It is day one of my son’s school Winter Break. He’s a kindergartner and thinks that getting two whole weeks of during Christmas is a gift from God. I, as a full-time working momma, realize that if God had anything to do with it then he’s one masochistic son of a bitch.
When my son was in preschool, he always had the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. The school used that week to not only give the teachers a much needed break but also to use the time to perform maintenance. One week a year was easy to manage. I’d take a couple of days off, my spouse would take a couple, and a Grandparent would always step in when needed.
Two weeks off is much, much harder. First, I looked into the Extended Care offered by the school. It practically matched the cost of his monthly tuition. Unless God performed a miracle by giving me a hefty Christmas bonus, we couldn’t afford it. Then I looked at our local YMCA for day camps. Their price was much more reasonable, but only covered 9-1pm. My inner Scrooge couldn’t depart with hundreds of dollars for only 16 hours of childcare.
So I did what any desperate mother would do in my situation. I called all the Uncles and Grandparents with a plea to take D for a day here or a day there. I scheduled as many meetings as I could on two days, giving me flexibility to work from home the other days. With a company that is chintzy on vacation days, I can’t take the two weeks off. Plus with Ski week in February and Spring Break in April, I have to ration my vacation days. God knows, I’d love to be able to actually use my vacation days for an actual vacation.
Between the joy of Grandparents (a true life-saver for me), PBS, strategically placed outings, and large volumes of whine and wine, I’m hoping that I survive Winter Break with an iota of dignity. But If you see me in the supermarket, frazzled and desperately searching for that one ingredient I need to make dinner, please don’t judge. Just point me in the right direction and save a little prayer for me.
God knows I’ll need it.
Photo courtesy of Tooth Paste for Dinner