Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Struggles of a Working Mom

Before I began my ramblings, I should note that (despite other posts) I am very grateful for my job. I don't mind coming to work everyday, although, given the choice, I would much rather stay home and do the 5,000 other things on my "If I Only Had the Time" list. But I don't come from a wealthy family and I refuse to live off the government, so that's that.

Up until about seven months ago, I had fully accepted my lifelong 9-5. Then Taylor was born and my entire mindset changed. On one hand, I am super thankful for the extra income that my job brings in. Let's face it, babies are expensive little creatures. What I'm not thankful for is the constant struggle of being pulled in two different directions (I'm sure this is something all working mothers out there can relate to). I miss my chubby-cheek girl her from the second her daddy takes her to daycare in the morning until I am able to pick her up at night. And putting in overtime has become an excruciating task, as every extra minute away from her feels like an eternity. I realize that I won't always feel this way, but right now she is so sweet and loving that I long to be with her all the time. I believe the saying goes something like "the days drag on but the weeks fly by." Uh, no joke. The past seven months have been a whirlwind (to say the least). I feel like our baby is growing at super speed while I sit behind a desk paying someone else to relish in the joy that is our beautiful daughter. But my husband has reminded me (daily) that I will never be a stay-at-home-mom (something about the insanity that would ensue from my mind having too much time on its hands...blah blah blah), so I write the daycare checks and watch videos on my iPhone to make it through the day.

Speaking of child care, can we discuss this issue for a moment? When in the world did daycare become so competitive? It is work trying to find a certified, reliable, competent, trustworthy individual to care for your child! My husband and I scoured through list after list of potential caretakers for our unborn babe before finally finding one that was clean, organized, and didn't have a bunch of heathens running around. My general theory in life is that people are insane, and the thought of leaving our precious newborn with a complete stranger scared the living daylights out of me. We knew right away that we wanted an in-home daycare that was small and would provide our infant with plenty of love and attention. Luckily, we were able to find just that (which was nothing short of a miracle) and, so far, we are extremely happy with our sitter's services. She is quite possibly as Type A as I am (which immediately prompted a 'yes' vote from me). She respects a daily routine that doesn't revolve around the TV, always has fun activities for the kids to do, and genuinely cares for our babe. If I have to leave our daughter in the hands of someone else, I'm happy it's her.

What I'm not overly enthused about is the cost of said services. While I understand that we live in a city and therefore the cost is higher (something about supply and demand but I slept through most of Economics...), I didn't realize it was going to consume half of my monthly paycheck! I understand that you pay for what you get, but come on! Not to mention the time that my husband and I are required to take off whenever the daycare is closed (mostly unpaid due to our lack of vacation time). I get that sitters need a break just like any other job, but a week for Spring Break, two weeks (paid) in the summer, and a week and a half (paid) at Christmas? That's more time off than my husband and I get combined!

But that's the way the system works and it's not just our daycare - the same went for every other facility we looked into. If you're going to play the game, you have to play by their rules. Doesn't mean I can't complain about it though...