Since the start of 2011, I’ve been thankful to enjoy a small-but-steady stream of freelance work. The amount of work varies from month to month — summer has been a bit slower — but generally I’m working on at least one or two projects at any given time. As much as I love that Lillian is my primary focus, sometimes its just really nice to change gears and talk strategy. Create a recipe for somebody. Or write a press release or just think about something other than diapers. I think part of what makes it so therapeutic is that its NOT my main focus. Its not something I HAVE to do every single day. Its something else to do. I’ve been in a pretty good work rhythm too — mornings belong to Lillian (and late afternoons, and evenings before bedtime), but during her nap I get a chance to do some work (and some housekeeping). So, now that things are going so smoothly, of course its time to change it up, right?
One of my clients/mentors/friends has asked me to take on a more structured role with an agreed-to number of hours each month — 8 to 10 hours each week. I am DELIGHTED by the opportunity but could not, in good conscience, agree to this without seriously considering some outside childcare help. Eight to 10 hours is probably still doable in a naps-only scenario, but it wouldn’t leave me much wiggle room for other projects or for things like laundry or dishes or anything else. And that is where the daycare debate picked up.
For me, there wasn’t really much debate. We have friends here in Oak Park that have their daughter (just a few months older than Lil) enrolled in a daycare program a few days each week. They can’t say enough good things about it. Their daughter is social! And happy! And learning Spanish! The daycare if fully licensed and allows for very flexible schedules. And its affordable. And they have openings! I went to daycare or some form of childcare from a very young age and I figured that Lilly could benefit from socializing with other children and adults one day each week.
For JiT however, this was a BIG deal. As it should be I guess. His mom stayed home with he and all of his siblings (there are quite a few). I don’t think they even attended preschool, so the idea of sending your baby (toddler?) off to spend the day with strangers seemed quite foreign to him. His hesitation lead to a lengthy and pretty healthy discussion about all of this — how we want to raise Lilly, what the end-goal of my increased workload is, all sort of things. In the end, he was on board to give it a try. So that’s where we’re at.
I’ve toured the daycare and spoken with parents and kids. We’re set to enroll Lilly for one day per week beginning later this month. We’ll see how she does. We’ll see how I do. Should be interesting.