Useful Tuesdays: A Plan (& Patience)

I must start this post by saying there will probably be no useful information presented. I just wanted to talk about all this stuff and it seemed like I could get away with it today…

So summer is pretty much over. I officially start work this Thursday. I went to school today and got about five hours in. I still have a lot to do, especially considering I know longer have time to prep built into my schedule.

I’ve spent all of August getting us ready for our new childcare situations. For those who don’t know we have a patchwork quilt of Isa-care happening this year. My FIL is watching Isa on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am to 1pm. Mi.Vida is bringing Isa over on the Muni train and I will be picking her up after work.

My MIL and FIL have jumped into this childcare situation with both feet and plenty of enthusiasm. They’ve totally transformed their daughter’s bedroom into a playroom, where Isa will have access to more toys than she does at home. They’ve also already purchased a high chair, a $200+ stroller and many other supplies. It was all I could do to keep them from purchasing a whole new set of cloth diapers (which we SO don’t need).

On Tuesdays I will be bringing Isa to a friend’s house near where I work. That means I have to have her ready to get in the car by 6:45am. Tuesdays are also staff meeting days and I have to go to those at 3pm so I will be picking Isa up from my friend’s and bringing her back to school so my mom can either play with her there or bring her back to her house. Tuesdays are going to be long and rough.

I am working part time this year. I have four classes and finish teaching at lunch. I am doing 4/5 of the work in 2/3 of the time. The way it works is I loose my prep period (when I’m supposed to get work done like grading papers, making copies and planning) and my lunch along with the actual class I’m not teaching. I will be commuting back to the city when I’m supposed to be eating.

Both of our childcare providers are watching Isa free of charge, which is the only reason I can afford to be part time. I don’t want either of them to be spending any money on her care (though the ILs will most certainly be doing plenty of that, as they already have); that means I’ve had to purchase (used, of course) an booster with tray, a car seat and a travel crib for my friend’s house. I’ve also gotten her a sippy cup, an extra binki and blankie, Infant Ibuprofen, a bottle and other things that she absolutely must have around the house lest I forget them when I pack Isa. Needless to say, it’s a lot.

I’ve also been trying to get things ready at home so the transition will be easier on all of us. I’ve been making baby food like crazy so I will have quick, healthy options for Isa when I’m too tired to cook for her. So far I’ve made two kinds of lentils and chicken and rice. Tonight I’m making pasta stars with veggies and tomorrow Mi.Vida is making a vegetable risotto. I’ve also stripped the cloth diapers and done a ton of other laundry. Tomorrow I’m running some errands. Wednesday I’m getting the oil changed in our car.

I had hoped to have my bedroom all cleaned out and ready to go before work started but the reality is it’s not going to happen. While I’m disappointed that I didn’t get it done this summer I’m confident I will finish that project, and the other three rooms that await the Great Clutter Catharsis. By April of next year this apartment will be a different place.

I have to admit, I’m both incredibly excited to have the opportunity to spend more time with Isa this year, and incredibly nervous that after working five hours straight in the morning and then picking up Isa to spend another five hours straight with her, I will be a tired wreck by the end of the day. Of course I was a tired wreck when I was working full time too, and I only got to see her for a couple hours a day. I’m sure this will be better, I just need to figure out what I’m doing and hit my stride.

And that is going to take a lot more planning and patience.

5 responses

  1. It sounds like you’re doing wonderfully already. It sounds like a lot — and you’re writing so clearly about it.

    I always find that I have things I plan to do — and then the execution of my plan never really goes as I wanted. I’ve been thinking that the pre-made homemade healthy food is a great idea — I often mismanage the time I do have and then feel like her food isn’t optimal.

    What also struck me, as a former teacher, is the idea that part-time is still teaching four classes and losing your prep and lunch — LAME. I know what a whirlwind the school year can be — if you’re like me there’s still that glimmer of excitement at the beginning of the fall — but it’s simply a demanding and emotionally draining job — not unlike parenting — it’s different than most jobs that way, I think.

    Isa is so lucky to be surrounded by such love — this sounds like a difficult transition time but you all will be adjusted before you know it and it will be, as they say, the new normal.

    Thinking of you!


  2. Thank you. It will be a hard transition but I think in the end I’ll be really thankful for this opportunity. I’m trying to approach all of this with an open and grateful heart. And it’s pretty much working. 😉

  3. I am sure it will all be all right in the end. We tend to worry more about things than we need to. And while I think that you will, indeed, be tired by the end of each day, later on you will look at this time and feel so good about spending all this time with your daughter.

    You know, I like Abba’s song – what’s it called? Slipping through my fingers all the time is one of the phrases she keeps repeating. And while my child isn’t even born yet, I already worry (see? I worry, too – ahead of time ;)) that I won’t get enough time with her, that I won’t be there for some milestones, that in a blink of an eye she will be like six and going to school…

  4. I think the start of a new school year and/or a new routine is always daunting and stressful at first. It sounds like you are getting everything organized to make it as smooth a transition as possible. Once the school year gets in full swing, I bet you’ll find that things will get easier.

    I can’t believe you go back to work this week! I remember you being in school way longer into June than we are in Texas. Our schools start Monday, and the teachers went back this week. I feel like you are getting cheated out of some much deserved summer!

  5. Ugh, is it already time for the school year to begin? Really? Where did the summer go???

    I love that you have such great support in your ILs (um, minus the past inquisition about your daughter’s weight) and your friend in your patchwork of child care. You’re so fortunate to have these folks in your life, to know in your heart that your daughter is in such capable, loving hands. I envy that in a small way.

    I can understand your trepidation. It’s all so new and is a serious change in your professional and personal life. BUT, I have a feeling that you’ll scale this well, in the end. Hang in there, and good luck! 🙂

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