Sunday, 26 June 2011

The cost of childcare

Dandelion image via pinterest
Being a working mum has its challenges not the least of which is guilt, fear and anxiety. I now work three full days per week and one day from home and I count myself immeasurably lucky to have relatives caring for my bub. However, I still put her name down for the daycare centre attached to my work. I thought it would be easy both financially and emotionally for her to go there. When I put her name down I had no idea when there would be a spot and now eight months later I get the email. The email that gives me less than a week to make up my mind whether I want to send her to daycare. I'm torn, I'm uncomfortable and frankly I just don't know. My theory is that I could come to work for half a day and have an afternoon to myself. I dream that this could result in haircuts, dental appointments and maybe a visit to the gym. In reality I know that I will just keep staying later and later at work until suddenly I am at work four full days per week. And so now I am torn. I love spending time with my daughter and love the two full days I spend with her. I love catching up with my mum friends. I just love it and it makes me feel slightly (okay maybe a minuscule) less guilty about going to work on the other days.
If I send her to daycare what is the cost to me?

Monday, 20 June 2011

Blast from the past times two

Today I had two blasts from the past, so completely unexpected but so interesting. The first was a gal I worked with in Melbourne and I saw her on facebook and befriended her and lo and behold I find out she has twins girls and not with the guy I expected. I still can't get over seeing her with her new guy. It's just so weird. Don't you find that sometimes you just can't reconcile thoughts in your head. I often find that when

I'm thinking about unlikely couples. I just can't understand it.
The second blast from the past just hit me. I was watching The Block and bang there's a girl I recognise from high school. Then I'm on facebook and another eagle-eyed friend has spotted her and soon someone provides her name. A small problem of going to a large all-girls school. Way too many names to even try to remember!

So, on the same theme I had a beautiful lunch on Sunday at a restaurant that I last ate at when I was 13. We were there for my Dad's 60th birthday and it was seven courses of divine food. It also meant that we had about 6 hours away from the bub who was under the watchful eye of Auntie Twin and her partner. Dad had wanted to bring her but was swiftly vetoed - this was definitely adult time. Not much cooking from me yesterday but definitely a lot of eating!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Overwhelmed and then sane again

You know those weeks when everything just builds, and builds and finally pop you're ready to explode and some lucky SOB is in your way and they cop it. This week I feel like I've been building but no pop! I'm hoping that my inner tension has been relieved by a merry night of eating and drinking with the Mums at the newish Boulvevard Hotel. Much champagne was drunk and I devoured a tasty Pork Cotoletta with coleslaw and rosemary potatoes, mmm yummy.

I've actually been inspired to cook recently and I attempted to take photos but my skills are definitely lacking in that department. I think the desire to cook again comes out of a need to reclaim some of my pre-bambino life.

So out of my very, very small kitchen (less than one metre of benchspace) has come: homemade digestives (no chocolate, not quite McVities), bacon, spinach & tomato quiche inspired by Jude Blereau who has the best recipe for savoury custard, roast pork and trimmings, Donna Hay's chocolate and caramel puddings, mini pear and raspberry muffins, Italian beef casserole, roasted pumpkin and garlic soup, carmelised pears with butterscotch sauce and these divine cookies from Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks,, mine are always stars but I'm now on the hunt for gorgeous mini cookie cutters.
Image from Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbooks

Whilst I'm on the subject of Heidi Swanson I am anxiously awaiting delivery of her new book. She has combined her two profound talents - cooking and photography - into a fabulous book. Well, I'm sure it is fabulous, come on Amazon!

So hopefully my inner tension has eased, and sanity has been restored. I think I still have a long way to go in creating balance in my life. I know it's an ideal that we all strive for but one day I'll get there.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

First-time Mum - what no-one tells you

I'm new to this game of parenting and I wish that people had told me some key things before I headed down this road. I've decided to list the five that have made the biggest impact to me.

1. When people say your life will change they don't actually say if it is for the better. Yes I love my bub greatly but I mourn my life before her B-day. I mourn for leaving the house with just your keys and some cash. I mourn sleeping until 7am uninterrupted. I mourn quiet dinner times. I mourn a tidy house. But I love the smile on my face when she burrows in for a cuddle. I love her smell. I even love sticky jammy fingers all over my face.

2. You will become obsessed by unusual things: poo, food, eating, toys, baby clothes, oh and your baby.

3. Sleep is a luxury and the poor sleeping continues well past the time that they're one. I had such high hopes. The week I went back to work she slept through every night and now four months later hasn't put together two nights sleeping through.

4. Guilt begins immediately. From the moment she was born and I felt guilty that I didn't have a water birth like I had planned and it has continued every day. And I expect it will continue for eternity.

5. There is no such thing as having it all. I need to work and I'm good at and I enjoy my job (sometimes). However the guilt I feel when I am at work is huge, overwhelming and often too hard to cope with. And then the guilt I feel when I am at home and not working is huge, overwhelming and often too hard to cope with. The 11 months I had off were great and I made friends and I enjoyed my bub. No I feel like the friendships are failing as I am the mum that works the most and I am constantly stressed when I am with the bub as I scramble to get everything done. Like I said you can't have it all.

Oh and I don't get to bake as much as I used to. For shame.