Tuesday, May 19, 2009

With or without?

I am fortunate to be on paid maternity leave right now and I'm excited to "have" a summer back while I'm on leave and not go to work (yay company benefits!). Spending the last few months with my daughter (and a nanny) has been incredible and has really made me think about things. Now that I have two kids (wow, that's still hard to say), I feel that I should really maximize this time while I'm at home. And by maximize, well, I have to figure out what that means in terms of care-giving.

See, when I returned to work, I made sure that I had a nanny for my daughter, every day, all day. When I went on maternity disability leave with kid #2, I retained the nanny because at that point in my pregnancy I wasn't able to really take care of my daughter (limitations due to pregnancy). When my limitations were eased, I began feeling that the nanny was less necessary because I could take care of my daughter, and at that point my nanny left me. As the due date for #2 neared, I started to wonder - and many well-meaning people discussed this with me - how I would take care of two babies by myself. What if both are crying for food at the same time? When would I ever have time to go to the bathroom? How would I go grocery shopping? So I found a terrific lady who has been coming by to take care of #1 while I take care of #2. It's been great and not as stressful for me.

But I'm wondering again if I need this help every day. This week the lady is coming in the mornings and leaves once #1 is asleep for her morning nap. It's a very nice arrangement. Now I wonder if I can do this myself? The answer is: I don't know. I feel like I need a trial day to determine the answer to that question. Weekends don't count because Daddy doesn't go to work on weekends, and besides, weekends are existentially different from weekdays anyway. So, I basically need to do this scientifically by not having any help come in for one weekday and see how/if I survive by the end of the day.

How many more opportunities like this (on leave AND paid?!?!?!?!) will I get?

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