Monday, September 30, 2013

Having it all

Today is my first day back at work. The needle of reality - work, and the need to earn a full salary once again - has burst my lovely stay-at-home mum bubble.

But I don't think it needs to deflate it too far. As far as returning to work goes, I have a fairly soft landing. Not for me the horrors of leaving the house at dawn and returning at dinner time, with Lady P marooned in a nursery for five days a week.

Thanks to TLOML's unusual working hours we are able to get away with part-time childcare. Most of the time Lady P will be with the lovely childminder who she already knows well. Another lovely childminder across the street will take her for an afternoon a week, leaving TLOML to be Daddy Daycare for three mornings each week - a time traditionally spent having coffee with me and Lady P anyway. He's also in charge of the best time of all - Wednesday afternoons, which is the time my mum and my sister take her twins to the pool. So TLOML can teach Lady P to swim (okay, to splash) in the pool in which I learned to swim, and with her rufty tufty cousins for company. So far she has loved being in the water, which I ascribe to her water birth, and TLOML to his swimming prowess. If the smile on her face and the gleeful kicks are anything to go by that Princeton swim scholarship could be a realistic goal. (Hothousing, us?).

Yes, it's wrong to be so prescriptive about Lady P's future. But isn't it a lovely campus?

Best of all, because we have the luxury of working from home, we are keeping Lady P with us for naps and mealtimes. Officially, I'll cover breakfast (before 9am) and dinner (after 5pm), but in practice I think I'll be timing my lunch break to coincide with hers. I may even change the odd nappy, or sneak in the odd cuddle, if I get five minutes between powerpointing and conference calling.

The only cloud on the horizon is that unfortunately sometimes our clients like to actually see us. As in, in the flesh, not on an IM or a teleconference. So we'll both have to do a bit of travel which will strain the patchwork of childcare somewhat. But since it won't be for long, I'm hoping we can just muddle through.

As I post this, TLOML and Lady P are happily watching the Redskins game. Well, she's pretty happy because she's being fed her afternoon bottle. TLOML not so much, for the Redskins are not playing well. Still, it looks like this whole Daddy Daycare arrangement is going to work out pretty well.

Is this what 'having it all' means? One day in, and it feels that way to me. Long may it last. And if Lady P keeps up her swim training, and goes to Princeton, and gets a good job, maybe she too will have it all. Though to look at her now, burping happily as she watches NFL Sunday, I am beginning to doubt whether she will share our lofty ambitions.

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