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Posts tagged with: day care

I got a raise!!!

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Can I get a “woohooo!!!!”

But before we get too excited, let’s have a little #truth.

I don’ know if you can really consider it a “raise” because what happened is I took on additional work. So, yeah, my income is going to raise (and not by just chump change…a pretty decent upward improvement), but it is in exchange for additional work.

It was a bit unexpected, but I’m very grateful for it. Even though I’m not an “employee” (I work on a contract-basis), I still somehow feel like a very valuable “team member” at this particular university, we’ll call it University A (remember – I work for multiple universities, but I don’t feel comfortable divulging where). I feel well compensated for my work and have established a great working relationship with the faculty, administrative staff, and other contract-employees as well (all done through distance & technology – pretty amazing!)

So I’ve given it a great deal of thought and, although this may disappoint some, I think this new development has rendered this conversation moot. I hope you will not be angry with me! I had been thinking about reducing daycare to save money for a LONG time….it was not something I was just spouting off randomly and have taken back just as suddenly. Instead, I’ve made the calculated decision to leave our situation as-is for now (care 3 days a week instead of reducing to 2). The additional work I have picked up more than makes up for the $200 in savings per month, many times over. And with additional work, I really believe I’ll need the extra day of childcare per week. Also, as an aside, last week the girls were only in daycare 2 days instead of 3 (the provider had a pre-planned trip that left us out-of-care for a day). OF COURSE, this is when the WORST ALLERGIES OF MY LIFE hit! I felt like I was dying from the sinus pressure, migraine, non-stop sneezing, etc. I looked like I had pink eye because my eyes were so puffy, swollen, red, and watery (I took a picture, but I’ll spare you the gory image). Let’s just say….very little work got done. And now I’m way behind (and I don’t get paid until my work is done, so that’s a problem!) And it just made me recognize how valuable our current childcare situation is. $50 WELL SPENT, if you ask me!

That was a long side-note – let’s get back to the employment situation…

Of course with contract situations there is no guarantee of ongoing work. But, so far, I have been made to feel very safe and secure in our current situation at University A. I will say that this situation is with online teaching, so I get a new contract every semester. I don’t see the current situation changing anytime soon.

With my other “employer” (said in quotations because, again, I’m not technically an employee since its a contract-based job…we’ll call this University B), there is not as much job security. This job is mostly research-based, so whenever the current project is completed I could be out of a job. At this point I’ve been working with University B for 6 months and have worked through completion of 4 separate projects (being asked back after the completion of each previous project). But this “raise” makes me feel much more comfortable because previously I earned my pay approximately 50% from each (research job and teaching job, respectively). This additional work (and associated pay) tips the scale to where I am now earning my full “old” salary solely at the teaching job. Any money from the research job is just gravy. So, as long as the research job continues, I’m coming out ahead. If the research job were to cease today, I’d still be making the same salary I’ve been accustomed to.

Doing contract-based work certainly requires some flexibility. You never know what the future holds and there’s no guarantees about anything.

But, with that said, a little birdie told me I could potentially be expecting another “raise” come the Fall semester at University A. *fingers crossed*  We’ll see!!!


Summer Child Care

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Sometimes I get a bit blue when I think about my kids growing up so fast–don’t all of us with kids feel that way now and then?  I can say with confidence that one thing I will not miss is figuring out child care!  And please don’t take this the wrong way, but in my experience and in the experience of many of my working mom friends, this is a task that falls to moms.  Yes, I know there are certainly exceptions to that statement but most of the time it is mom that has to think about this and get things set up.  I could have a whole post on what I plan to share with my daughter (and already have in some ways) about motherhood and working outside of the home, but I’ll save that for another day.  🙂

And so here we are just on the other side of Spring Break which is always my trigger for summer care searching.  With my kids at age 13 and 8, it is in some ways easier than when they were younger but in some ways it is more difficult.   I do allow the 13 year old to stay home alone for longer stretches of time now but to leave them both at home just doesn’t sit well just yet.  I have allowed the 13 year old to “watch” the 8 year old for an hour or two on occasion and all has gone well but I don’t want them alone for longer than that just yet.  Add to this that I am moving to an apartment and I’m sure you understand my hesitancy.

Right now I pay $190 per month for after school care for my 3rd grade DD.  I do not split that with her father for a few reasons–I take the child care deduction and now I am using the flex plan at work. He pays other things that balance out what I pay in day care.  Summer care can be MUCH more expensive!  Last year, if you remember, we started with a home child care provider and that went down the tubes over last Spring Break.  So, we did the Girl Scout day camps but DD wasn’t crazy about them.  They were a huge savings and I believe I will still use them for at least part of the summer.  DS has a lot of activities related to boy scouts, band and athletics so it will be a hodge podge for sure. Budgeting for all of this is tough b/c there are so many unknowns but I am an early bird and can start gathering information now.  I would also like to send DD to an overnight camp if possible.  Her dad is on board with that too as we like what summer camp brings to the kids (life and social skills).

What are some unique child care options you’ve used in the past?  And best of luck to those of you who work outside the home and face this same challenge!