Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

And the answer is ...

Last October (due to high demand, and the insane reality of daycare/preschool wait lists), we placed a deposit at Chesterbrook Academy in order to reserve a space for Roscoe in the 09/10 school year.

I have only 12 weeks of maternity leave left, and I'm beginning to think through what it might be like to leave Roscoe in the care of someone else for a majority of the day.

I have identified my primary concerns and they revolve around two themes:
1. Attachment Parenting
2. Quality of life

Andy and I are definitely left leaning when it comes to our parenting. We've made choices based on our instincts (and in some cases a lot of research), and our belief that we know what's best for our kid and our family. Since Roscoe's birth, we've really just followed his lead. He is an intense and sensitive little boy that thrives when his "high touch" needs are met. For us, this translates to close physical contact with Roscoe throughout the day and night by sleep sharing, sling carrying, and holding him as much as he needs to be held--which is pretty much always. :)

The Attachment parenting philosophy advocates that "attachment to and dependency on parents... is a normal, healthy aspect of childhood and not something that needs to be discouraged." The AP mindset "sees infants not as manipulative adversaries who must be 'trained' to eat, sleep, and play when told, but as dependent yet autonomous human beings whose wants and needs are intelligible to the parent willing to listen, and who deserve to be responded to in a reasonable and sensitive manner."

As it is, Roscoe is almost always in physical contact with either me or Andy. And he doesn't sleep alone, with the exception of one nap a day that he takes in The Swing. We think the idea of spoiling a baby is B.S. but we do understand and appreciate that the way in which we make ourselves available to Roscoe at home may create for him a difficult transition to daycare when the time comes. It is not likely that Chesterbrook, or any mainstream childcare facility, has enough resources/staff to uphold the AP standard of care. I worry about how he will manage in an environment where he cannot be held all day, and where he will be expected to nap alone in a crib.

Another unfortunate aspect of my return to work, will be to assume again the inevitable 3 hour commute. Let's do some math. 24 hours in a day minus 2 hours to get everyone fed, dressed, packed, and out of the house minus a 3 hour commute minus at least 8 hours clocked at the office minus 7 hours of interrupted sleep = 4 hours of leisure time left at the end of the day.

To further complicate things, there is one (and only one) extracurricular activity that I must find time for: THE GYM. For my physical and mental health/sanity, it is the one thing I cannot sacrifice.

As of now, our hypothesized routine will play out as follows:
Wake at 5:30
Leave the house at 7:30
Andy drops Jacqueline off at the commuter lot, then drops Roscoe off at Chesterbrook
Jacqueline and Andy work 9:00 to 5:00
Reverse the commute
A, J, and R arrive home around 6:30/7:00
R goes to bed between 7:00 and 8:00

To be honest, that schedule sounds pretty awful!

At what point in the day will Andy and I get some face time? How about the thought of seeing Roscoe for only one or two hours each day? And when will I go to the gym?

I know this balancing act is common within young family households, but seriously, it feels like a ridiculous position to be in. I know that the needs of our family will change over time. In some ways the challenges of circumstance may be alleviated, and in other ways (hey! did we mention we want 4 kids?!) our days are only going to become more complicated and require even more resources.

On one hand, I feel very strong in my position as Roscoe's mother, and the reality of that responsibility and opportunity is hard to walk away from. Right now, nothing seems more important than taking care of my family. On the other hand, I have a lot to offer professionally and my desire to make an impact on the world in a way that is meaningful and satisfying has always been important to me.

I know that a solution doesn't lie in extreme "all or nothing" approaches, and I'm thankful to have 12 more weeks to find a compromise that will work for us. Next week I'll contact the Principal at Chesterbrook to begin a dialogue about what is possible for Roscoe's care. And Andy and I will continue to brainstorm ways to maximize our time together as a couple and as a family, and to cut down on time spent driving to and fro in this congested urban sprawl.

For fun click here to check out a floor plan of the new childcare facility that just moved in down the road. It's called Creme De La Creme (lol!) and costs almost $1800 a month!

1 comment :

  1. You can't spoil a baby, don't let anyone tell you that you can. I, of course, lean towards the stay-at-home approach, as long as you can make it work. I am sure you and Andy will come up with the best possible solution for little Roscoe.


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