I was asked the other day by a close friend, ‘When did you know it was time to go back to work after having kids?’ I must admit that I struggled to think wayyyyyy back then (some 11 years ago), but I do remember when making the decision, we needed to factor in a few things.
- Money – It wouldn’t have been logically if we were paying $$$ for childcare only to be working for $, if you know what I mean.
- Family – Coming back to money, we asked ourselves, was there someone in our family to accommodate a day or two to look after the kids for us to save money?
- Work – Was my employer willing to be flexible if I needed to leave early?
- And most of all, was I ready to let my kids go.
Everyone’s situation is different. Some mothers before having children, have already made up their mind and choose not to go back to work. Where as, others return as soon as they can because of financial reasons. But which ever way you decide, you should know that no one has the right to judge you on your decision, because you are doing what’s best for your family.
So let’s take our situation for example. Our family were a middle-income family with one parent working. There was no way that we could afford 2 x kids in childcare. We also didn’t want to leave the kids with our parents full-time, because we all know little kids are hand fulls….plus our parents deserve some free time as well.
Our first routine looked like this:
- 3 days Family Day Care – Family day care is where your child is cared for in an approved educators home. The qualified educator focuses on each individual child’s development, while following early learning programs for kids. With flexible hours, you pay for the hours your children are cared for. What is good about Family Day Care, is the educator to child ratio! You’ll find most only take about 4 children at a time, therefore your child is given more attention. Oh and you’ll pay roughly between $6-$10 per hour.
- 1 day Child Care Centre – We wanted our kids to build their social interaction with other kids. We opted to start with 1 day at child care for this reason. Each child care centre costs vary, however some centres charge a minimum daily rate or an hourly rate. Some service fees may be inclusive of food and nappies, so be wary of that when looking into the right place. Seeing your kids with a permanent smile when they come home is priceless, but remember you could be paying $100 – $120 a day per child.
- 1 day with my mother – Yay nanny time. My mum loved it! She would sleep over the Thursday night and look after the kids Friday and be home to cook dad dinner.
If I had to break it down:
8 hours in Family day care $80 per child
8 hours in Child Care $110 per child
Plus in Australia, you are entitled to some sort of assistance from the government pending on your family income. So make sure you check with your government for discount entitlements. And check your local council and centres for availabilities, as there maybe a waiting list.
So with the routine all planned out, was I ready to go back to work?
Yes I was ready! I needed adult time, but again everyone is different. I had 2 years off as my kids are 18 months apart. My boys were pretty much sick of me by then and it was more that they were ready.
You may not be ready, but sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. It always works out somehow.
Keep in mind, that every child is different and some personalities/temperaments can play a big factor in all of the above. It’s always best to have trials with new careers or new centres. Kids don’t talk about their feelings, so they will rely on you to make their judgement for them.
I’m a firm believer that children’s emotions bounce off how their parents are. I am a very calm happy person, and I noticed that my children were easy to handle in some respect.
At the end of the day, you know yourself and what is right for your family. There is no rush to go back to work, so take your time and do your research.
“I know it’s hard mama.
I know it can be hard to wake up every day and have these little people rely on you. I know sometimes it’s hard to feel like your world is so small. I want to remind you, you are the world. You are the world that your little ones revolve around. You are their nurture, their home, and their comfort. You are everything to them, and I hope even on your hard days you know how special you are, especially to these little people.”
– Unknown Source
Love Donna_Riama xoxo