Work/Life balance is something we all struggle with, especially when it comes to using the vacation time we work so hard to accrue. For us, this decision has been made far easier lately.
Miss O’s daycare closes every year for one week in July for vacation. This is now the third year we have had to take vacation days from work to cover…I mean, gotten to take vacation to spend time with her. My favorite part of this is the dialogue this inspires.
Coworker/Friend: So you’re taking a week off?
Me/Husband: Yes. We’ll be taking vacation for a whole week.
Coworker/Friend: Are you going to do anything fun/special?
Me/Husband: Well, Miss O’s daycare is closed for the week, but we’re paying for that time anyway, so we can’t really afford to do much. We’re just going to go to my mother/mother-in-law’s house and see family down there.
Coworker/Friend: Oh. Wow. Really? You still have to pay for that?
Me/Husband: Yep. So it’s not really a vacation…really. But, it’ll be a nice break.
Coworker/Friend: Sure. That’ll be…nice.
That’s right, folks, we get to pay a week’s worth of childcare to care for our own child. We try not to do the math, too often. Of course, this year I forgot to drop off next moth’s tuition before the break, so now we have the joy of paying a week’s worth of late fees on top of that. But I digress…
It’s actually not too bad, but it does burn me sideways thinking about it, so I try not to. The women that take care of Miss O do an AMAZING job, so of course they deserve vacation. It also really does force us to take a break, which lately is something that seems harder to actually do. My family has also graciously rescheduled our annual family reunion to fall at the end of the week, making our trip absolutely worthwhile.
So rather than stew over the cost, we try to look on the bright side and make the most of the time we have as a family. At least it’s something we can count on and enjoy together. We can make it as adventurous or leisurely as we want. The point is, we know it’s time we’ll get to spend together, so we enjoy it. It’s a nice reminder to slow down, take a break and remember what life is really all about.