This post is brought to you by Kelli. Darren will be shocked!
Being a working mother is hard. I went back to work when Natali was 11.5 weeks old. I, however, am extremely lucky to have a husband who was willing to take 2 months off work to stay home and raise our daughter. I am not sure how many fathers would have been willing to do that, even if they were financially able to. Darren is an excellent father and every day I would leave the house and work a full day without being upset about leaving Natali. She was at home with her dad and I had nothing to worry about. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Darren stayed off work for as long as we were financially able to swing it. It was a budget stretcher, but such a valuable period of time for all of us that it was absolutely, 100% worth it!
Last week Natali started daycare. It has been a tough transition for us all. The daycare we picked is very good, and I am happy to have Natali there if we must, but I would rather have her home. She got sick in just her first week of being there! Everyone keeps telling me that she will get sick constantly now and we will just have to get used to it. I really hate the thought of that. No one likes being sick. I really hope her immune system is better than average and she starts resisting all the germs she comes into contact with. Darren and I are fairly healthy people, so I'm crossing my fingers that we make it through all of this relatively healthy.
The good news about the daycare situation is we found out that we can just put her there part time. Darren's work schedule changes every month and he typically has at least 2 days during the week that he is home, so we are putting her in daycare just 3 days a week right now. For those few occasions when he works more days, my job is flexible enough that I can stay home 1 day during the week and make it up on a weekend day. We are trying this out for now, and I'm hopeful it will work well for us. If it works it will be so nice! It will keep Natali out of daycare some days, so hopefully that keeps her a bit healthier, and it saves us a bunch of money. The money savings is extremely helpful. We can afford full time daycare with just a bit of stretching, but it is really nice to have that extra cushion in our budget.
I have always said I wouldn't quit my job even if I won big in the lottery. Now I have changed my mind. It's funny how life experiences can do so much to alter your world view. Now all it would take is a million dollar win and I would quit my job tomorrow. We could live for 20 years or more (if invested well) by just taking an amount equal to my yearly salary out of our million dollar winnings every year. Darren could still fly and we could still travel and be perfectly happy. Of course, I would want to work again once Natali starts school. There would be no need to stay home after that if we have just 1 child. Unfortunately I don't foresee a lottery win in our future so we will just have get used to daycare. It really is a nice place, it's just not home and it's not us.