A New Car and all that stuff...
In anticipation of my return to work we have bought a second car, a new car – brand new, not just new for us. A Subaru Impreza, because we like Subarus and we couldn’t afford another Forester (which we already have). I won’t go too much into our thinking on why we bought brand new instead of second hand when I’ve been off work for a year and money is tight. Suffice to say it makes sense to us. We’ve had only one car since before we married so it’s all different for us having 2, but will make the biggest difference doing the kids drop offs and pick ups to kindy, child care, and then school next year when DS starts in July.
Buying the car has meant that we are re-thinking Christmas/New Year; we were planning to make an interstate trip around that time to visit with family – some coming from OS, plus my grandma who will be 92 on Christmas Day. But now we may not be able to make the trip at that time after all, but rather wait until later in 2012 instead when we have more money and I will be able to get more time off work. I don’t know how my gorgeous, loving and extremely opinionated aunt is going to take that news but maybe she’ll have to deal with her disappointment; I’ve been ‘in discussion’ (i.e. arguing) with her about it since early in the year as she really wanted us there for Christmas Day and we need to spend this year with my MIL after missing out on Christmas Day with her for a couple of years.
DD has gone really well with her care this week. Wednesdays will be her day with Daddy then Thursdays with Grandma and then Fridays at Child Care and we have started settling her into that routine. She will also have Mondays at Child Care, and that will be my day for housework, writing and appointments. She was very happy all week with what she was doing so I’m really starting to feel comfortable with going back to work (that is, not feeling guilty about leaving her – parenthood is so full of potential guilt-trips, is it not?). And my manager rang yesterday to check how I was going and let me know some of the support people she’s putting in place to help me with the part-time work. I am so lucky to have gotten this job with a great organization. In my job I look after the delivery of service to customers whether that is online, face-to-face or over the phone and ensure all staff know what the heck they’re doing when they’re dealing with customers. This, of course, also means looking after the staff needs: happily something this organisation is pretty good at. The CEO believes that if you look after the staff then they, in turn, will look after the customers, which is a sound belief I think. I like that it’s a great place to work with excellent policies that look after the staff needs – flexible hours, family friendly practices, etc.
It’s funny how things turn out because when we first decided to have kids our plan was that I would be an ‘at home’ mum until they were at school. And yet, I’m quite looking forward to going back to work now and getting the break from the relentless childcare at home; not to mention the difference it makes to our financial situation to have me working. At the moment this is particularly important as Hubby has changed his own work situation and that means my income really is more meaningful to us and will give him the space to ‘settle in’ to the contracting style of working again. The last time he was working contracts was when he was still single so it’s having an impact on his stress levels to have more responsibilities at home now. He would never have been able to make this type of change without starting the treatment for his depression, though, so it’s been really important to us to get him better. He’s enjoying the flexibility and the ability to say he’s looking after DD one day a week (which I think both of them will enjoy).
DS is 4 now. We had a little party for him at our place (it was a little like an upmarket play date as I’m not intending to have a ‘big’ party for him for at least another couple of years) where I invited 4 little friends over and a bit of party food and let them play. Grandma gave him a trampoline which they all took turns on, and then they just trashed his room as they pulled out every toy imaginable and left them all over the place as their interest took them elsewhere. We had it in the afternoon and DS was so keyed up by the time anyone arrived I was just waiting for the emotional meltdown, which happened about 3pm, just before cake time. After he’d had a bit of a crying spell he felt much better and had a great time for the rest of the day. His best friend (a little girl from Kindy) was there and I think everyone else was just a bonus as far as he was concerned. They enjoy playing together so much they just get caught up in their own little world.
Unfortunately for me his birthday coincided with the time that I was starting to feel the effects of the depression (without realising what it was) and I found the day really stressful, particularly as my Mum had invited my aforementioned Aunt, my Grandma and my cousin with her husband from interstate for the party (she’s getting awfully good at inviting people along to my do’s without checking with me first). Then of course my brother and his partner had to come over, and my sister with her mother. All in all there was more to deal with than I would have liked and I fell in a heap as soon as everyone left and stayed that way for about 2 weeks – my husband was beside himself with worry and finally decided to take me to the doctor.