One of the questions you inevitably have to deal with when being pregnant as a working mom is who is going to take care of the baby when your maternity leave will be over. Some moms choose to take a longer leave or to stop working all together but others need to think of childcare quite early in the process. Daycare, babysitter / nanny, or family?
As a planning maniac I wanted to start this thinking process quite early to have some sort of a plan for when the bichin would be there and my maternity leave would come to an end. Also, where in the Netherlands in some cities you already have to subscribe the kid for daycare the moment you find out you´re pregnant to secure a place, in Spain nobody was really participating in my childcare planning process.
My parents in law said from the beginning they would be available to babysit but as soon as I wanted to make conversations concrete (which days, time slots etc.) they would wave it away because it was still all so far away. Everything would be fine, why plan something months in advance that can be arranged a day before.
C and I both agreed that we found 4 months a bit young to go to daycare so we decided that ideally we would like to start daycare after a year when the bichin would be a bit more autonomous and would actually be able to play with other kids. But that woul d give us 8 months to cover after my 4 months of maternity leave would be over. To make it more complicated, we also didn´t want to have the grandparents babysit every day because of various reasons (from my Dutch perspective very different views on raising kids as being one of them). So that´s where the puzzle started.
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As a field hockey trainer on schools C´s schedule is quite flexible so we started with looking at his training schedule for every day of the week. I decided to take one day off until the bichin would turn 1 and since C has all mornings off we figured out we actually only needed help for a couple of hours three afternoons. Not that bad! Those three blocks would be covered by his parents, and there, we had a plan. This planning maniac could relax the last weeks of her pregnancy and during her maternity leave (as far as you can use “relax” and “maternity leave” in the same sentence).
Road to Rio
For a planning maniac it´s quite hard to believe (or accept!) that someday things will
never go according to plan anymore… The day you become a mom. So very much in line with that, one week before my maternity leave was over C got a call from the Spanish field hockey federation: they wanted him to be the team manager of the national team and to come to Rio for the Olympic Games. Awesome opportunity obviously, but after the joy calmed down, I realized our whole childcare plan (which had actually been quite easy to plan!) had just fallen apart with all the travel an Olympic prep year required.
So there my love for planning got a serious relationship test, because this news asked for a whole new level of planning! Armed with a huge Excel sheet we tried to match my work with C´s trainings camps away (which seemed to change dates every other week, great for planning purposes, welcome to Spain!), with trips to the Netherlands (so I could work from there and the other grandparents could babysit). Until now we managed quite all right, but the Olympics are getting closer and for the next 2 months I almost have to see myself as a working mom and a single mom because the days that C will still have at home can be count on two hands. I am very lucky that my employer allows for flexible and remote working because otherwise I honestly don´t know how this Excel sheet would have been filled.
How did you arrange for your childcare when going back to work?
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