Yesterday we finally confirmed our childcare arrangements for the little lady. I’ve been slightly on edge about it since December, wanting to know who is going to look after her when I go back to work later this year. Any parent will know what a big deal this is. Entrusting someone or somewhere else to essentially help raise your child. I say raise because the reality is, that with two full time working parents she will spend almost as much time with them as she does with us. A fact that makes me feel sad. However, we are in the very fortunate position that we have amazing family close by that are willing and able to help out with childcare which makes me feel better, but not any less guilty about going back to work. Inevitably, since firming up our childcare arrangements my mind has started to race on trying to figure out all the practicalities. Just exactly how are we going to do it. How are we going to juggle two busy, full on careers and still be there for breakfast, dinner, bath time and bedtime everyday. Neither my Husband or I work anywhere remotely close to home. Both our commutes are at least an hour door to door on a good day, my Husband at the mercy of the motorways and I the London transport system. So how do we do it. How will we make it work for our family?
I am absolutely perplexed. Should one of us do drop offs and the other do pick ups, or does one person do both then the other do bath time and dinner allowing the other to catch up on some work before bed time – because we both have those types of jobs. Should we start batch cooking meals on the weekend to save time? What about taking holidays, should we take them together and always spend them as a family or should we split some of it up so that the little lady gets to spend the little bit more time with us, even if sometimes its just with one of us. What about when she is sick, when she has doctor or dentist appointments, how do we decide who takes time off then? It feels like sorting out our childcare arrangements was just the beginning of a whole conundrum of things to figure out, some of which we will probably have to figure out as we go along.
So I want to know from other parents; how do you manage to balance your careers with your families. How do you make it work. What are the shortcuts and time savers you use. What do you wish you thought about or knew before you went back to work. I want you to share your best tips and tricks to help me and other parents returning to work be as prepared as we can be!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/toniblay/52445415/”>Toni Blay</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>