Child Care for Stay at Home Parents?

Not a lot of blog time today, I really shouldn't even be on here as I should be getting my kids up and ready for school, then power clean my house and pack for our exciting spring break destination of Northern Alberta!  Seriously though, we're going to visit the hubs' family and celebrate his Grandma's 92nd birthday! 

Anyways, just a quick, more of a question blog post today.  If you are a stay at home parent, how often, if at all, do you use any form of childcare?  I'm not talking about the babysitter on a Friday night so that you and your significant other can go out on a date.  I guess I'm talking about during the daylight hours, maybe working week childcare.  Whether it be an actual daycare centre, or a trusted family member that you have an arrangement with?  Even if it's just an arrangement that you have with your working significant other, that every (insert day here) from noon - 3pm (or whatever) is your time to do as you choose.

The reason I ask is that after 7+ years of being the stay-at-home-parent, I'm kind of figuring out that hey, maybe I should get a break once in awhile?  At first the thought never crossed my mind.  That IS my job.  Why would I pay someone else to do it?  I know...my mommy brain takes a LONG time (7 years) to clue in...every employee at every job is given coffee breaks and lunch breaks daily, days off every week, and (GASP) even vacation!



We do ok in the vacation department.  Once a year the hubs and I either try to go away just the two of us, or I get away for a weekend with friends or my mom or something.  It's the little daily breaks and weekly days off that we're not getting ahold of.  When #1 was born, we lived right next door the the hub's parents, and just down the road from mine.  We never really took advantage of that opportunity while it existed, since he was so small.  We moved when he was 9 months old.  We are now close to 4 hours away from my parents, and 12 hours from his.

As a result of this, we don't have any trusted family members close by that would happily take the boys for a couple hours so mom can get stuff done, do some studying, workout, or heck, just take a nap!  Something to look forward to every week.  So I'm kind of guiltily looking at some day care options.  Just a couple hours once a week would make a huge difference I think.  But I have this HUGE guilt complex - I'm the stay at home parent, it's my job.  That money could REALLY help out in other areas of our life.  We're already supporting 5 people on one income...gah.  But, at the end of the day, I could use the child tax benefit money I get every month to pay daycare.  But GAH, that money SHOULD be going in the kids' savings accounts.  When you become a parent, the guilt is always JUST under the surface, isn't it?

So, that's my dilemma of the day.  I've at least taken the first step to realize the problem I suppose.  So...what was supposed to be a short post ended up with me rambling again, and now I REALLY need to get the boys ready for school.  So again, what, if any, sort of arrangements do the rest of you have?

Dallas

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