A Week in the Life of a Working Mom: Dr. Mom, in Florida

doctor mom florida work life balance adviceFor the fourth installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Christa, who is a 30-year-old doctor in Florida with a young daughter. Our usual caveat applies: Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! – Kat

If you’d like to be featured (anonymously or otherwise), please fill out this form! You can see all posts in this series here.

First, Some Basics about this Working Mom…

Name: Christa
Lives: In a university town in Florida
Job: Doctor at an academic medical center
Age: 30
Home Situation: I live in a 1600-square-foot, single-family home with my husband, who works a full-time information technology job at the same university where I’m employed, and my daughter, who is around 2 1/2 years old.
Childcare Situation: During the week, we use a local corporate daycare chain that has extended hours (around $1,000/month). Usually drop-off is around 7:30-8:00 a.m. and pick-up is around 5:30-6:00 p.m. My parents live around two hours away and my mother provides emergency childcare.

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Grandma the Babysitter: Grandparents as Caregivers

grandparents-as-caregivers2017 Update: We still stand by this thread on grandparents as caregivers, but you may also want to check out our newer discussion (a guest post by a manager mom in Houston!) who has a “granny as nanny” situation.

We’ve talked about childcare pros and cons, but we’ve never directly talked about childcare with family as caregivers — and I keep seeing stories about how grandparents move to New York to help raise their grandkids — so I thought we’d discuss. There are obvious pros — love! money! — but the logistics strike me as something that may need a bit of finessing, particularly if we’re talking about in-laws.

For example: childcare is inherently a “shift” type of job (you’re on, I’m off), but when people aren’t being paid it can be difficult to have that initial discussion to create the routine. Another con:  if you’re working with a third party like a nanny, there is no dispute that Stuff Happens Your Way — there should be none with family, and yet (especially with in-laws), it can feel a little like biting the hand that feeds you to make too much of a fuss if small rules aren’t followed. Third, the place of care can become an issue too — one girlfriend I knew had a mother who wanted her to travel, with her baby, for about 60 minutes each way (think Brooklyn to the UWS) so her mother could watch the baby in her own apartment three days a week. A super generous, amazing offer — but a PITA no matter whose place of care was chosen.

So ladies, let’s hear it — do you rely on grandparents or other family members for some or all of your childcare? How formal is your arrangement — and how did you go about discussing some of the touchier subjects? Did you (or family members) move to make such an arrangement possible? 

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