Remember that…

Remember that caterpillar that Aunt Susan got Kavi for Christmas? Kavi's finally big enough to ride it! She can't quite manage climbing on by herself, but she'll crawl over to it and start playing with it -- and if we put her on, Kavi happily rocks back and forth (her toes just barely touch the ground when she chooses to put them down). And when she gets tired, she can get down by herself. It's very cute.

Today's another day of me and Kavi at home together, same as yesterday (and Wednesday evening, when Kevin teaches late); it's a little draining, doing several days in a row. Kevin and I are planning to rearrange our schedules a bit so the week is more broken up. Current plan:

  • Monday: Teaching day for both of us; Nancy babysits
  • Tuesday: I watch Kavi; Kevin works (math stuff)
  • Wednesday: Teaching day for both of us; Nancy babysits
  • Thursday: Kevin watches Kavi; I work (writing and/or art + backlogged e-mail, SLF/DesiLit, etc.)
  • Friday: Teaching day for Kevin; I watch Kavi
  • Saturday: I work (same as Th); Kevin works (math stuff); Jarmila babysits
  • Sunday: Kevin watches Kavi; I work (same as Th, plus week's class prep/grading)
In theory, with this schedule, we both get five teaching/work days. (Kevin teaches a bit more often, since he's on a M/W/F schedule instead of M/W, but the Friday class is only an hour.) We mostly share the evenings with Kavi, since that's not a great work time for either of us (no brain, good for playing with baby and dog). We'll see how it goes.

In practice, I do feel guilty asking for equal work time, since he has the same amount of teaching I do, plus a lot of admin responsibilities that I don't have. Also, he currently brings in at least twice the household income I do -- and it'll be more like four times mine next year. But the amount of time I spend on DesiLit/SLF/community arts stuff probably equals the admin time of his -- and while the extra stuff I do isn't financially important to us, except in some vague maybe-career-development-building-readership-visibility type of way, it helps keep me sane. Also, I think Kevin is more patient with baby/puppy needs; I just get stressed much faster. (He might disagree with that assessment.)

In the end, it's a balancing act between equality, family needs, and individual needs/desires. Complicated, but as long as we all make good faith efforts to balance fairly, we seem to stay pretty happy. :-)

2 thoughts on “Remember that…”

  1. Very cute picture… Just remember that the money brought in will never be equal. Especially if one of you is doing the main childcare for your daughter.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Well, so far, we’re pretty much splitting the childcare, now that I’m not breastfeeding anymore. Certainly if one of us was doing most or all of it, then it’d make more sense to not worry if the other one was bringing in most of the money…

    It’s all a bit confusing for us too, because it’s so unclear how much money I’m going to bring in. There’s the teaching, which is fairly predictable. (But very variable in potential, since the difference in pay between adjuncting and tenure-track is so huge.) And then there’s the writing — I spend a lot of time writing, which may eventually have:

    – no payoff financially (books never sell)
    – small payoff financially (sell to small press, say $5-$15K each)
    – large payoff financially (sell to big press, $25 – $100K, like the last HarperCollins deal I did)
    – huge payoff financially (movie deal!!! 🙂

    And it’s just a big gamble, with no way to predict it. Ah well. We try to live within the means that we know about (our mortgage is based on our actual reliable income, not our hopeful income). But we work to preserve my writing time, both for my happiness, and for its possible future potential as income.

    Despite the differences in pay between men and women in this country, it may well be that someday I’ll be making more money than Kevin — but not unless we actively work to preserve my writing time, and value it as much as his math research time. Tough to keep in mind when the math research is much more clearly and obviously tied to his getting good government grants and more money / job options.

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