This favour? Would I be interested in providing child care for her child when she goes back to work in February for a short, five-month period. (That is, until the end of June when she has more permanent arrangments already in place.) She has offered to pay me the going home daycare rate for this five-month period.
My gut instinct was 'hell no, then I'd be wanting to sell three kids on my front porch instead of two' but then I started to put some thought into it and wondered if it may be kind of fun.
Or it may just be a crazy idea and that I'm crazy to even consider. I mean let me honest, there are many a days that I'm pulling my hair out from dealing with my own two kids.
I have to give her an answer soon, so here we go:
- I'm home all day with two kids anyway, so if I take on a third, I can be paid to be home all day with kids.
- In a weird way, it may actually be fun and would give my kids someone else to play with during the day (although I'm sure the novelty of having her around would wear off after a short time).
- I like thinking up (or researching) new things to do or teach my kids, so it wouldn't be a stretch to add a third child to that mix.
- My day with her wouldn't be as long as my day with my own kids. She'd get dropped off just before 8 a.m. and picked up around 4 p.m. (and she'd nap for 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon). My day with my kids is from 7 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and the most difficult part of the day is the after 4 p.m. time when they're cranky/wired/bored and I need to make dinner. My friend's daughter would be gone by this time of day.
- Taking her in might be enough to turn me off the idea of wanting a third kid ;-).
- It's not actually all that much money. Paying daycare is a lot of money when you're deducting it from the salary you make by going to work, but when you're the one staying home and making that money, you realize how little daycare workers really make.
- She's almost a full year younger than Alex (and therefore 3 years younger than Austin) which means many of the activities I do with my kids now wouldn't be easily transferable to a younger child (i.e. crafts -- Alex is 19 months and she's just starting to be able to do these things whereas at 12 months she wasn't interested).
- She may not even be walking yet, which presents a whole other set of challenges.
- It would be just me, all the time. Right now with my two, it's just me about 90 per cent of the time. But from time to time, my sister, sister-in-law, or parents come over and hang out with the kids while I get a few other things done. It's a godsend having them do that; it helps keep me sane. I wouldn't be able to do this if I take on another kid, because I couldn't expect them to do what I'm being paid to do. (Although as a side note, my friend said she would easily be able to make alternate arrangements for her daughter with advance notice if I needed a 'day off'.)
The biggest con right now, and the one that is the sticking point and would be the main reason to say no above and beyond all my other thoughts is the car issue. A big part of what keeps me sane during the day, and keeps the kids engaged, is having the ability to take them places. Whether it be to the zoo, a playgroup, the mall to run errands or a city program, we go places. A lot.
And as it stands right now, I can't get a third car seat in my back seat. And if I can't add a car seat, I can't go anywhere. I can't even take Austin to school two mornings a week without walking (and it's a 30 minute walk at my pace, each way and he's only in school for 2 hours). And if I can't go anywhere, I'm adding to my level of insanity while limiting myself to walking distance only locations. And that I can't do.
Apparently there are thinner models of carseats you can buy specifically to be able to put three across in a back seat -- and we have the option as well, that by the time this girl would start coming to me, Austin will be old enough to sit in a booster seat. But will he be heavy enough?
All these options are great, and I can look into them. But before I bother, I need to figure out if I want to even bother. Or if I prefer to keep what little bit of sanity I left.