March 14, 2009

Back-to-Work Update

This week we decided to up PK's daycare stay from 2 days per week to 3 days per week. This means that we'll be paying a whopping $975/month of childcare. It's still better than the ~$1600/month of childcare that we'd be paying if PK were in daycare full-time. Toronto sure is expensive for full-time childcare. It's more expensive than university tuition (or at least more expensive than tuition was when I was in university).

The reason behind the slight change in childcare arrangements is that I'm pretty convinced that if my mom took her for 3 days a week, she'd just end up too tired and overwhelmed. Besides, I'd rather secure 3 days a week sooner rather than later. Even with this daycare, which seems to be pretty accommodating, the longer we wait to add an extra day, the harder it'll be to get that day. And then, we may just end up in a situation where we'd be missing a day of childcare. The thing is, I haven't told my mom yet. I'm scared of how she'll react. I know that I'll eventually have to tell her, but I just don't know how I'll do it.

On a related note, I'm starting to get my act together on the whole back-to-work thing. I'm meeting up with my manager and his boss in a couple of weeks to discuss things. At this point in time, I'm trying to figure out if it's worthwhile to go back to work part-time for a couple of months before going back full-time in August, or just start back full-time in August. I'm hoping that the meeting with the bosses will help me make my decision. The thing is, I wonder if going back part-time for a couple of months will do anyone any good. For my co-workers, they have to deal with the fact that I'm there, but I'm not. For me, I may end up more frustrated - really looking forward to my off-days, and being really resentful for being at work on my on-days. At the same time, I know myself. I get soooooooooooo crabby when I go back to work after a 2-week vaction. Will it be an easier transition for me if I do the part-time thing first, or will it just make things worse?

And then, there's the parental pressure. My parents really really really mean well, but they are really on my ass when it comes to my return to work. For them, the sooner, the better. They're afraid that I'll lose career momentum, and they're afraid that with the economy being in the schizzer, I'd end up losing my job. My parents keep citing examples of moms they know of who get the axe before going back to work. Except that all of these women were unfortunately axed because their departments were cut. It's not like they were specifically singled out. Besides, to give a mom on mat-leave the axe before she finishes mat-leave is ILLEGAL.

Oh, and I also keep getting lectures on how all these moms that they know of in the US went back to work after only a few weeks. I don't think that they quite understand the fact that in the US, women don't get a 1-year mat-leave. According to this article, only 12 weeks. TWELVE WEEKS! How crazy! Arrgh!!!

It's bad enough that I have to make this decision, but to have it clouded due to pressure from my parents is just aggravating. I'm going to be 30 years old this year, and I sometimes feel like I'm 12. Will I be like this with PK? Geez, I really really hope not. I really really hope that I'm open-minded yet strict when need be, so that I can spare her from this torture. Like I said, they mean well. Really, they do. I don't resent them for it, but it's bloody frustrating. After all, it IS my decision and I shouldn't be stressing out even more than I should because of this external pressure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And what about the fact that those US moms are probably mostly overextended and exhausted? That many of them are unable to continue breastfeeding because they can't keep up their supply just with pumping? (Not that that is an issue for you, but to not have the choice...!) Though I know some moms who WANT to go back to work quickly, I'm betting a lot of them really don't have a choice.

Good luck, Indy, both on deciding what to do about work and on telling your mom about the daycare arrangement.