When I last discussed the work/career situation at casa Dykstra, I told you that everything was up in the air. Matthew had interviewed for the position that he has already been doing for (what feels like) forever and I’m on a contract until the end of December and then…who knows? Right now I’m working a full forty-hour week (forty-five if you count my lunch hour)(fifty if you count my commute)(And if you count my gym time, I’m away from home a solid fifty hours a week). We’re making the best of it and juggling work hours and school drop-offs and pick-ups and meal planning and groceries and childcare when necessary.

This is where I’d like to state that childcare was never in my Grand Master Plan. This is not to say that childcare is horrible or evil or wrong. I’m just saying that in my perfect world I would be at home with my kids when they were a preschool age and when they were in full-time school I would look at ramping up my hours. I liked being at home with my kids and would still be there if it were feasible.

Matthew and his Dad ventured out into self-employment shortly after Graham was born. Being Canadian, I had a paid maternity leave, but it’s capped and but a small percentage of your wage and they weren’t making much and, so. I returned to work when G-Force was but eight months old. It was SO HARD (the photo Matthew emailed me that first day with Graham holding an “I MISS YOU MOMMY” sign DID NOT HELP in any way). I worked for nine months and then was off with medical complications (sciatica) from carrying Master Nathan and I was back home with my kid(s).

Matthew’s work got busy, I dabbled in freelance accounting work and before we knew it we had Miss Emily. Matthew could barely keep up with his work and I got to “just” be a Mom. I loved it. I cooked and I baked and I crafted and I did play dates and I freaked out about all of the baby stuff that we all freak out about but I enjoyed every minute of it. Except for the explosive diapers. They weren’t my favorite.

The tables turned and thanks to those two initials behind my name, I was able to take on more work to provide for our family while Matthew took over the home front. Our dynamic keeps changing based on who has work options and where our kids are at and when my boys reached full-time school I knew that the freelance work I had been doing (which ate up every weekend) was no longer a good fit for our family. Last fall I spent every weekend chained to my laptop while my family went on adventures to the creek or exploring in the 4×4 or going to the park and I was left at home all alone. I did not like that (obviously).

So, while I had a really hard time adjusting to being at work in an office full-time (too many posts to link to), it really was the best option for our family. Matthew was able to balance his part-time hours at our church with the kids’ school schedules and Emily’s preschool schedule and so our kids survived on Daddy Daycare. I get to spend my evenings and weekends watching Wipe-out with them and making cookies and taking Emily to ballet and arranging for the dudes’ friends to come over and I think we’re getting the swing of this.

As for the whole childcare thing, while my ideal would have me (or Matthew) being the one to be with our kids outside of school hours, sometimes it just doesn’t pan out that way. Especially since Matthew’s hours are about to get ramped up. Last Wednesday night, the night of the final meeting of the search committee, our phone rang. The call display read, “Summerland Baptist Church”. I handed the phone to Matthew and stood next to him to listen to the conversation.

The committee has “recommended him for the position”. It was a unanimous vote.

There will be a church vote at the end of October and until then it is not “official” but the word was put out at a meeting last night and I am now free to tell you that he’s been recommended to fill a position that he is so built for and suited to and, yeah. We’re ridiculously happy over here. I burst into tears, as I am wont to do. We wouldn’t expect anything less, now would we?

So what does that mean for us? The dudes are in school full-time so they’re covered for thirty hours a week. Matthew’s going to clock some of his office hours while Emily’s at (our church’s) playschool. Emily gets to spend two afternoons a week at her favorite auntie’s house and one (five-hour) day a week with another friend of ours that we’ve hired. I’ve arranged to come into work an hour early every day and leave early on Tuesdays to pick up Emily from that friend’s house, then pick up the dudes from school and come home. I have a feeling that Tuesdays will be my favorite.

We’re making it work over here. There are bumps and glitches and kids who cry and dreams of those days when I could be here. But Emily’s one year out from full-time school herself and I dream that I can make something work by next fall so that I can only work school hours and spend the rest of my time with these three monkeys.

