Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Working from Home

This past weekend, Robert and I took a lasagna over to some new friends who just had a baby girl. They had just arrived home from the hospital on Friday after a three-day hospital stay and we knew they'd be too tired to cook.

During our visit, I talked with "B", asking her about her experience in the hospital and her plans for the next few months. Here are some of the questions I asked her:

Q: Are you planning on daycare so you can go back to work?
A: I wish I could quit my job and stay at home full-time but we need the insurance. I drive an hour each way to work so I'm not sure what we are going to do. Daycare is $200/week.

Q: Why don't you find someone locally to take care of her while you work? That may save you some money.
A: Yes, that's a good idea. We hired a lady to take care of my first child and he is still close to her today. She lives in another town, though, so I would have to find someone close to home.

Q: When do you have to go back to work?
A: I took 10 weeks off and am planning to enjoy that time. My husband doesn't have time off because he is a contractor. He won't get paid if he doesn't go into work.

Q: Is she sleeping through the night?
A: She is doing pretty well but now that she has her appetite, she is waking us up quite regularly.

Q: When we adopt, I'd love for you to go shopping with me and help me pick out all of the stuff we'll need for the baby.
A: I'd love to do that. There's so much to buy and I know all of the right places to go to help you save money on things like a crib, a stroller, a car seat and the rest of the basics.

Q: What's your biggest expense right now?
A: Formula and diapers! You wouldn't believe how much it all costs. She's worth every penny, though.

Of course there were so many more questions because we hung out with them for a couple of hours. Since that visit, I've been very thankful that I have the opportunity to work from home. Working from home will allow me the flexibility to provide a stable environment for a child.

It was just over a year ago that I was working as a freelance writer. When Robert and I decided to adopt, I approached my favorite client and asked her if she would hire me full-time. It took her a month or two but she finally said yes. I set up my office at home and haven't looked back since. I'm able to conduct meetings on Skype and on the phone so I can schedule them at a time that suits my needs.

Because of my flexible schedule, I can drop work at a moment's notice and address the needs of a child. If he or she wakes up and needs a bottle, I'm there. Doctor visits are no problem - even unexpected ones! And because I have a flexible schedule, I can spend a lot of time with a baby when he or she is awake to cuddle and bond.

Even cooler, Robert's job provides insurance and he's home every day before 5pm. He comes in, kisses the dogs and unwinds then we spend the rest of the night together doing whatever - cooking and eating dinner together, talking about our day, watching television, playing Scrabble ... and once a week we go out on a "date night," which usually means taking a walk downtown and eating at a new restaurant. We're a very stable and predictable couple ... but one that is ready to care for a child.

Stability and a regular schedule are key to providing a sense of security and self-worth in the life of a child. I am just so thankful that Robert and I are able to provide that stability.

As for our friends, we are looking forward to babysitting, and I'm sure they'll take us up on that soon!

You might also like:

Adoption From the Perspective of a Birth Parent
Parenthood: Open vs. Closed Adoption

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