as maternity leave ends…
I’m three months old!
Month three signaled the swan song for my maternity leave, and suddenly everything felt rushed.
I dug out all my pre-Baby D research and notes on the day cares, Montessori schools, and other schools promising to both care and educate my child while I worked to pay for it. I schedule walk through after walk through, and deliberate on the the facilities. I finally choose one, and my husband joins me on an additional tour to shrug and say, “I guess.”
I waffle on returning to work. We do the math… it’s an impossibility. We exist in that sweet spot where our living expenses (including daycare) are still too much (and simultaneously not enough) for me to quit. I think this is called “golden handcuffs” or my job, like it or not, is too good to quit. In desperation, I do the math on part-time…but no, now the cost of part-time daycare plus our expenses makes working no longer worthwhile. I would be working for the amusement of employment alone at that point.
If I quit my job, baby D would get a full time parent. Someone who knows all his buttons and is expressly interested in his personal well being above most any other human on the planet.
But…if I quit my job, baby D also no longer has parents with the financial availability to travel to the rest of his family located in the pacific northwest and of Tamil Nadu, India. He’d exist in a bubble of pictures and Skype. Sure, family could come to us…but if my grandfather in Florida is any indication, that is a one-sided effort and once every four years was never enough.
Baby D’s parents waited until everyone was quite old before asking him to join the family, and now 24-hours of plane travel takes its toll on grandparents in their 60’s.
The selfishness of wanting to quit comes to light, and sadly I sign the forms at the school we’ve chosen. “They teach baby sign language and he’ll learn to be more social.” I say with a smile, adding, “Oh and Mandarin and Spanish too, when he’s older.”