Tears fell tonight.
Despairing over working care arrangements for next year. Arrangements that place Lucy's needs above mine and her dad's, while still being flexible enough for us both to still earn an income, for now and for squirreling for the future once work stops.
If we were still together, all income regardless of who earned it, would go into a joint pot. So it wouldn't matter who worked what percentage of the week, or who was on school drop offs or pick ups or lunch duty that night. But because we're not, the situation becomes more thought-worthy.
I know I'm in a fairly uncommon situation, where Lucy's dad strives to remain as much a part of her day-to-day life as financially possible. And for all but the first 9 months of her life, he has worked part-time, sacrificing his career and financial gain, to do just that. Now he is down to one income, he knows that is no longer sustainable for the long-term. With her being at school next year, he sees the common-sense opportunity for him to resume full-time work. But for one parent to work full-time, it means either the other parent cannot, or the child enters after-school care.
Which presents me with a conundrum.
I am very blessed and incredibly grateful, to share a love and a life with a man who has offered and is happy to support me financially for as long as I want it, in order for me to not only spend quality time with my child, but also to build a business from the fruit of my passions. As evidenced by the last five months. But this man also knows, that with an exception of two years study and nearly two years of Lucy's babyhood (including late pregnancy), I have been working in some capacity or another since the age of thirteen, and complete and utter financial dependence is not something I am 100% comfortable with. At all.
And while I trust in my relationship more than I trust I won't be hit by a bus tomorrow, if we were to separate next week, I would be a woman with a small child, without a home and without immediate income. I'm not naive and I'm not reckless. So, to offer Lucy's dad a 40 hour full-time work week, at the expense of time to work myself, I'm leaving myself a little more vulnerable than I'm used to. Conundrum, yes?
And of course, at the centre of all of this, is a small child that needs as much stability and routine in her soon-to-change world as the adults in her life can give her. Which in itself, is questionable. Is a split week best? A split fortnight? A split month? I have been mulling this over continuously, for months now. Neither Lucy's dad nor I are any closer to working out the perfect arrangement for all. Until tonight, that is. I have searched my heart inside out, consulted with Ben and I believe I have found a solution that may just work for all. I have forwarded my thoughts to Lucy's dad. Now, I just await his thoughts.
Gratuity kudos? Why, the man that makes this all possible, of course.
Watch this space.