Here’s hoping.

*Needtobreathe. Again. I told you I was addicted.

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  1. Amanda Brown September 28, 2010 1:33 am edit

    Congrats to Matt on snagging the job! We’re so happy it worked out!
    .-= Amanda Brown´s last blog ..Chesty =-.

  2. Mrs. Wilson September 28, 2010 5:45 am edit

    Congrats to Matthew on the job!!

    Dude. I know your struggle well. I had to go back to work when Kaylie was 8 months old and Liliana was 7 months old. I’ve worked full time for most of it. I HATE IT. I hate bringing them to daycare and I hate knowing that they spend most of their time NOT with me. (Although now that Kaylie’s in school, it’s easier with her.)

    My kids days are my favorites too. Hope you have some great Tuesdays. :)
    .-= Mrs. Wilson´s last blog ..awkward family photos =-.

  3. Laura Radniecki September 28, 2010 7:46 am edit

    That’s fantastic, way to go Matthew!!!! Your family is awesome.
    .-= Laura Radniecki´s last blog ..His One Year Anniversary of EAS =-.

  4. Sizzle September 28, 2010 8:05 am edit

    I am glad you could work something out. Congrats to Matthew!
    .-= Sizzle´s last blog ..Why I didn’t get enough sleep last night =-.

  5. Loralee September 28, 2010 8:17 am edit

    He got it! I’ve been on pins and needles since BlogHer!
    I am so happy for you.

    LOVE THE PHOTO OF EMILY! (and the others, of course, but WOW)
    .-= Loralee´s last blog ..Twirling =-.

  6. Melissa September 28, 2010 8:33 am edit

    Congrats Matthew! I am so glad to hear that!

  7. Hilary September 28, 2010 8:35 am edit

    Congrats to Mathew on the new job. I think your kids are so lucky that the roles were able to be changed for a bit, and they got to have great quality time with their dad. That is something most kids miss out on. I was fortunate that my parent’s roles got reversed when I was in my early teens. During that time, I really got to “know” my dad. Since he passed away when I was 14 I am so thankful for this time….
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Persistent passenger =-.

  8. Rebecca September 28, 2010 8:44 am edit

    Congrats!!! What exciting news, while clearly much deserved! While I’ve had days where working full-time looks to be a luxury, honestly my silly Munchkins own my heart so I’m happy to be working from home, though I am seriously sleep deprived! ;)
    Here’s to Happy Tuesdays!
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..My Bestie On Top Of The World =-.

  9. Kami's Khlopchyk September 28, 2010 8:57 am edit

    That is so wonderful for you all, congratulations!

    I am in the same boat as you, hoping I can make it work to only work school hours. So far so good but I am not yet doing online. Crossing fingers!
    .-= Kami’s Khlopchyk´s last blog ..Dont ask me =-.

  10. Lisa September 28, 2010 9:36 am edit

    YAY!!! I am so happy for you guys! You sound so busy, crazy and hectic but that is the stuff of life isn’t it?
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..FriiiiiiDAY! =-.

  11. Kristabella September 28, 2010 9:45 am edit

    Yay! Congrats to Matthew!
    .-= Kristabella´s last blog ..When I Get Tired- I Lose My Filter =-.

  12. Kerri Anne September 28, 2010 9:52 am edit


    So excited for Matthew, and for this new schedule for you, too. I think it’s going to be UHmazing.

    (Also, when did your kids turn twenty-five?) (KIDDING, but seriously, tell them to stop growing until I get to see them again.)
    .-= Kerri Anne´s last blog ..Waiting For Leaves To Change Me =-.

  13. Kellye September 28, 2010 11:58 am edit

    I hear you loud and clear. OMG do I ever hear you. Sebby was sick yesterday and I almost leapt on the way out of the office to get him from daycare, because well it meant that it’d be okay for me to be HOME with him instead of in the office and that’s awesome. Not so glad he was sick, but it meant I was home. I *HATE* having to work outside of the home and am working off my tail to make it so that I don’t. It just seems unnatural to be away from my kids for so long. I feel like the daycare sees them more than I do! WAAAAAAAA!!!

