Balancing Childcare and Work

I’ve been a bit MIA lately because I started a new job last week. A full-time job. And I partied hard the days leading up to it.

A few days before, Ally and I went to the beach, I had a girl’s night out to see Kristina Kuzmic live and stayed in a hotel. It was the first time I had ever spent a night away from my daughter. And then I watched the emotional mind-blowing series finale of Game of Thrones the night before my first day. 

As anyone could imagine, I was emotionally drained by Monday morning. 

While I often joke about losing my mind being home with Ally for the last 7 months and how I couldn’t wait to go back to work—I did miss her dearly. Not enough to quit my job and stay home but enough to squeeze her tight the moment I got home. 

Now in my second week, I find it stressful adjusting to work-life again. Not the working part because that is totally fine. It’s coming home and getting bombarded by tantrums, having to clean up and make dinner, and stress. 

As we all know, I face unique and seemingly insane childcare obstacles. Who else do you know that has a kid banned from the only two daycare centers in their bussing district? Probably just me. 

So I recently wrote a letter to my school district’s superintendent asking that they bus my child from ESY to another daycare 2.7 miles away from the school. That letter was ignored. My follow-up letter was ignored and I was forced to hire babysitters for the entire summer. While I want to write a long post complaining about how much this care is costing me and what complete bullshit it is, I decided not to. And if you’re wondering—it is a lot. 

For the first time ever my husband is experiencing the stress of our morning routine and what it kind of felt like to be me a year ago. He has to get her ready and wait for our caregivers to arrive, which makes him late to work. I leave earlier and haul ass out of the office as soon as the clock strikes 5. I feel like Cinderella running from the ball to my insane life every day. 

What stresses me out most is that I am organized, prepared, and am the type of person who has a backup plan for a backup plan. 

When we got married on the beach, I had two indoor venues backed up in case it rained. But it was a perfect April day and we didn’t need either of them. 

That is who I am. 

I plan things.

I control what I can control. 

But that is the key phrase here—what I can control. And when I can’t control things like childcare and illness—it breaks me down. 

There are several days throughout the summer that I will need to find back-up care while I am on my probationary period and unable to take any PTO but I cannot help but wonder—what if it falls through? What if she gets sick? What if I need to be with her?

I want to yell out—NOT IT! 

It is making me insane because I have never failed at anything the way that I fail at balancing work and Ally. And what kills me is that it is not my fault. I am not that person who calls out sick or puts my work on anyone. 

I am confident and know I can do anything I set my mind to but I am so worried that my role as a warrior mom is going to interfere again. 

Today was one of those afternoons that broke me down. I got home, my daughter had a meltdown about wearing makeup, I barely made dinner and had to clean up her messes. I blew off folding the laundry and did the dishes. Now I am exhausted. 

This life is hard. I’d be better off with a live-in nanny and maid over a babysitter. But I don’t fit the socioeconomic status for such things. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me I’m so strong and that they could never walk in my shoes I could afford one. 

But I’m not strong. 

I don’t do this because I want to. 

There was never a choice. 

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