My husband and I own our own roofing company. Not working is not an option for us, plus I really enjoy the work I do and don’t want to be a stay at home mum.
We moved to America in 2016 and have no family close by to help with the raising of our small people. Until January of this year, our 4 and 7 year olds were in full time education. However, we started to experience some issues with our 4 year old at school. He kept getting sent home for not participating, running out of the class room and generally misbehaving. As soon as he learned how to get sent home, I was being asked to pick him up 3-4 times a week! He was eventually asked to leave the private school we enrolled him in, because they believed that he had “sensory processing issues.” This curve ball was initially difficult! All the local day care centers that we wanted to send him to were full until August. I didn't know how was I going to be able to look after a 4 year old AND work. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with work and childcare.
We had to adjust as a family. My work week now looks very different to a typical 9-5, and I am grateful for the flexibility. I plan my calendar out to the minute, so I can achieve as much as possible on the days I am working.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go to the YMCA and our son attends the childcare setting there. He is now one of the older children, so he enjoys playing with the younger children and is socially exposed to other kids rather than just being at home with me. The library is next door so we visit there several times a week and he loves picking out new books. He is a proud owner of his very own library card.
It is so easy as a mother to take on the main role of all the childcare. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I attend several networking events. My husband has this time with our son. They go hiking, visit job sites, go to the bank. They have a great time together!
We now have a home manager that comes Monday - Thursday afternoons. That has been a game changer! She helps with meal prep, washing and tidying. She reads with the kids and picks up our 7 year old from school. It has been a great investment for our family life. Every night from 5 - 7 p.m. my husband and I dedicate time to spend with the kids, reading, board games, playing outside – no chores or work allowed. Everyone in the household seems so much happier. I don’t believe in a work-life balance, but I do believe in a “blend” of life.