    At any rate, here’s a hearty congrats to Matthew’s new position and here’s a big hug from one momma to another!
    .-= Kellye´s last blog ..In which I feel I simply must blog or I will explode =-.

  14. Hannah September 28, 2010 12:45 pm edit

    Congratulations to Matthew on the job! It sounds great and perfect for him. I know you will adjust to this new routine and schedule, just as you have adjusted over the years to the various changes in yours and/or Matthew’s work situations. The kids will adjust also, I promise you.
    .-= Hannah´s last blog ..Sk8er boi =-.

  15. kinak September 28, 2010 12:51 pm edit

    Best wishes on getting closer to being in that groove that fits your family best. And wow, your daughter looks just like you in that picture! Gorgeous :)

  16. Heather September 28, 2010 1:00 pm edit

    It’s pretty awesome that when you are really dedicated to your priorities, you can make things work. Inspiring!

  17. Keely September 28, 2010 2:00 pm edit

    Congratulations to Matthew on the job!

    Just so you know… reading your blog gives me hope that it is possible to work and have a great family and take trips and write and just have it all work out :) Thanks for that!
    .-= Keely´s last blog ..Happy Birthday to Me! =-.

  18. Jenn September 28, 2010 2:09 pm edit

    Congratulations to Matthew. I love how to the two of you have molded and changed based on what the needs of your family and not what society dictates. It’s a good lesson for all of us.

    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Grandads Horn =-.

  19. Marianne September 28, 2010 5:37 pm edit

    Congratulations Matthew! You two do such a great job juggling everything so that you can meet your priorities!

  20. Donna Y September 28, 2010 6:12 pm edit

    Woohoo!! Changes, challenges, and growth.

  21. lindsay September 28, 2010 6:12 pm edit

    Congrats on the good work news you guys got today!

    I’m curious if you’ve ever been a CASB facilitator? I’m thinking about going down that road in 2011 and would pick your brain if you had. :)

  22. Ninabi September 28, 2010 8:27 pm edit

    Congrats to your husband on his new job! And kudos to you for figuring out a plan that makes everything work as smoothly as possible for your busy, busy schedules.

    I was thinking about you wanting to work your hours when your children are in school. My mother-in-law, a microbiologist, started her work days at 6 am because as a single mother of three middle school/high school aged boys, knew she HAD to be there after school. Especially after those three boys got into a major fight over a TV show when she wasn’t home and one boy got a BB gun and shot the TV and it ricocheted and broke the sliding glass door and one boy ran and locked himself in the bathroom to protect himself from his angry big brother who broke the door down and punched him.

    I always have been amazed by all that my wonderful m-i-l had to do. All working moms do an amazing amount. (and all three boys turned out to be good men who have never shot TVs again).

    Congratulations and also- your kids are really, really cute people!

  23. Elaine September 29, 2010 9:05 am edit

    It sounds like you are definitely making it work. And congratulations to your hubs, that is SO awesome!

    And look at those smiles… love ’em! :)
    .-= Elaine´s last blog ..Baby Ks 1st B-day Blog Par-tay – Its All in the Bag! =-.

  24. hillary September 29, 2010 5:21 pm edit

    Congratulations, Matthew!
    And good job to both of you for sorting out what works for both of you :)
    .-= hillary´s last blog ..Autumn Leaves Have Faded Now That Smile I Lost Well Ive Found Somehow =-.

  25. Danica September 30, 2010 8:31 am edit

    Wow. Your kids suddenly look older. Congrats on Matthew’s job! (But really, was there ever any question?) And even with your own work so rapidly changing and being up in the air, God clearly has his hand on you and all I see is success in every avenue you work in. You guys are a great team!
    .-= Danica´s last blog ..A Prayerful Response to the HST =-.

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