Ya’ll, I am one childcare SNAFU away from life in a straight-jacket, which actually sounds so nice and . . . relaxing right now. You know what I am talking about. You have planned your week– your work (even though you won’t get paid because FEDERAL WORKER), appointments, taking care of important bid-nez. Then, your childcare falls through. And you think you may lose bowel control on the public street because WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? (Also, let’s not pretend this is just a problem for working moms. It was plenty stressful to have childcare fall through when I had a doctor’s appointment, a mammogram, or a school appointment on the books.)
Here’s what I do:
I start by piling on extra stuff to conquer. “Oh, I may not be able to go to work tomorrow because I have no sitter? Hmmm, maybe I should make a Snapfish photo album for my mother-in-law’s birthday next month.” Lemme say this, there are lots of things that need to happen when the childcare plan disintegrates like ashes in the wind, but making photo albums on-line isn’t one of them.
There’s something about adding extra stress that is totally unnecessary (see also creating an art project filing system OR learning to cook vegetarian dishes) that soothes me in some strange way. Because inevitably, I am going to have to deep six the damn photo albums and shove those art projects into their regular spots (the trash– Sorry, kids), and I’ll revert back to the now-simple problem: Who’s going to watch my children while I work? After spending a few hours with four additional projects, suddenly solving the singular issue of safe and loving childcare seems completely manageable.
I’ve totally got this.
On a related note, if you mention how you just call up your mother/sister/brother/aunt to come and watch your kids when Plan A falls through, I will sob uncontrollably on your shoulder, leaving snot smears and body fluids. Yes, I will. I always thought I was so adventurous and independent for living a few states away from my family members. Now I just feel desperate, lonely, and poor because last-minute, back-up childcare is NOT CHEAP, and I’ve never heard ya’ll say that your mom charges you to watch your kiddos while you scoot over to therapy for a few hours. And why should last-minute childcare be cheap? I’m desperate so you should charge the hell out of me. I wouldn’t respect you if you didn’t. Market forces at work, people.
So, I am going to minimize my Snapfish page, stop adding non-urgent projects to my list, and focus on the one thing I need:
a giant bowl of pudding a backup babysitter. If all else fails, I can move my ass back to Texas where family members can swoop in and help me.