Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two-income family

So for the first time since we had Lily, we are both working full time. It's a change, but it's going to be great, I think. We've all made changes--Dave's working (programming at UMass.), I'm working 8 to 4 (we both are), and Lily has to stay at school an extra hour, until 4:30. But that all seems to be okay.

Last week I was a bit anxious about it, and cleaned house furiously, and I've been cooking for three days. I made red sauce and pasta for friends for dinner on Monday night, plus potato-leek soup, much of which we froze. The next night I made three-bean chili with the beans I'd soaked on Sunday and cooked on Monday, along with turkey meatloaf topped with bacon ends I got for cheap at Hatfield Beef. (That's a wholesale meat place that buys from the Amish in Pennsylvania. I'm not sure how Amish food came to stand for tasty, but I bet the meat is pretty clean.) Dave poached some fat chicken breasts and we ate those for dinner on flour tortillas with the tomatillo green sauce he made from our farm share veggies, topped with red pepper, lettuce, a little cheese, and a bit of tomato. Very nice.

I think all this cooking and cleaning is an attempt to stay on top of what I'm afraid will be stress and exhaustion. And I do enjoy to cook, especially in cold weather. And what's not to love about a clean house? But actually what I'm finding is I have tons more time now that I've changed my hours. I get Lily several times a week at school so that gives me a chance to return phone calls -- on my Blue Tooth! -- while I'm headed up I-91. And that means I get to spend a lot more time with her, now that I'm not racing home at 6 or whatever.

I hear from others on flex time at work that the hours make them more efficient, and I see that too. I love being in the office at 8 am: The quiet is lovely and I do get more work done. And I must leave by 4pm sharp or I'll be late to get Lily. Then we get home at 5pm and have the evening. Wonderful! One of the pluses of moving here is that Valley time is closer to my time -- I'm naturally an early bird and go to bed early too. We worked 10 to 6 at LIFE and it screwed me all up.

This is a big change for us, both of us working, and I think Dave will like it too. He's worried he didn't fully use his two years off but I wonder if that's just typical transitional angst. I think it would be for me. And I think this is good for Lily in some ways too.

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