girls are counting the days until they can go back and hang with their friends.

We’re heading out on vacation next week. When we get home the girls are going back to daycare and I’m going to work out the kinks in our schedules. I need to find a balance between taking care of myself, getting all my work done, and spending quality time with the girls. It has to be possible for us all to get what we need out of this arrangement and I’m determined to find the way.

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4 responses

  • I totally know where you’re coming from. Fighting with a 2 1/2 yr old and a 15 month old while trying to form coherent sentences that other people are paying for is NOT EASY!

    Unfortunately, the only daytime help I get is from my 13 yr old and that is rare. But trust me, you’ll find your groove, learn how to roll with those days that don’t quite work out and get used to staying up till ungodly hours to make a deadline that passed an hour before!

    Such is the life of a freelancer and I wouldn’t change it for the world!!

  • IMHO you should have zero guilt about having your kids in daycare full time, like you said, you are still working even if it’s freelance. Also, it’s all worthwhile even if once in a while you manage to pick them up early or do something fun during the day that you couldn’t have done with a full time job. Also? Even if you don’t get to do anything differently as far as how MUCH time you spend with your kids…the time you DO spend with them will be that much more QUALITY time because they’ll have a happier mommy!

  • Do you read Christine @ sippycupsandblackberries? She also works from home w/ baby #2 on the way. I couldn’t imagine working w/ my trio underfoot. Our library has free wifi and my laptop card is something like $60/month? You’ll find what works, I’m sure of it.

  • I’m so psyched for you to get L’s bday gift – after reading this post I feel like I have ESP to get her a little keyboard of her own to type on!

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