Today I start looking after a little girl for the next 6 weeks. I know you are thinking ARE YOU CRAZY but I actually feel quite grateful about it all – let me tell you why. It is no secret that childcare is quite expensive in Vancouver not to mention the need to get on wait-lists the minute you find out you are pregnant. My plan was always to return to work after my mat leave until we did the math and realized how much of my income would go towards someone else looking after the twins and in all honesty – I like being with them.
Vancouver childcare on average is about $1200 per kid/month = $28,800 for the twins (before taxes). **This number comes from asking friends in my area what they are paying, plus looking up child care costs online.** J and I discussed me staying at home with the twins for the next few years while taking on contract or part time work which would allow me to continue spending time with them (which is important to me) and still contribute financially (also important to me). I had to spend some time thinking how I felt about approaching work and life in this way but realizing that my goals have shifted since becoming a mom and being able to achieve both (be with the twins and contribute to our bottom line) eased my anxiety about this change.
My outlook on pregnancy and parenthood thus far has been that I am only doing this once and I want to be as mindful and present as I can. During pregnancy I would think things like – “okay heartburn – I hate you, but this is the only time I will get to be pregnant so I’ll take the bad with the good”. Now I think “okay groundhog day – let’s do this again because any day now they are going to be heading off to kindergarden and I will remember these days as magical” They will never be this young again and we don’t plan on having any more children – unless you are our 3rd child reading this in the future, in which case – we were blessed to have you and hope the lawsuit against the IUD company will help pay for University – I digress….
This of course follows a year where J and I have already made choices to simplify our lives and cut our costs down by subletting our place in Vancouver to live in Central America for example or sell our car (because we walk everywhere). J has been working from home since the twins were born and with him running his own business for the past year we have been aware of our spending, opting to have friends over for dinner or drinks so we can all save a little $$.
I’m neither a “working mom”, or a “stay at home mom”.. I’m a simply “a mom” (although there is nothing simple about it). There are too many boxes out there to be classified in and I have never liked being trapped in a category. For me, staying at home is the better financial and mental choice right now. When I mentioned this plan to my girlfriend (who was in need of care for her daughter before her full time care begins) it was a great opportunity and solution for both of us to have her Little L (not be confused for my L) join our little organized chaotic world for the next 6 weeks.
When you remove the BOX, things seem simpler and you begin to ask questions like: What do you really want out of life and what do you need to do to make that happen? For me, today, it’s looking after LL – tomorrow it could be working on an event, or writing an E-book (in progress). Maybe it’s best summarized like this: “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her“… you know what I mean?? Here’s to breaking life down to it’s simplest form and living life OUTSIDE of the box.