i love fall… NOT

My day yesterday:

Woke up in my preschooler’s bed. It was still dark. Tried to get more sleep in my own bed, but my 3rd-grader woke up and started talking. He doesn’t stop talking.

Somehow, I got both kids dressed, fed, brushed, lunch packed, in the car, and to school. I don’t remember any of it.

I booked over to a client’s to receive a delivery, style a room, and put up 3 cork boards in a perfectly straight line. Stepped out to pick up some accessories for said client, ate a teeny bag of peanuts, then went back to client’s house for finishing touches. 5 hours of work… phew!

I had planned to go for a run at this point, but went to Target instead. Training for my upcoming 5k is important, but the possibility of no toilet paper in the house is terrifying.

Made it home with toilet paper — 12-pack of Mega Plus rolls. Ate a bowl of cereal and some cheese and crackers. Fantasized briefly about not picking up the kids from school.

Got the kids. Came back home.

Made snack. Made dinner. Hubby comes home — yay!

I went for my run. 2.4 miles, 13 min/mile. I’m working on it.

Jumped in the shower and… day’s not done yet… got dressed for Back To School Night. Yippee.

Drove back to the kids’ school. Schmoozed and made friends with parents and teachers. Commiserated with like-minded mom about wishing we were wearing PJs and drinking beers instead.

Made it home by 9:30pm. Put on PJs. Ate dinner while watching my TV boyfriend Jax Teller kill a lot of dudes, until 11:20pm.

Finally, asleep in my own bed.

This morning, when it was still dark, I woke up in my preschooler’s bed.

the prohibitive cost of working

Just read this post via a fellow mama on Facebook. It sure brought back memories…

When Being A Stay-At-Home Mom Isnt A Choice.

My situation was not quite so dire, but I remember doing the math. Full-time daycare in Greater Boston costs around $1500 per month. Childcare for an infant or toddler will run close to $15,000 a year, and that’s if you go with a home-based, family daycare provider.

Preschool jumps up to close to $2000 per month, because you have to drop them off before 9am, and pick them up at 6pm. You can’t work “mother’s hours” and still get benefits, right? Preschool costs roughly average $20,000 a year, for full-time, outside-the-home, quality preschool with a curriculum and all that early-learning stuff.

And when your kids are finally school-age, you’re not out of the woods completely, because you’re still paying for before- and after-sch0ol, and you have to factor in summer camp. This is assuming you live in a city with good public schools, but, then again, even if the schools are not good, can you afford to shell out $20,000 a year for private school?

But don’t forget to save another $5000 for summer camp or a sitter or something, because when school ends, those kids can’t sit at home alone for 3 months.

Start with your annual salary. Take out 30% for taxes, and another 8% for health insurance. Then subtract the basics: food, clothing, and shelter. If you have even $10,000 per child left over, consider yourself lucky.

When I stopped working, I looked for babysitting work. I had 2 families whose kids I picked up from school a few days a week. Yes, they paid me, just enough to cover my gas and car payment, but it felt good to be helping out a few fellow moms.

NB: All numbers are based on my own experience, so don’t go fact-checking me. 🙂