October 27, 2006

What to do?

So. I just came back to work in August. I've known since late spring that Gail (sitter) was going to need surgery on her neck and arm at some point and would be out of commission for a good two months...maybe longer. I hoped it would be before I went back to work and I could just stay home a little longer, but no such luck.

She was told she was on a cancellation list and could get called with a day's notice, which would have sucked. I was stressing big time about what I'd do if I all of a sudden had to drop work with no notice. Well, we found out this week that her first surgery is scheduled for the 15th of this month and she should be able to take the kids back in mid January.

All along, Jon and I said we would split the leave, each taking a month without pay using income averaging. But since she told us it would be happening, things have happened at Jon's work that would make it very difficult if he took a month off. A week is a possibility, as long as he takes it at the beginning because once I start the income averaging, I can't come back to work before I'm scheduled to.

I COULD try and find temporary daycare for them, but honestly the odds of finding a place that would take them for a short time are slim to none. Hell, finding permanent spots is hard. I'm still on waiting lists from when I was pregnant with Cael...that's four years!

Thing is, my boss is a little pissed that I'm not trying to find alternate PERMANENT arrangements. I honestly wouldn't think of it. Gail is SO good with the kids, not to mention we are in tune with each other's styles of care and its working well. The kids are thriving under her/our care. They aren't getting confused with two different ways of discipline (not that we have to do that much) and rules. Not to mention that the potty training we've been doing for the past six months might go down the crapper...so to speak. Plus they love her to bits. She spoils them both absolutely rotten and would be so upset if I pulled them for good. If my boss is mad, too damn bad. (Hey, that could be the name of a country song, no?) I have to think of my kids first and foremost and I think its best for them to stay there until they start school.

The thing is, being away that long might mean that I miss out on possible career advancements. The branch may or may not shut down in the spring, and employess will be put on staffing lists until work comes up for them. I'd love to get out before that, which means I'd have to get my french levels if I want to get something better than what I have. And I do. But taking two months off would put a real stitch in that since I just started French training again and need to continue to work on it as much as I can if I want to get my levels.

I'm so torn. I called my mom last night to see if she wants to come in for a week to take care of them. She jumped at the chance of course, and will call me back on the weekend to let me know for sure. If I can take a few days vacation at the beginning, then my mom comes for a week, then Jon could take a week, that would leave me with five weeks of leave. Which I found out is the minimum if you want to do the income averaging thing. That would work for me...I just hope my boss agrees that five weeks off (well, five in a row anyway...I'd still have the week of vacation time taken at the beginning) is better than eight.

So that's the reason I've been MIA. Trying to get all of my work done...which means doing stuff as soon as it arrives on my desk instead of putting it in my to-do pile. ;) Now that I have an actual date to go with, I'm breathing a little easier.

Some updates:

The un-named kitten in my basement. He's still there. And will be there for as long as I can keep him there. He's starting to get a little bored I think. And bitey. Very bitey. I'm trying to hold him and be gentle as much as I can just to show him how cool it is, but he just wants to play. Normal I guess since he's alone all day and night. I bought him a rope dog bone to beat up and when he starts to bite me, I give him the bone instead. He also has a scratching post, a crapload of little mice and some other little toys. And special food and water dishes. What do you think...is he staying? haha! I keep forgetting to get more pictures of him. But honestly, he moves so damn fast it will be hard to catch anything but his wee bum and his pointy little tail sticking up in the air as he tears around the laundry room.

Halloween was generally uneventful. I dressed the kids up to help greet trick-or-treaters and they had a blast! Maybe next year we'll take them out, but I really think they enjoy greeting people. And they get the left-over cheesies and Welsh's fruit chews so its win-win! Here are my little ghouls:

Cael the skeleton:

And Iain, my little punkin. ;)

So cute... I feel a little bad about going the store-bought costume route. When I was a kid, we never ever bought a costume...it was all thrown together with help from mom. She loved it more than we did I think. But for now, costumes on clearance on Halloween day are good enough.

Work calls...and how I'd love to ignore it.


Anonymous Donna said...

I hear you about the daycare - career dilemmas. No matter what people say about men and women being equal these days, it seems that whenever there is a need for extra duty at home, it's mommy who steps in. I have pretty much made a conscious decision that until the kids are older my career ambitions will be on the backburner. Not that I necessarily want a management job, but right now it's hard enough to juggle regular work hours + kids + sick days etc etc. I really wouldn't want to throw in travel, extra hours, and so on. I'm thinking of doing income averaging too this summer just because my kids, especially DD, has been showing signs of really missing me lately and I want to spend more time with them while they're little. My manager's been really cool about it and even said that he thinks it's a nice idea when the kids are small to do that - before they turn into snarling grumpy teenagers who are embarassed to be seen with you. ;-) As for your boss, it IS too damned bad if he doesn't want you to take time off. Is he going to find you a good, dependable sitter or help your kids through the difficulties of adjusting to a new one or allow you to bring them to work with you while Gail is off? Nope. Take your French books home with you, maybe join a french playgroup (cause you know the oral exam is the hardest), keep in touch with a couple of colleagues and ask HR to put you on all the lists and to let you know of any new positions or announcements. I was on mat leave when my group was "absorbed" by the larger sector and they kept me as mis-informed as everyone else. ;-)

3/11/06 09:14  
Blogger Tanya said...

absolutely. i always thought i was fine with being the one to make career sacrifices if anything ever happened and one of us had to stay home...'cuz your kids are important and all that.

i love the idea of doing income averaging as a CHOICE during the summer. i'd love to do that when the kids are older and we can spend the whole time at the cottage.

i'll see what i can do...maybe join my french class by conference call? ;)

7/11/06 11:15  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home