Ever since I wanted a baby, my plan had always been to return to work part-time after a six-month maternity leave . Well, that was my plan with having one baby at a time. When we had our twins, the plan was still for me to end my maternity leave after six months, which would have been March. When my in-laws decided to come in April, my instinct was to be at home so I would have control over how the babies were cared for. Bob had no problem with me delaying my start day. My office is totally flexible and my boss just let me make my own decision. Since Bob still has two weeks of new parent leave that he won’t be able to take until late June/early July, I told everyone that I’d return to work some time in July so Bob and I could take the babies on a trip during his break. My boss came for a visit and asked me if I still felt good about going back to work. I said, Of course! But I was stressed about finding childcare.
I never looked into daycare early on, because, well, taking care of twins takes a lot of time and effort. I had some intense internal debate about nanny vs. daycare. With one baby, it would be a no brainer. Daycare would be the way to go because it’d cost way less than a nanny. But with twins, things change. The couple of daycares that I spoke to charge more per day for part time than for full time. That times two equals a hefty sum. Plus I’d have to do the whole getting two babies to get out the door and drop off and pick up thing, which adds to the stress of the day. The next choice is hiring a nanny. I knew that a nanny for two kids would be pricey. I had a hourly rate in my head that I’d offer thinking that it would be affordable for us. I signed up for one online service to search for a part time nanny. I received many applications but none of the applicants speaks Cantonese, which would be my first choice. A twin mom friend of mine referred me to an agency. The agency lady matched us with this Chinese nanny. I didn’t think it was going to materialize into anything. But once I spoke to the nanny and met her in person, I actually liked her a lot. She has been working for a family for eight years helping raise three children. She’ll be available when the youngest one goes to preschool in July. She doesn’t have experience with twins but she did take care of these kids simultaneously. The family she works for wrote her a wonderful reference letter. I came to find out (from a little Gool.ging with the information that she told me) that the father of the kids was my high school classmate. It is indeed a very small world. This nanny came to meet the babies and my mom, and to my surprise Miss I-Will-Cry-When-I-See-Strangers A.K.A. little Bunny warmed up to the nanny right away and played with her without any problems. It would be perfect, wouldn’t it?
I totally thought that everything was meant to be. However, the subsequent two days I did the math over and over again and it just didn’t seem right. The nanny would have to come for 10 hours a day from when I leave for work to when I step into the house. I get paid 7.5 hours a day at work. After paying my taxes and after paying her taxes, I would contribute absolutely no money to our household income. What is the point of me rushing to work and rushing back, trying to put dinner on the table, and rushing to bed time if I don’t bring in any extra money to the family? Just for my career and my own personal satisfaction? Leaving my babies with someone else and missing them and their milestones? It had never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t go back to work. For the first time ever, it occurred to me that maybe going back to work is not in my family’s best interest. I seriously considered this whole situation for a week then finally it became clearer and clearer that staying home with my babies will be the way to go.
I gave my boss my verbal notice. We both teared up at the end of the phone conversation. I have been there for almost 15 years. It gave me my job satisfaction and stability. However, my life has moved forward and this work place is no longer the place for me. I will miss the people and the work and my sit-to-stand desk, and I don’t look forward to clearing out all my therapy materials and toys. However, I am excited about being at home with my babies taking care of them the best way I know how. Who knows? When the babies go to preschool, maybe my career will take on a whole new direction? It is an opportunity for me to stretch myself once again when the time comes.