There is an occasional faint light at the end of the tunnel of the academic year, and with that light come a lot of planning for the summer. I’m trying not to place unrealistic productivity expectations on the summer, but I also know that it is unrealistic to think that I will have the summer “off.”
As I start to make my summer plans, I’m realizing that I’m going to be out of town for ~5 weeks this summer, and that Minnow will be coming along with me. That fact, combined with really wanting to see Minnow more than just breakfast, dinner, bedtime and weekends has got me wondering whether we could swing a summer “break” from daycare. It doesn’t hurt that we’d save >$2000 on daycare costs if we took two months off.
But, are there downsides to letting our enrollment lapse for a few months? Yes, and the question is whether those negatives out-weigh the positives. I’ll lay it all out below and maybe you can provide some advice…
Upside: More time with Minnow, more time at the local pool, more time at the park, more time having fun during the 3 weeks we’ll be in town without daycare.
Flipside: We might lose our spot at our daycare, and with a new teacher in Minnow’s room, we are back to liking it a lot.
Upside: $2000 savings that could be used to help pay off the Prius, go to college savings, etc.
Flipside: We’ll have to pay an enrollment fee again at daycare and may have to pay an enrollment fee at a backup daycare as “insurance” in case we lose our spot.
Upside: I could still work part-time while Minnow is napping, during the evenings, and while Fish is home in the mornings.
Flipside: Honestly, I might not get that much work done “part-time.”
Upside: If I don’t have daycare, maybe I’ll feel less guilty about taking some flexible time and some time off, rather than putting in 9-5 days as I do now.
Flipside: If I don’t get work done during that time, I will be falling even further behind my child-less colleagues against whom I am evaluated.
Upside: Three of the five weeks we are out of town I *will* be working (writing a paper with my post-doc advisor, doing field work, attending a workshop) and Minnow will be staying with ScienceGrandma or friends. So it’s not like I’m taking the summer off.
Flipside: If I don’t get reappointed, will it be because I didn’t work hard enough during the summer?
Upside: I swear I want to lead a “balanced” life – this is one way to force me to do so.
I’m strongly leaning toward taking Minnow out of daycare for June and July. What do you think? Am I fool for wanting to take a summer break from daycare?