Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Household of Part-timers

Because of inability to leave our child in daycare, we decided to cut back my husband's work time so we can take turns taking care of our baby. It happened just last month when my mother who usually baby sat for us 2 days a week (or more at times) went back to the Philippines.

Okay, my mother is only gone for 6 weeks but we did not like any alternative childcare options we currently have while waiting for her to come back. Everyone tried to assist us in finding solution. My boss. Co-workers. I even visited a daycare closed to our home. But we just cannot do it.

I could have quit my job and be a full-time mother. The reality is we make more money with our combine part-time incomes than with his lone full-time income. I make more money than my husband. He could have quit and be a full-time parent. But my work is demanding of time. For my sanity's sake (and every one's), I could only take part-time of my job for now.

So, we decided that we will take turns taking care of Benji. It is scary because this is out of the norm. We are far from rich. Our future chance to return to full-time employment is questionable as newer graduates are readily available to fill the void.

Many people don't understand why we're kind of over-protective. My husband and I have different but very significant reasons. His reason is that we'd been through hell and back to have this baby. That made it more difficult for him to let go. Mine is sadder than his -- child abuse. I was abused by a trusted caretaker. I am aware that day cares screen their staff and history of child abuse in daycare is probably nil or really small. But I am paranoid.

I know someday we have to let go. We're aware that we cannot sustain a comfortable lifestyle if we continue this path. We talked about waiting until the baby can talk or when he starts school. It will come eventually. For now, though, we are at peace with this set up.


Ed said...

We are lucky that we found a trusted person to look after our daughter and that my work place has flexible hours so I can get her ready in the morning, work a full day and then pick her up in the afternoon to be a parent. This fall she starts school so then everything gets easier as she is only in someone else's hands for an hour or two a day. Also next year, my wife finishes residency and then we will be back to having four hands instead of my two to look after our daughter.

As to your situation, I think you need to do what is best now. When Benji is in school in a few short years, then you can go back to full time jobs a lot more easily.

geri said...

I think your arrangement is ideal. If Tom decides to retire this year we would be very happy and content if he gets a part-time job and me a part-time job as well.

If I had your unfortunate as a child no daycare can pry my child away from my hands either. The thought of letting somebody you don't know to take care of child is scary. Even Evan at this age - I am still reluctant to have somebody babysit him even for a few hours if it's just a babysitter I picked from a list.

But I have to say, Evan's daycare provider (who recently died) was one of the most wonderful person I have met in my life - I didn't know the extent she has touched our lives until I came from her funeral service and was depressed at the realization that she was indeed gone. I wasn't the only mom in the church who was red-eyed from crying =)

malor said...

@Ed and Geri, Thank you for sharing...
A good childcare provider is priceless. I know someday I will open up my heart to one.

PhilippinesPhil said...

My wife and I were talking on this subject just today, how more protective we are of our kids than in days of old. Big difference nowadays in how we look at kid care. My mom was always nonchalant about us kids. I used to walk myself the three blocks to kindergarden and back. My sister and I were toddlers and we'd have the run of the yard while mom did housework. Sometimes she'd put me on a leash just to make sure i didn't stray too far. I was four and would wander with my friends in the woods around our trailor park in Maine. I think back on that and I believe it was good for me to have that kind of leeway. It was empowering. Thing is, I NEVER gave my own kids that kind of latitude. No way!

malor said...

Phil, Thanks for sharing. I know it is good for kids to be able to explore. That's how they learn. Sadly, though, if not for my "bad" childhood experience which left me scarred for life I will be more complacent. I am not given a choice.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Heck yeah Malor... my parents were lucky, or better yet, I was lucky to have made it through. Lots of bad people out there waiting to get their hands on little people. Our job is to protect kids from bad people, and if we can, find those bad people and prevent them from ever being able to do it again, by whatever means necessary. Protect the weak and the innocent, that's been my mantra since I joined the military, its what kept me in for 30 yrs.