Thursday, April 16, 2009


My mom's impending move has left us scrambling for a kid pick-up plan. For the past month or so, I would leave school and go into work for a few hours before picking up Madhubby from the light rail station and heading home. Mom would pick up the kids and take them to her house where they would eat lots of sweets and watch shows on cable TV. I would pick them up on my way home. There were a few speed bumps with our plan but, overall, things were going well. Until this week.

On Monday, mom phoned me to say she could not pick up the children as originally planned. I called Madhubby, freaking out because we had no back-up plan. My minor freak-out led to a more involved conversation about our long-term childcare plans. His response was that I have a flexible job, he does not have a flexible job, therefore kid pick-up defaults to me. It makes sense but I like going into the office because I get more assignments when I am there.  

The other problem is that my job has growth potential. His does not. So, from my perspective, it makes more sense for him to pick up the kids so I can grow my career. But it's not possible. He would have to use massive amounts of vacation time just to pick the children up from school. Add in that we share a car that I usually drive to school and there is a real problem. So am I to ignore that part of me that hungers for more work and more experience? Well...yes.

I don't like being the one to make concessions but I do not have a choice. If Madhubby were to stay home with the kids (which he has offered to do), then our health insurance costs would skyrocket because my firm does not pay as much towards our health insurance as Madhubby's company does.  No thanks.  

So I will work part-time. Or, I will work part-time hours in the office and do more work at home after the kids are in bed. I will adjust my schedule because I can. I know I said two full-time working parents was never our plan but, between you and me, I always thought the choice was mine to make. It stings to know it's not. 


alwayschasingjustice said...

I completely understand. However, if it makes you feel better, at least you have another parent in the household willing to take on additional parenting responsibilities. You are in a situation where you can work part time. Your situation may seem frustrating now, but it's very doable. Stay strong and remember, at this point, your kids needs must come first and then your career. That is the plight of motherhood.

gudnuff said...

So not fair! This is like an inside-out, upside-down Catch-22 folded sideways. Sensible, sorta, but ooooh, I'd be super frustrated. It's like a lose-lose situation. There's no substantive career benefit for him to stay at his work all day (just the avoidance of penalties in terms of using up too much leave time if he doesn't stay all day). So he stays all day long, big whoop. And there ARE substantive career benefits for YOU to stay, but no penalties (re: leave-time) if you don't stay. That seems so backwards. And to not feel you are making this choice freely...argh. Welcome to work-and-family issues. Argh, again.

sorel top said...

Yes, life isn't fair and we all gave up a lot of control and choices when we chose to share our life with another and bring kids into the world. Kids grow up and get their own lives and that will free you to do more at work. You'll never regret having this time with them. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint and you'll have plenty of time to pick up the pace later on.

My husband is in your shoes right now. I know it is frustrating for him, but he admits that he treasures the extra time with the kids now when they are little and really enjoy his company.

Catherine said...

I know you have probably crazy law school debt, but you might consider getting an au pair who can do light house keeping, run errands with the kids, do the kids laundry, and I think you mentioned you have latin american roots? You could have an au pair from a latin american country to have your kids learn more about cultures. Au Pairs work 45 hours a week - on a split schedule...packing lunches in the morning, picking kids up from school, and a half day on Saturday or a date night. Especially with summer could be a good solution for breaks and holidays and au pairs are $8/ an hour or $18,500 a year. We will have an au pair while I'm in law school. It's the only way we can do this! I don't have parents. If you wanted to find out more - there's a free application until mother's day which saves you $350 at

My undergrad was Family Ministries - I started reading your blog because I want to go into Family Law, but our county doesn't have guardian ad litems. I currently work with au pairs and host families and love it. I have almost 30 in my area and they are fantastic girls (and one guy!) Family room matching system allows you to look for the perfect au pair for your family. It's nice to have the extra hands at an affordable cost - someone who wants to be part of the family.

Sorry for the long comment...if you have any questions please ask me! A lot of people don't know about au pairs, the program, or how affordable it is!!

LawSchoolMom said...

Thanks for the great information, Catherine! I will look into it.