I intend for a summer filled with sunny picnic at the park. So far, the weather does not collaborate with us. The sun shines during the week and the rain troubles our weekend. And then, it hits me. Why not have a picnic supper on a weekday, instead? I could pack everything in the car before I pick my husband up at work on my way to my son’s daycare. We will be ready to drive to a nice picnic spot in the city. Continue Reading
work life balance
I don’t make New Year resolutions. Instead, I select what are the 5 areas where I will concentrate my time. I started this habit after reading 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman. His method attacks the work/life balance issue that we all face by allowing time for personal matter and for your career. It helps me to keep my focus on what I want to achieve and on what I need to be happy.
I achieve my ideal work/life balance by setting 3 career-oriented goals and 2 personal goals. Then, I decide what percentage of my time to allocate to each goal. I take a few minutes, daily and weekly, to check if I am on track with my plan. The simplicity of the 18 minutes method means that it is easy to manage, and, most importantly, that it reduces my chances to be distracted by other people’s agenda. Continue Reading
I always look for ways to track my time more efficiently. I am torn between the paper agenda and a Web tool. It is a constant switch between the two. Lately, I started to miss the use of a pen.
What I like about the Watch Diary is that you can visualize your day. You can see if what you plan to do can fit and compare your estimates to the actual time it took you to do a task. Since time management is always tricky, I like a method that enables me to better schedule my time.
sourcing: Watch Diary $17 USD at Connect design
Wonjune Song imagined a different type of agenda. His Watch Diary serves not only to track your time but indicate how you are doing in regard to your schedule. The “red hand” of the watch indicates what you should be doing now (your current task), the “before hand” refers past chores and the “forward hand” indicates what you should be doing next. It is a tool to 1) Schedule your time more carefully and to 2) Check it more efficiently.
The Watch Diary contains two sections: 126 pages for scheduling and tracking your time and 70 pages to write ideas and collect slips. If your work requires that you are on the run often, it could be handy to keep everything in one place. I am tempted to try it to see how well its performs.
To Manage your Priorities and Keep Notes
If you need to keep a to-do list nest to your computer, have a look at this cute note pad. This long sticky note pad is designed for writing memos as well as resting your wrists while you type. 50 sheets of “Post-it style” paper rest over a sponge pad.
sourcing: Desk Plus Note Pad $5 USD at Connect Design
Many questions came to my mind before I took my decision. What would be the best for my baby? What about the development of his social skills? Where can he interact with other kids if he doesn’t go to day care? How much schedule flexibility do I really need? What are the costs associated with each option? Can I find a vacancy at a good day care close to my home?
I experienced the typical guilt and worries of working moms when it’s time to return to work. Ideally, I would like to spend time with my son in the morning and to send him to day care in the afternoon. On the other end, I wonder if kids under 2 years old are not too young to go to day care. I worry that he will not get enough attention from the caregivers if he goes to day care. Many parents that I know sent their kids to daycare around 1 year old. Their kids enjoy it and they are well-adjusted. Maybe that my fear comes from the fact that I never went to day care. I couldn’t decide what to do.
As it turned out, the final decision came from medical reasons. My son’s neonatal pediatrician suggested to delay day care until next spring, if we can. This is a precautionary measure to avoid the flu season. So what would I do? I want to return to work this winter. Babies and toddlers that go at day care benefit from being with other kids and from being outside the house without their parents. And I read that kids who do not attend day care could be more shy around kids. Can he catch up later? To find the answer, I investigated the impact for a baby of not having daily social interactions with kids of his ages.
I wanted a professional opinion. So I asked the occupation therapist who followed my son when he was at the hospital. She reassured me when she told me that developing proper parents-baby relations are what really count up to 1 year old. If he needs to stay away from day care for a little bit longer, say until 2 years old, he should be able to catch up later.
I do not know yet when I will be ready to send him to day care. I just know that he will at some point. In the meantime, I am looking for baby and toddler activities where he can socialize with kids of his age. Who knows, it might be him that tells me when he’ll want to go to day care?
A part-time babysitter will take care of him for now. After considering all factors, this is what I am the most comfortable with at this point. It’s a smooth transition that addresses his and my needs. The babysitter will allow me to work for a set numbers of hours per week, without baby distractions. I will be able to attend meetings and events, like I used to do.
There are still many unanswered questions. How do I set the boundaries between my work and my family life? Is it feasible to maintain those boundaries while working mostly from home? Time will tell if and how long I can manage being a mom and running my business from home with the help of an in-house childcare provider.
I am curious to know how you did it? Which childcare arrangement worked best for you and your baby/toddler: a babysitter, a nanny or day care?
+ photo: Zoo Packs by Ship Hop $20 USD