Hey blog, long time no post. Not to be like “I’m so busy” but like… I’m so busy! Working full time plus parenting full time plus trying to get through the daycare licensing process (I honestly feel like every week I get another phone call or email with 350,000 forms to fill out, documents to provide, policies to develop, etc etc. It’s a lot!). One bright light though is I don’t work Fridays anymore.
This is a plan I put into (slow) motion last spring. At the time I was feeling extremely overwhelmed by the demands of working 45 hours a week doing child care and being a parent to my own kids; Gwen had recently started speech therapy at school again and I was struggling to find the time to do it with her, as well as her home reading, plus her spelling, every day*. It was honestly only about 30 minutes of work total, but it was impossible for me to do it while the daycare kids were still here, then after I finished work I had to make dinner, then after dinner was bath & bed time. Her homework started getting pushed until after dinner but that then pushed back her bath and bedtime until later than was suitable for her. It was a struggle, I was drained and burnt out and so exhausted that a lot of days I would fall asleep even before Gwen and Nicky did.
ANYWAY. I came to a decision that I needed to focus less of my energy on work and more on myself and my own family. Of course I couldn’t just tell my current clients I was cutting my hours without also cutting their fees (which I couldn’t afford to do), so I had to wait until they left for group daycares/preschools. Which, eventually, they did! One family left at the end of the summer and another on Halloween, and when looking for new clients I cut the number of days I had available a week from five to four (Monday-Thursday) and the number of hours per day from nine and a half to nine (8-5). Instead of 45 hours of week, I’ve decreased it to 36 and it’s already such a relief.
Since Gwen is at school on Fridays after we drop her off I get to spend the day with just Nicky, something I haven’t had a huge opportunity to do. It’s only been 4 weeks (Fridays off started November 1st) but we’ve spent each Friday differently. The first, we spent the day shopping for birthday presents for his sisters. The second Friday was Gwen’s birthday and a day off school for her. Sym has no class on Fridays already, so I had Taylor take the day off as well and we spent a day of family fun at Science World (and also getting criminal record checks for my license application but that’s another story) and had a joint birthday party for both girls that evening. Last week it was pouring with rain all morning but we put on our waterproofs and explored the beach & Seawall together. Today I had planned for more exploring, maybe Science World again (it has dinosaurs ie Nicky’s favourite) or the “castle” playground in Stanley Park (his other favourite) but Nicky has an unfortunate stomach bug today so we just took a short walk to get some fresh air and now we’re sticking close to home. I’m just happy though, to have the chance to spend this time with him one-on-one; I always felt guilty about not taking a proper maternity leave when he was born and this feels like making up for lost time.
*Obviously Taylor and even Symphony were also involved in doing this work with Gwen but their schedules didn’t really allow for the work to get done by an appropriate time either.