Flickr photo by Jeremy Levine DesignI'm a full-time freelance writer, which means I work from home sweet home. I'm currently contracted to several websites. I also pitch editors constantly seeking more work, and I'm often contacted by an editor in need of someone to do a rush assignment, like a piece I did for the May issue of Pregnancy magazine.
Oh, did I mention I'm teaching a Writing About Parenting class for Mediabistro.com -- and working on book project #2 (my first book, Rattled! came out in April 2009)? I have a lot on my plate and that means my 2-and-a-half-year-old son, JD, is in (GASP!) a daycare/early education program three days a week (I drop him off at 9 a.m. and pick him up around 4:30 p.m.). I think having him in a daycare setting so I can WORK is an obvious arrangement, but others disagree since I work from ... home.
My older brother thinks I should "save my money" and work around JD's schedule. (Here are 8 ways to get cheaper child care.) Trust me, I did this when he was younger -- he ate, slept, and pooped all day long and I was able to get a lot of work done. Well, he's almost 3 and that means he's down to one hour-long nap a day. When he's awake, he wants my constant attention -- and I give it to him. I don't sit him in front of the television and work in my office. I can't concentrate with him playing in my office either because he wants to play with me. This is why he's in school: To learn and play and be stimulated -- and, well, to be babysat!
As a single mom, I have to work and I wish, ahem, certain family members and other baffled people would understand that working and caring for a toddler simultaneously isn't possible -- at least for me. My friend Erin Zammett Ruddy, a writer and blogger at Parenting.com, agrees:
"The key word here is work. As in getting paid to do something other than play with your kid. Maybe if I had a 2-and-half-year-old who liked to sit quietly in a corner all day reading books to himself, I could pull off writing while having him in the house. But my son prefers to run and scream and jump and put himself in danger at every possible moment of the day. Taking my eyes off him is not an option. And so he goes to daycare three days a week -- which, PS, he loves -- and I get to focus 100% on my work."
What are your child care arrangements?