I was recently asked, "What do you do all day now that you're only working part time?" Yes, it was a serious question.
Lest you think I sit at home lying on the couch watching soap operas and eating bon bons, let me fill you in.
I work, during a typical 5-day work week, 17.5 hours. My schedule changes every week, but just for kicks, let's say I'm working Monday, Wednesday, and half-day Friday.
Monday: Relieve nurse at 7. Work 8-3. Come home, get report from nurse, make dinner. Feed Abby, do therapy, play with Caleb, bedtime routine, trach-tie change, make milk, empty or run the dishwasher (it has to be run at least once a day!) wait up for nurse until 11.
Tuesday: Relieve nurse at 7. Matt is gone early for a Bible study. Nurse comes at 8. Take Caleb to school at 8:45. Run errands. Clean. Watch my niece (which I love!) while my sister volunteers at her kids' school. Pick Caleb up at 12:40. Race back to the house for PT/OT @ 1:30. Continue with cleaning during nap time. See Monday's evening activities.
Wednesday: same as Monday
Thursday: Relieve nurse at 7. Nurse comes at 8. This is my day to do lots of cleaning, since Matt takes Caleb to school. Pick Caleb up at 12:40. Race back to the house for speech @ 1:30. Continue with cleaning during nap time. See Monday's evening activities.
Friday: Relieve nurse at 7. Work 8-11:30. Run errands. Pick Caleb up from MMO at church @ 1:30. Back for naps. Get report from the nurse. See Monday's evening activities.
Any of these days could be completely thrown out the window if we have a doctor's appointment, which usually is the case. If that happens, my work schedule is rearranged because it's much easier to change that than to try to get the appointment on a different day. My wonderful sister is great about picking Caleb up from school and keeping him until we get back. If we have an appointment at JHH (which is everything except her pediatrician), I can expect to be gone at least 5 hours.
There are also many, many meetings that are scattered around. More often than not, I have at least one Abby-related meeting a week. I try to schedule those on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon after her therapy is done. Most of the time, I don't have to take Abby to these. There is one where it's a requirement, which inferiorates me because I'm exposing her to unnecessary germs every time I take her in, but I have to be nice to these people or they'll take away our benefits. ;)
Saturdays and Sundays are wacky because we do not have a day nurse (and haven't since July). Therefore, unless Matt happens to be home, I am at home all day and all night. (If you're new around here, I can't drive alone with Abby because someone needs to sit next to her in case she needs to be suctioned or is in distress). On those types of days, I try to do fun things like bake with Caleb, or make Lego crayons, or play outside, etc. It helps to make the day go faster.
I hope that it goes without saying that we do not have a lot of "free" time. My "free" time is spent waiting for the nurse, which is why I am able to blog. Since I have to stay in Abby's room, I'm limited as to what I can do and blogging is my release. We don't watch TV unless it's something special. I have only been out with Matt without kids twice since we brought Abby home. Only one of those times was by ourselves, since the other was a Chris Tomlin concert with the youth group. (Not that I'm complaining about that--it was awesome!!)
I don't tell you this so that you'll feel sorry for us. Not at all! I love the reason my life is like this! But I do want to set the record straight and make sure you realize that I am part-time out of necessity, not for luxury.