Friday – this week I am grateful for a plan that comes together

Those who know me well, really really well, will know I love a good plan. Better yet, I love it when a plan comes together; just like Mr T. It has been difficult, during my first year of motherhood, to adjust to the reality that my plans are no longer entirely in my control. This is true not only in the small detailed plans, like managing to leave the house, with your undies on the right way and a shirt on, with not too much baby related grot covering it; but the larger plans. The plans involving childcare, returning to work, and in our case, the plans for getting on with our lives and buying a house.

I work for the public service. This is a fine and excellent place to work – especially where entitlements are concerned. I have enjoyed my maternity leave free from worry about losing my job. Eventually, I will go back to work. However, I cannot work if I have no childcare; and Canberra is experiencing something of a baby boom. We have been on the waiting lists for childcare since I was 16 weeks pregnant – or to put it another way, since July 2009. More than enough time, you would think, for a place to become available. Not so.

This was a situation entirely outside my control. There was nothing I could do – how I hated that thought! What do you mean I can’t do anything about it? I wailed. I worked the phones, I found out all I could. I was buoyed, momentarily, by the launch of the new My Child government website; until I discovered I already knew all of the information it contained that was relevant to us. Bugger.

Eventually in December, as everyone else made their plans and confirmed their arrangements for 2011, one day a week became available at one of the centres we were waiting for. Not enough childcare to return to work, but something. If nothing else, a day off for me. A day off? Oh the luxury. Oh the relaxation possibilities. Excitement!

Just as I was easing myself into the idea of having a small amount of respite from the relentless work involved in caring for a small child 24/7 – work contacted me. When was I coming back? Care to call in to discuss? As I was deciding how to navigate all of this, putting in place the a, b, c, d, e and f plans, the childcare centre rang. Two days – did I want two days? You bet I wanted two days.

It started to come together. I contacted work. I took some more leave. I said yes to two days care. The plan, it seemed, would come together. I was just going to have to employ some of my newly learned relaxation ability and accept that might take a bit of time. After all motherhood is all about acceptance.