Annie’s at preschool so she’s out of the house for 3 hours every morning but she’s no longer happy to sit and watch me work when she gets home or entertain herself. She either wants to go out ‘on an adventure’ or she wants to do something with me at home when Evan naps. Obviously I want to make the most of these last few terms where she’s home all afternoon so we do have our quality time in the afternoons. The picture above is of a beach trip a few Fridays ago when Evan wouldn’t nap, we all had an incredible time but obviously this meant there was no time for work.
Evan is a very active 14 month old – he’s been walking since 10 months and can move and climb most of the furniture to reach whatever he wants no matter how high. This means I can no longer leave him to play in our baby-proofed living room while I watch from the table where I work because he’d end up jumping off the windowsill or throwing the TV (he’s weirdly strong!). He also only has an afternoon nap now, so I can get no work done in the mornings either.
This has left me with evenings which is fine but that leaves all the childcare to Stu when he gets in from work and it’s exhausting for both of us so we’ve made the decision to put Evan into nursery. He already goes to his Grandmas once a week which gives me one morning of work and an afternoon of one-on-one time with Annie so he’s used to being away from me but only with family. He had his first settling in days last week. On Monday he went for an hour, half of it with me sat there filling in paperwork and half of it with me sat in the staff room. Then on Tuesday he went for a full hour on his own. Both days he absolutely loved it – he didn’t cry when I left, he was sociable with the other toddlers, ate well and then when I came back he ran over to me with his arms up as soon as he saw me.
This Monday he went for a full morning and lunch and again he loved it but he was ready to go when he saw me. He started waving ‘Bye’ to the staff when I picked him up, it was so cute! So I’m not nervous about him at all. The plan is for him to carry on with his Grandma for one day a week and go to nursery for one morning a week for now – there’s no point paying for the afternoon when I have Annie to look after anyway. I know I’ll need to put him in for longer when wedding season starts but we can work up to that. And I still work most weekends for now, I don’t think that will change until he’s at preschool.
It’s frustrating that we can’t work out a way to run the business without having to use childcare but actually the time Evan’s away from me will do him good and being able to spend a few hours purely on work will be good for more of a work / life balance. Working from home with my children here is amazing, I don’t have to miss a thing but it’s very stressful trying to fit everything in. Those few child free hours in the morning should give me more afternoons to just focus on quality family time, instead of stressing about all the work I have to do before bedtime!