Today is a day full of feels for me. As of today, both my kiddos are officially public school children. When I was in the throes of postpartum anxiety and depression, there were times that I thought that this day would never come. I would think about all the things that I had to do, should do, would rather be doing. When my son was born, so was his mother. My identity went “poof” overnight and completely disappeared. Our living situation went like this: our household income was too large (meaning more than $28,000 per year) to qualify for any childcare assistance and too small to feasibly afford a babysitter or a nanny. We had no family nearby who could help on a regular basis, no grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, etc. At the time I was finishing up a long sought-after degree and I was expected to return to my student job when I was ready. No sweat though, right? Certainly we could work this out…right?
Plan “A” was that I moved my shifts to later in the afternoon and my husband planned to work the last two hours of his job from home. Because of the nature of his work, he would get caught up in meetings or in trouble-shooting projects that management would spring on him. So we abandoned plan “A.” Plan “B” was, “We’ll just get a sitter for 2 hours per day for coverage before he gets home from work.” Two things: The first is that the absolute lowest price you’ll pay for a babysitter is $10 per hour. And you get what you pay for…no background screenings, nothing. You’re basically inviting a complete stranger into your home to care for your defenseless baby. Sadly (luckily?) I couldn’t find a single babysitter that was both available at the time I needed them and willing to work only two hours per day.
I hadn’t even researched anything other than babysitting. I just assumed that we could use one of the apps or services I’d read so much about. Nope.
The second thing is that daycares are expensive. I’m talking about 4 car payments per month expensive. They have rules like, “no half days” or “must be 5 days per week” or “don’t accept kids under a certain age” or “must be potty-trained.” And they have waiting lists. Every damn one of ’em has a waiting list. We simply couldn’t find what we needed at a price we could afford, so I let the job go to focus on finishing up my degree.
And that’s the story of how I ended up staying at home to raise the kids until they started school. I wandered into the fog and I couldn’t come out…until today. Today is the first day that I have just a few hours to myself without the crushing guilt of having spent money to have someone else watch the kids. That, to me, is beyond huge. As a matter of fact, it’s the hugest.
I am finally able to devote my full attention (for at least a solid 3 hours) to getting Palmetto & Pine open as soon as I can. Thanks for subscribing to email lists, “liking” our posts, and waiting patiently while our construction finishes up. Membership packages will be available for presale in the next two weeks as we post updates, promotions, and grand opening events!
Thank you to everyone who has helped or offered support and encouragement throughout the last 6 years. It means everything!
Love and Light