An old dilemma I mean, not an old mum! Although my grey hairs have increased recently! It's the dilemma of childcare - do I or don't I?
Ben went to a childminder after the May halfterm holiday from the age of five and a half months when I went back to teaching back in 2006. He went fulltime, five days a week, which I absolutely hated. The only reasons that I could cope with it was because he really enjoyed it as he was such a sociable baby, and I knew it would only be fulltime for the last seven weeks of the school year. The knowledge that it was the only way I could get the rest of my maternity pay helped too! After I finished school he went one day a week so that I could work on my new business, building up to two afternoons a week after school or two full days a week during the holidays now. He still goes to the same childminder, as do the children of a couple of friends when they saw how happy he was there, and he still enjoys it. It's been good for him to spend more time other children of all different ages too, and I'm sure that it's helped him to settle into school better this year.
Jamie is now nearly six months old and I'm feeling well enough to go back to work properly - in fact I really really want to spend more time working - I have told you before that jewellery making is something of an obsession, haven't I?! Jamie is most likely going to be our last baby, though, and I love spending time with him. He is such a gorgeous little boy, so sociable like his brother and an absolute joy, especially considering how long we waited for him and how hard some of this year so far has been. I don't want to miss a single thing, but I know from experience that I need to work as well. I love what I do, and there's only so much I can fit around having a baby at home all the time, and if I try to do everything with Jamie at home I know I'll only get stressed about it. I haven't liked not blogging as much, and I've really missed teaching both at home and at college.
So, Jamie is going to go to the same childminder as Ben from September, just for one day a week. There's no point him going before then as T has the school holidays off and we've agreed that I can have some work time during the holidays while he looks after the boys - we'll have lots of family days out too though! All I need to do now is to stop feeling guilty about asking someone else to look after my baby!
So, how do the rest of you balance family, childcare and working, especially if you run your own business?