Monday, January 11, 2010

Daycare dilemma

For me, part-time work is a great complement to parenting and dairy farming. Especially part-time writing. Balancing the workload between these three "gigs" is a bit crazy at times, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Writing keeps me in contact with other adults and gives me a chance to exercise the part of my brain that isn't utilized during toddler negotiations and day-to-day farm chores. And I think writing makes me both a better parent and a better farmer; having an outlet for my words keeps me thinking, analyzing and looking for the humor in everyday situations. Plus, I have endless opportunities to learn from other dairy farmers.

I do most of my work from home, which has definite benefits (like setting my own schedule) and drawbacks (like being interrupted mid-sentence by a cry on the monitor). My work for the Dairy Star also includes two days a month in the office, mostly proof-reading. I've come to love those two days. They're like a paid vacation. I don't have to do morning chores on Dairy Star days, I entrust my children's care to others and I get paid to nit-pick. Furthermore, the camaraderie in the Dairy Star office is great. 

The only problem with this arrangement is daycare. Most daycare providers aren't able to accomodate a two-days-a-month work schedule. We are incredibly lucky to have a daycare provider for Dan who is super flexible, but she doesn't have room for Monika because her "children-under-two" limit is met. So, until Monika turns two herself, I rely on friends and neighbors to watch Monika on office days, which sometimes works out very well and sometimes doesn't.

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