Skip to main content

Considering the Fall -- Ups and Downs

This fall our family is hitting a major milestone. For the first time since Leah arrived in our lives, we will not be paying full-day daycare tuition.

Cue the trumpets!

With Alice starting Kindergarten and Leah in third grade, my property taxes will now be funding their education -- instead of handing over a percentage of my paycheck.
So, I'm starting to consider after-school options with the knowledge that: a) Leah's homework load is expected to double. b) Alice is going to be in morning Kindergarten, and should be in the afternoon KEEP program at the day care she's in now -- to give her a little stability. (That's an out-of-pocket expense, but a much smaller one.) And, c) Leah cannot continue in her current after-school program, as they are not supporting her academically. ("There was no time to do homework, Mom.")

This is where I get on my see-saw and start wavering.

With them at school all day -- and lower school bills -- it's the right time for me to cut hours and go part-time or even freelance from home. I'd love to! I have a small network, I might be able to find steady work (though, it's risky). But I'd be able to get the to activities and supervise after-school homework. Be an "almost" stay at home mom. Sounds glamorous.

BUT ... I'm a working Mom. It's all that I know. And finding a babysitter to handle after-school time would be the best of both worlds. We're so done racing to pick up the kids before the center closes. We've been playing that game for 8 years. Greater flexibility, bring it on!

But why contract that out, when it's only 2 or 3 hours a day. At the end of the work day. I could do that and almost work a full day.


You see my conflict.

Back and forth. Back and forth.

Related posts:
The latest in the ongoing Stay Home/Work debate
What I learned about parenting


Most Popular Posts This Month

Reusable Cotton Rounds

Maybe one of the things I'm digging so much about this plastic-free venture is getting to be a little creative and crafty. It's a fun challenge to figure out the better choices and make them.

When looking through the bathroom for easy swaps, I zeroed in on those little cotton pads I use to remove mascara and swipe on face toner.  Harvesting cotton, pressing it into little disks only for me to use it once and throw it away!? Plus, I'm spending 5€ for a plastic bag of them every few months? I can do better.

A little Pinteresting found a quick step-by-step to make these reusable pads. You can find better direction here, but basically I....

1 - traced circles in color flannel fabric using a water glass.
2 - Pinned three pieces together.
3 - Used a tight zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to close up the edges.
4 - Last, I trimmed around the edges and repurposed a pickle jar to store them. 

Nothing to it.

I wash them with the kitchen rags on a hot water setting. And I've i…

Three New Plastic-Free Swaps

This week I've been thinking about the plastic-free swaps that are slowly getting added to our home. One thing I read a lot is the misconception that you need to "buy all this new stuff" to go plastic-free. And that's kinda silly. I mean, the idea of buying a lot to become sustainable is a littlecontradictory, right?

Chances are, you have a reusable water bottle and shopping bag rattling around the house, or you can probably ask a family member for one. And you've already created a pretty good swap.

While I DO like shopping, I'm a touch frugal. So, I'm swapping out plastic items that are ready for replacement with more renewable sources as they need to be replaced. Here are the latest three.

First up, replacing our plastic toothbrushes for bamboo. 
While usually I buy Preserve toothbrushes, made of 100% recycled plastic, mostly yogurt cups, I wanted to switch to a sustainable material. Bamboo! This Bam and Boo company offers a 3-month subscription and, mos…

My Tips for Visiting Paris

One of the absolute joys of being an expat living in Paris is that I can be a tourist without the jet lag and limited luggage space for new shoes. It's such a privilege! Having traveled to Paris several times, with and without kids, I have a few tips I can share to make your trip here enjoyable.

Wear good walking shoes. Paris is one of the most walkable cities. You can start at the Notre Dame, walk to the Louvre along the river, and up the Champs-Elysees in one day. Or over to the Palais Garnier. And just strolling through neighborhoods, picking up snacks, desserts, etc., is the reason to come here. It's beautiful. But it can also be hell if your shoes are too tight. I love my grey Nike sneakers or a pair of trusty Birkenstock sandals for when the weather is nice.

To blend in with the local gals, you'll want to pack a scarf. Or two. I love a scarf and always travel with one, because it's a blanket/pillow on a plane, and an extra layer while walking around -- adding jus…