Thursday, April 30, 2009

hold on tight

I am due to return to work full-time on May 1.

A quick check of my calendar reveals that May 1 is tomorrow.


As in, the next time the sun rises in the eastern sky.

How are we going to manage this, do you ask?

Well. Um. Let's see.

Charlie is going to significantly reduce his work schedule from 32 hours a week to around 24 hours a week. (Although that doesn't seem very significant does it?)

He was planning to reduce his work schedule from 32 hours a week to 8 hours a week but his boss said that if he did that, they'd have to shut down his office. And seeing as he'd like to still to have an office - particularly since he has someone that works full-time for him - that arrangement would be no good at all. Especially for the guy that works for Charlie.

So, the current plan is that Charlie will work two half days per week and one full day per week in the office. Then, he'll work a few additional hours at home, at night. Within the next few weeks, he hopes to hire an additional person to help ease his work load. As for me, I will work two half days per week, two full days per week and I'll be doing work at night, too.

Thankfully, we have very flexible jobs.

But seeing as I currently manage around 30 projects in San Diego County and will be picking up approximately 30 (or 40 or 50) more projects in Riverside County, I know that I'll be busy in between playing with children and training for a marathon and knitting baby blankets and sleeping and blogging.

(Of course I'll keep blogging. I may as well give up oxygen.)

Although there once was a time when Charlie could have taken over my job ... and there was once a time when I could have continued working part-time indefinitely ... neither of those options are currently available due to some changes with my company's management.

When my boss asked me last week how we are going to manage this, I told him that we are going to do the best we can alternating schedules during the week. Much like we do, now. When he further asked if we were going to bring in a nanny or put the kids in preschool, I said "No!"

Because... I think that it would be too much for any one person to come and stay in our house for eight or more hours a day without taking the children out to a park or play dates.

Because ... I think it would be too much for our children to stay in the house for eight or more hours a day without going out to a park or play dates.

Because ... I don't feel comfortable with some one other than Charlie or I taking all four of our children out of the house to a park or play dates. Or anywhere for that matter that involves travel in a car.

Because ... I don't like the idea of putting all four of our children in daycare - or preschool - for eight plus hours a day. Or six plus hours a day. Or ... at all.

Because ... even though we could afford the $3,000.00+ tuition that would be required for all four of our children to be in daycare if we were both working full-time, our children would be gone from home for the entire day.

Because ... we've already done the whole "kids are gone from home for the whole day" thing before and it was terribly difficult on all of us.

Fortunately, we both don't need to work in order to make ends meet. And if this schedule proves to be too difficult for us to manage effectively, we will make adjustments as necessary.

But we both determined long ago that the best arrangement for our family - psychologically and financially - is if both Charlie and I have the outlet of working a few days a week. And although there certainly are times when I've considered giving up my career completely, my company has made that very difficult for me to do.

For the past four and a half years, my company has granted me an amazing amount of flexibility to work part-time. Minus those two years that I took off on maternity leave. But now my time is up and I must return to work full-time.

At least until we have another baby.

Because life just isn't exciting enough around here.


  1. Good luck... it sounds like you are all going to be quite busy.

  2. You could have another baby and then go on maternity leave again---problem solved. Or, you could move to Greenville and a slower pace.
    I know you will work things out to satisfy everyone. I would suggest, getting someone in ---a teacher or sorts for 1/2 days to help you. The garage is all set up for a classroom and you could be close by to supervise. What do you think of that idea?

  3. If you need help, think about hiring someone. I worked fulltime as a nanny for 6 children under 4 and I honest to God LOVED IT. Crazy, right? I would have stayed longer than the nearly two years I worked there, but the boss was hitting on me (he was the kids, grandpa!.. in his 40's) and I couldn't handle the stress of his wife thinking I was sleeping with him. (I wasn't. Ewww!)

  4. Please have another baby!!!

    You and Charlie make such beautiful and adorable babies!!!

    Good luck with going back to work.

  5. OH MY GOSH JEN! Is that your way of telling us you're pregnant????

    Totally dying in suspense over here!

  6. Good Luck! I'm sure the first few weeks will be crazy, but surely soon enough a routine will develop!

    So are there any PLANS for another baby in the future? ;)

  7. Just came across an adorable family with multiple in the U.S. who has a fun preemie-related video about their kids, in a contest that could get the video on the Discovery Channel and win them a trip to Disney for their family. They need the most daily votes by May 10th to win at . Theirs is the one on the left. Please ask your readers to help out if you'd be willing!

  8. Happy first day back at work! I love the photos with this post. Makes me think of climbing the corporate ladder. Very cute.

  9. Don't give up before you've begun. I fully understand that working is not something you MUST do, but something that you want to do. It goes along with loving what you do - and isn't that a great thing? Two people in their job who love their jobs? It doesn't mean you love your family any less.

    You are going in with an excellent attitude - if it doesn't work, we don't have the financial burden that means we have to continue.

    Well done for going into it with a positive attitude. You will find the right balance and the right mix for your family.

    PS. If you got a nanny for a half day, then the parent could come in the afternoon and take them on that outing? Or is it a all day situation if you have a nanny? I have no idea for your country.

  10. Good Luck! I'm sure it will be difficult at first but you will work it out or decide on a different plan.

  11. Erm - did that penultimate sentence mean what I think it meant?!! ;)

  12. You don't need a nanny!!! Just get a college student and then buy the Learning Box preschool curriculum that I loved and used for 2.5 years and then have the girl come in the afternoon and "do school". The kids would LOVE it. Don't you have a Mormon church close by? All my helpers were Mormon or ex-Mormon (before they became witches) and they are SO good with kids.

  13. Good luck and thank goodness you are going to keep blogging! I would be very sad not to hear about all your adventures! Oh and I like the not hiring a nanny and the no daycare idea. I love that you guys are sacrificing in order to make it this way... I think you will be very happy with your decision ;~)

  14. Dude.....are you hinting at something? I can read mommy code, ya know.

  15. When I was a single mom working thru my master's degree and once I started working I had tax season to contend with...During school I was able to fit in everything at night while Joel slept. He had no idea I was studying for finals or had a big paper. During busy season, Joel would go to grandma's on Saturday nights and I would "work from about 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Maybe, you could consider hiring someone to come at/around dinner a couple nights a week to help with dinner dishes and get the kids to bed, to make more "room in the system".

  16. I'm sure you can make it work. I am the homeschooling mama of 13 children, and my husband and I both worked full time for the past 4 years, while homeschooling all the kids. This year ... I am home full-time again. It's been good, during our transition with our 3 newly adopted children from Africa. But, we have always made it work ... when we both worked.

    (We didn't do daycare either.)


    mama of 13

  17. Just had to add ... there are GREAT nannies out there. My dear eldest daughter (23) LOVES being a nanny ... and she knows a lot more about parenting than the mommy (who acknowledges this). As the 2nd oldest of 13 children, Cassie has MUCH experience. I'm sure there are young ladies like this in your community, also.

    mama of 13