I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but I really need to get out my thoughts and hopefully get some advise back. DH is getting sick of hearing me talk about this, but I know that you ladies will understand how I'm feeling. Here's the story: I have a 3 yr old and 12 mo old and I'm a chiropractor. When DD1 was born I went down to working 12 hrs/wk and my mom and MIL took turns watching her. When DD2 came along I went down to working 8 hrs/wk (2 days of 4 hours).
Now, my mom (who I prefer to watch them) works herself so she isn't available anymore than that, and MIL has offered to watch one more day for 2-3 hours. The dilema is that I'm really starting to have an itch to work more and actually focus on my practice. I want to pursue an extensive training in pediatrics and it's just not feasible for me to grow at all only working 8 hours right now.
I also just got trained to teach classes to expectant moms on nutrition/health during pregnancy and I'd like to get out and market them to some OB offices and begin teaching those as well. All in all I'd like to eventually be working about 20 hours/wk.
DD1 is also registered for a co-op preschool in the fall, which means that I have to participate in the classroom a couple times a month, which means that DD2 will need a babysitter at those times.
I guess what my question is if I should just keep my hours how they are until the girls get into school, or look into a daycare type of place to supplement the hours that my mom and MIL watch them. I also wonder if I should just put DD1 in a traditional preschool so I don't have to figure out a babysitter for DD2 when I'm working at the school.
I've been checking Craigslist for in home providers, and I spoke with a lady who sounded really nice today. She's a SAHM and watches her own son, 16 mo., and two other 3 year olds on a part-time basis. She's very flexible and would work with my schedule. I just worry about leaving my girls with someone I don't really know. I'm obviously going to check her out, but I'm just wanting to do what's best for everyone.
I feel selfish for wanting to work more, but I also realize that I do have a passion for what I do, and I spend a lot of time and money in education so I'd like to do something. But I also have a passion for my girls and being a good mom to them. I wonder if I should put my career on hold (which it basically is) until they get into school, or start to add more hours back now. That would mean putting them somewhere and I just don't know what I think about that.
Do any of you have experience with in-home daycare or would they be better in a "center" type place. I was thinking that the intimacy of someone else's home with a few other kids might be a better transition for them. Also, they would only start once a week at the sitter's, and have my mom come one day and MIL come another day. I wonder if this would be harder for them, having 3 different care providers.
I hope any of that made sense, and thanks for reading and any advise or ideas.