Back to work thoughts

by DaniGirl on January 9, 2009 · 10 comments

in Working and mothering

Hard to believe it, but three weeks from this coming Monday, I’ll be back at work. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m fixated on the new plan to work a four-day week, there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth going on right about now, but I’m actually feeling okay about the whole thing. Given my druthers, as my mother would say, I’d’ruther be independently wealthy and able to stay home with the boys full time. Since that isn’t going to happen, the four-day thing gives me at least a semblance of balance and allows me to enjoy the idea of going out and playing with the grownups again.

I know I haven’t updated at all about our nanny search, but that’s looking quite positive right now, too. Back in November, after some truly horrendous interviews (including my favourite, the young woman who looked at Lucas sitting quietly on the floor and asked, “So, what exactly does he *do* all day?” not once but twice!) we actually found ourselves with three good candidates from which to choose. We ended up selecting someone who has a little less nannying experience but a lot of daycamp and bible camp and daycare experience simply because I got a really good vibe from her personally. She’s sweet and easy to get along with, and seems quite taken with the boys. Yesterday, she came over for a test run with Lucas while I hustled off to the gym for a half-hour, and I came home to her sitting rather stiffly on the couch and looking quite uncomfortable trying to hold her posture while Lucas snored sprawled across her. Way too cute and a very reassuring start!

Since the work-life balance thing looks like it might work out just fine, and the nanny thing looks like it might just work out fine, you’d think I’d be golden. Ha! Not so much. The fly in my ointment is the six-week old transit strike that’s bedevilling the city. Back when the bus drivers walked off the job in early December, I spent many days thanking my lucky stars that the strike happened while I was on maternity leave and not beholden to OC Transpo. February seemed miles away at that point, and I couldn’t conceive of a strike that would leave the city without buses for eight weeks or more.

Those of you who live here know the story and those of you who don’t likely don’t care for the details, but the gist of it is that yesterday the drivers resoundingly rejected the city’s last offer, and they’re now saying that the strike could carry on for weeks if not (gasp) months. Not only do I rely on transit to get from my suburban home to the heart of downtown every day, but our lovely new nanny also relies on transit to get to work. Without buses, I’ll either have to carpool or drive myself, and we’ll have to pick her up and drop her off every day. With me starting as early as I do, we’re likely looking at Beloved having to load all three kids in the car, pick her up, drop everyone off at home, and then drive his usual almost one-hour commute to work while she walks the big boys over to school. What a nightmare!

On the bright side, aside from the ridiculous transit strike, things seem to be falling into place for a rather pleasant transition back to work. *touch wood* I happened to get to see a lot of my colleagues yesterday for a work-social function, and it really was nice to be able to see everyone again. I’m lucky enough to work with some truly great people, and I’ve missed them over the last year. And, right on cue, my 35 minutes of nap time are done and the world’s cutest baby is cooing himself awake upstairs…


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathleen January 9, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Sounds pretty positive, Dani!
About the strike, though, has your Nanny checked ride sharing boards yet? It’s a long shot, but I have heard of some strange circumstances working out. One fellow found another looking for a ride, so although they never found a driver actually going their way, they now share their last-resort drivers, so the drivers are only inconvenienced 2-3 times a week and not every day. https://www.ottawaridematch.com
oh, and now I get teh etymology of “druthers.” I always figured it was just another odd word, like (and I don’t know why this comes to mind) petard. You learn something every day.

2 Chantal January 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I have a co-worker who has a nanny and he is having to drive half way to work to pick her up, go back home, drop her off and then come to work. Repeat at the end of the day. I really hope the bus thing is resolved before you have to go back. That is just not a fun situation.

3 SC January 9, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Back to work already… it seems like yesterday you were just LIVE BLOGGING your labour! I will never forget that… !!! Enjoy your last three weeks… and I hope you really enjoy the 4 day work week when then time comes.

4 Annika January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Good luck with the transition! Keep us posted (I am fascinated to hear how you will manage all of this…I am taking the easy way out and extending my mat leave by an additional 18 months…I admire your dedication to your career and your family, and your ability to balance both!)

5 Pamela Stewart January 9, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Hey Daniel,

Great blog, as I knew it would be. Great to see you yesterday…and I am really looking forward to having you back. If things work out based on what we discussed yesterday, you know that you will often interact with all the SASy girls as they do up comms plans…which would be great. In any event, have fun with the time you have left – good luck with the nanny hunt…I have heard stories also, but that girl must have been something else!!!

6 Natalie January 10, 2009 at 1:44 am

You’re right, this bus strike is awful, awful, awful. We got rid of our second car last Fall (we thought using public transit to commute would be way greener, ha!) and now every morning I am having to put my three two year olds in the car at 6am, drive hubby to work downtown in traffic, pick up our caregiver, go back home. Lather, rinse, repeat. Makes for tired and cranky tots, not to mention parents. At least we have the luxury of a vehicle. I can’t imagine being part of those of have no other means of transportation and who rely on buses to get them to work or worse, medical treatments.

7 Renee January 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I would love a 4-day work week! It sounds like a good balance for you. I hope the strike gets settled soon and then it’ll be all good!

8 meanie January 13, 2009 at 7:58 am

i just switched to a 4 day work week from 5 days. heaven, bliss, perfect work life balance.

9 trixie January 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I’m lovin’ the 4-day work week, too! SO much nicer. Looking forward to having you back here (though hope you’re enjoying every minute of your last few weeks). šŸ™‚

10 Kathleen in Ottawa January 15, 2009 at 11:36 am

OOH, and another idea – does your kid’s school have an affiliation with any afterschool care bunch? If so , they might do before school care, so beloved could walk the boys across to the school before going to get nanny…
Just hoping something easier works out for you!
Totally envious of the 4 day week, by the way.

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