For nearly three years, since I went back to work after maternity leave, I've been working part time. Until September, this enabled us to always have someone home with our daughter. This was always my goal - even if I had to go to work, I really wanted to make sure that she spent maximum time with one or the other of us. With my husband's impending layoff, though, we knew we needed to start changing things to ensure that we can stay financially stable. Health insurance is now a must for my hubby, and, no matter how we buy it, it's EXPENSIVE.
In September, I was given the opportunity to add an addition eight hours to my work schedule. At that point, my daughter started going to day care at a neighbor's house two days a week. It's been an adjustment for all of us, but she's having a good time being around other kids, and has learned some very valuable lessons about sharing and getting along that would be a lot harder for her to learn, being an only child.
Once again, an opportunity has arisen at work. Week after next, I will once again be working full time. My daughter will go to day care five days a week. This is not at all how I envisioned our life, and there was really no decision to make, in spite of my stress and tears as I agonized over the situation (I'm not exactly dry-eyed as I type this). I know that we have been blessed to be home with her as long as we have, and have had an opportunity that many families never dream of. We can bank some extra money now, and afford health insurance when the time comes. And, once my husband loses his job, he'll be able to be home with her until we figure out what's coming next (he's planning to go back to school).
Now I have to rethink a lot of my cooking and organizing strategies. Rather than making dinner every morning, I'll be back in the 5:30 rush as I make it when I come home from work. Weekends will be spent doing laundry and preparing for the week to come. I'll have to force myself to go to bed at a decent hour, and figure out when I'm going to have time for myself, since it will no longer come at 10 p.m.!
It'll take some adjustments, in mind and attitude, and I'm sure it'll be a little rocky at first. But we'll do it together, as a family. Look for some posts here about my trials, successes (and hopefully not too many failures) as I approach these changes.