The childcare experiment

Last week, I was talking about the kids’ lack of napping and the unfavourable effects it was having on my freelance career. And my sanity.
With Darling Husband working shift-work (relief shift-work, at that, which means there is no regularly or stability and nothing is as it seems … *dramatic flourish*), it’s hard for me to meet deadlines sometimes without staying up half the night. 
So I decided to try a childcare experiment, in the hopes that it might actually solve things. Instead of the kids going to a babysitter one day a week, we’d up it to two days — just for three weeks, to see how we all liked the arrangement.
Yesterday was the first day of “bonus” childcare, and … well, I’ll let my calendar at the end of the day speak for itself …

See the massive row of purple all-day entries? Well, every time I finish a task, I edit it to read “DONE” at the beginning and I change the colour to purple.

It was a superOMGcrazyproductive day.

But not in the usual throat-tightening, can’t-keep-up kind of productive-day way. I finished everything I needed to finish, and actually took 20 minutes to eat lunch at the kitchen table. I breathed. I was very, very cautious not to schedule too much. I am slowly learning that scheduling too much is hazardous for my health … and makes me a Mean Mommy and Naggy, Cranky Wife.

And you know what? That’s not all. Since I’ll be working full days on Tuesday and Thursday (for these three weeks, to start), I’m making a point of working fewer hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

As in, like, a couple of hours, max, instead of cramming in as much as possible from the minute I sit down to eat lunch (while the kids are eating in front of the TV) until rightttt before dinner is ready. That was just … not good … for any of us.

Today is a “light” day (oh dear, is my work schedule going to start sounding like a pantyliner commercial?) which means I’ll do some shooting in the morning with C while D’s at preschool, and some writing in the afternoon during “quiet time.” If they don’t nap, whatever. I purposely did not schedule much, so I can go rescue them after a while and we can do something together.

Tomorrow, they’ll be back at the babysitter’s, and I will focus on work all day long. Breathing, hopefully, in between calls and interviews and writing and emailing as fast as I can.

And then we’re all taking Friday off (from preschool, work, everything) for a rare day trip to the city for appointments, dinner with Darling Husband’s family, and probably a stop at a “fancy” indoor playplace.

Have I found a new groove for us? Have I found a schedule that will ACTUALLY WORK FOR US, in this crazy freelance/shift work life that we have chosen?

Let the experiment roll on!


So what do you think?

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