People keep asking me how I am lately, and invariable, this has been my reply, "I'm trying to find the balance."
I haven't worked a "normal" job since 10 days before I had Oceana. This wasn't so much a choice of wanting to stay home, as the effect of our situation. We were in college/uni when she was born, and were planning to move just 3 weeks after her birth. I knew there was no point in going back to my job because we planned to move to New Zealand about 6-8 weeks after her birth. When we came to NZ we weren't legally permitted to work, but we were doing the youth group. Youth group and the drop in centre only kept us busy on Friday and Saturday. We did have other stuff to do, but it wasn't anywhere but at home, and it didn't have deadlines usually.
And now I have a JOB, albeit unpaid, and it has deadlines, requirements, an office, etc. And I have a 2 year old that I don't want to put in daycare if I can help it. I "should" only have to work 20 hours a week. But what I'm finding unfortunate is weeks like this - where I have two enormous deadlines - in two days, and taking Oceana to the office is like taking my life in my hands.
I had no intention of taking her to the office yesterday, but after I started work, I realized I had (HOPEFULLY) saved the latest copy of the Magazine (6 weeks+ of work!!!) at the office - not on my laptop (either user) or my flash drive. AK! I looked and looked, and decided that since TUESDAY (yesterday being Monday) was my due date, I had better move it up to the office! When I got there Matt saved me one of the copies on his computer (it was on his, I work on his on Thursday), and I took it to go on my laptop in another office. In the meantime Oceana is making people help her sharper her pencils - yeah, people who have jobs - and screeching about everything. She had an utter meltdown about lunch and which food and spoon she was going to use. And I had the wrong copy. Matt was busy, so I couldn't get on the computer to find the right now until lunchtime - but thank goodness I did find it eventually. But here's what frustrates me - after lunch Oceana was losing it, needed a nap, etc. So I brought her home, put her to bed and got distracted (with a book that Amanda B sent me - THANK YOU! It's awesome!). When I finally got back to work I only had a half hour, and then I realized I was missing two more files that were DUE that day. Grrrr. And they're at the office. But I don't know where, or what they're named specifically, so Matt couldn't look for them and save them for me.
So here I am Tuesday - wondering what I should do. I know I'm going in at some point, as I have a meeting (at a general "sometime Tuesday") today, but I need to have some stuff finished before I go. So now what???
But in the midst of work, there's still Oceana, who I hate to ignore for work, or sit in front of TV. We're trying to cut down on the TV intake in our house, but it's difficult to do, because I need to play with her a lot of the time - and I can't if I'm trying to work. And the house falls apart if I don't clean every day. And there's still dinners to be made, laundry to do (with no dryer this is a daytime activity, unfortunately), people to see.
How do you balance? Do you have a schedule? Does the schedule ever change, is it flexible? Do you do a lot of cleaning late at night? Do you have to schedule play time? Do you hire a babysitter, nanny, or send them to daycare?
The issue with daycare is that since it's a volunteer position, there's no pay - so there's no extra to pay for it...
Let me know your thoughts. And please refrain from telling me to quit or something stupid like that. I like this job, I'm just learning to juggle.