Thursday, August 22, 2013

This Is Me Bitching About Daycare

In the past week, I have been involved in 3 discussions about the cost of daycare.  How ridiculous it is how much daycare providers charge, how unfair it is to pay for days your child is home sick, how a teenage babysitter would be cheaper, blah, blah, blah.

I am a daycare provider.  Granted, 2 out of 3 people who had these discussions with me did not know what I did for a living, but these discussions were enough to prompt me to bitch about daycare.  From the other side.

I charge $40 per day per child.  My 2 university degrees allow me to deduce that this works out to $200 per week.  Divide that by the 45 hours a week I provide childcare, and you will get an answer of $4.44 per hour.

Now, let's subtract the cost of food (organic and gluten free), drink, craft supplies, entertainment, additional home insurance, wear and tear on the home, toys (and replacement of broken toys), gifts, seasonal decor, theme day parties, paper goods (such as toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, and so on), cleaning supplies, sleeping accommodations, laundry, electricity (used for lighting, cooking, heating, cooling, and so on), gear (such as baby proofing necessities, playpens, etc.) and water (extra dishes, water play days, toilets, etc.) to name a few.

By my calculations, that would decrease the hourly rate to somewhere around $3 per hour.

This $3 per hour does not include the cost or the time to take CPR and First Aid courses, the cost of cable, internet, telephone, computers, researching and creating crafts and activities, shopping to stock the fridge and the craft closet, keeping my reading and information up to date on child development, assisting families to source resources for their child, or anything else associated with running a home daycare.

For that $3 per hour, your child also receives love, encouragement, praise, boo boo kisses, hugs and snuggles, learning opportunities, sensory play, potty training, creative exploration, friendship development, structure and stability, creative opportunities, artistic development, numeracy and literacy, nature exploration, imagination evoking play, educational games, and interpersonal skill development.  Of course, this list could be much longer, but I didn't want certain individuals to get sidetracked and lose the point.

I pay my own EI and CPP. I am not paid for overtime, vacation time, or my own sick days.  Nor do I receive any benefit package over and above the continuous hugs, kisses, and laughter I receive from the children I care for.  

I am an educated individual, with backgrounds in both education and social services.  I made the choice to open my home and my life to children who have been gifted to my care each day.  I am Mama Bear when their own Mama Bear has to go to work, and I love them each as fiercely as if they were my own.  I am so very blessed to have an exceptional roster of children and families who make my everyday wonderful.  This bitch session is not for them.  

This bitch session is for all of the near sighted individuals who feel that the whopping $3 or less you pay your childcare provider per hour is somehow inflated.  My first job scooping ice cream 27 years ago paid the same rate.  I'll leave it to them to do the math.

Please, feel free to bitch.  Just not to me.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dating Husbands

When my husband and I first met, we were impressive people to each other.  Always appearing impeccably groomed and well dressed; we didn't belch or fart; we didn't eat too much; we worked out six days a week and we were both in top physical shape.  Basically, we put on a good front.

When my husband and I first moved in together, we peed with closed bathroom doors, woke up to each other with minty fresh breath, left love notes on pillows, cooked elaborate dinners, and kept a tidy house.

When my husband and I were first married, we called each other Mr. and Mrs., made no decision without each other's input, made plans for the rest of our lives, had lots of sex, and kept up with well groomed traditions.

Fast forward ten years and three kids.  Bathrooms might as well not have doors, as they are never used.  Bodily functions are no longer held in.  Preparation H and Compound W sit openly on bathroom counters.  Grooming has taken a back seat.  For that matter, so has showering everyday.  And while we're at it, so has sex.  Working out has become a subject of fairy tales.  Notes to each other mostly contain 'pick up milk' and 'upstairs toilet clogged'.  Dinners include whatever can be made in twenty minutes.  Most clothing has some sort of paint or puke stain on it.  Planning anything further than next Tuesday is laughable.  We call each other lots of things, but these no longer include Mr. and Mrs.  A good hair day is the equivalent to actually having brushed your hair that day.  A tidy house is like playing make believe or when company is coming over.

My grandparents were married for forty seven years.  Forty seven!  That may have been forty seven years of love.  But now that I'm married, I think it was more like forty seven years of patience.

My husband and I do not partake in as many date nights as we probably should.  Any family with small children can attest to long, sleep deprived days.  And while the days are long, the years are short.  I don't think that going back to dating my husband will bring back all the courting niceties that we practiced ten years ago.  But a closed bathroom door now and again would most certainly add to the mystery.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pluck, Pluck, Goose

My husband once dated a woman who plucked her leg hair.  Plucked!  I'm too lazy to pluck my own eyebrows.  The time commitment to pluck one's legs alone is impressive (bordering on compulsive).  They were, apparently, the softest legs he ever touched.  I take no offense to this as I'm on the twice a week shaving schedule, and after being together for ten years, my need to impress has diminished.

Womens constant battle with hair removal fuels hundreds of conversations.  Waxing, Nair, No No, shaving, threading, plucking, sugaring, lasering.  The options are endless.  Unfortunately, the options don't work for all.  

I have heard from friends that the No No is a big no no.  Waxing involves actually growing the hair out, which is counterproductive, especially when trying to get your sexy back in a short skirt.  Lasering is expensive and painful.  Sugaring leaves me craving sweets.  Plucking is both time consuming and uncomfortable.  Nairing your nether parts will leave you fanning your nether regions.  Threading, well, I can't even sew a button on a shirt, so I'm not sure how that all works.

Years ago, before legally binding myself to a man whose ability to leave me is much too expensive to consider, I had smooth legs everyday.  Everyday!  I am curious, if I could track all the time I have spent removing hair, how much time that would add up to?  I'm convinced that the time I have spent removing unwanted hair could have been better spent, say learning belly dancing or how to actually sew buttons on shirts.

As if the concentration of hair removal in the most obvious areas wasn't enough to contend with, we're also responsible for landscaping.  Oh how I envy the 70's!  Not to mention the stray eyebrows that seem to be popping up more and more.  Now I not only have to remove the hair from my legs, armpits, and bikini line, I have to utilize a magnifying glass in a well lit mirror to remove the little buggers that have planted themselves on my chin, neck, or nipple.

Seriously girls.  Enough is enough.  I'm finding my twice a week schedule hard to keep up with at this point in my life.  Which leaves me only a few options.  I can say to hell with it all, stop the madness, and don self made leg warmers for the summer.  I can move to one of the cities in Europe that embraces a natural gal.  I can prepare myself to never have sex again with my husband.  

Not one of the above options is really feasible.  Which sucks.  Mainly because I will spend the rest of days in an attempt to remove unwanted hair.  With all the scientific advances of today, you would think that the ability to grow a female embryo to have hair free legs, armpits, and bikini lines would be an option.  Or at the very least a supplement women could take to be rid of hair in unwanted places.  I don't think that's too much to ask.

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