I didn’t know how lucky I had it.
Last year, Little Miss went to a school that was open pretty much all the time. It was Kindergarten with daycare hours. My husband and I didn’t worry about school vacations, minor holidays, or “Professional Days”.
We didn’t have to until now.
When I received the school calendar from her new school, I started marking all of her days off on my calendar. My head started swimming.
A professional development day on September 20? They just had all summer off. Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Winter break…the more days that got marked off, the more I started to panic.
What do other working parents, especially working moms, do? How do you cover all of these days off? As a solo, how do you make up the money lost if you have to take the day off?
I know the hours most lawyers work. I know how difficult it can be to take time off especially when there’s pressure to work nights and weekends.
Having spent most of my career in corporate, I am keenly aware how few holidays American companies give their employees. I distinctly remember lamenting the fact that, at my last corporate job (pre-child), we received 0 days off between January 1 and Memorial Day.
In contrast, my daughter has 12 scheduled days off during that same time period. My niece’s school has 15 days off! Do I dare mention that she gets out 2 weeks earlier in June than every other school in our area? That’s a lot of vacation and personal days (if you’re lucky enough to get paid for them.)
That adds up to about one month of work time.
That’s one whole month between January and June.
Of course, this doesn’t include the unplanned for sick days or snow days (a topic I will get back to in a minute.)
I know that I decided to work from home (rather than go back into corporate practice) so that I could have the flexibility to care for my child when needed, but looking at the reality scares me.
Between my husband and I, I have the more “flexible” schedule. He’s on the corporate clock. This automatically means that I will bear the brunt of child care.
And given my nature, I foresee some conflict around this.
As I look at all of these red “X”s on my calendar I can’t help but wonder, “Where am I going to make up that time?” I’ll probably have to pull the double shift, watching Little Miss during the day, and working nights and weekends.
But there are no big red “X”s on his calendar. In fact, he didn’t even look at the school calendar. (First mistake was having all of the school’s correspondence sent to my email address.) In his mind, there are no days that he can’t work.
I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I went through life with that same attitude. We’d both have meeting scheduled on Columbus Day with no one to watch our daughter.
I know I will figure this out, just like other working mothers. And by figuring it out, I mean that I will be sitting down with my dear hubby this weekend to show him the calendar and plan out how WE will be handling the issue. (I see a mother’s helper in our future.)
So why am I mad at the Farmer’s Almanac exactly?
Snow days. They’re predicting a rough winter ahead with bitter cold and lots of snow in the Northeast. I live in what’s referred to as the “snow belt” here in RI. Snow = snow days.
Damn you, Farmer’s Almanac. Your cold, snowy prediction better be wrong.