Sweetie and I talked last night.  He asked around at work about the cost of childcare, and found out that we’d probably pay about $200-$300 a week for a sitter for Paulie (day care is out of the question, I insist).  After about choking (I imagine), he suggested that it might make more sense for me to go back to school now, since we wouldn’t need to pay for child care if I were in school full time (or at least, we’d need to pay for very little).  Paulie naps well, and is happy to chill in his bouncy seat while I work on the computer, and so I could get my school work done at home while Paulie naps, while Sweetie takes care of him in the evenings, and after Paulie goes to bed.  I could continue to teach the little boy with autism on the weekends like I have been doing, for the extra money.  Then, presumably, once I have a doctorate (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) I could earn more money and actually be able to afford child care (!).

I loooooove this idea.  First of all, I wouldn’t have to be away from Paulie so much.  I know that when he’s older he’s probably going to be really active, and I won’t be able to work on the computer while he just sits in his bouncy seat (ha!  dare to dream).  But I’d still hopefully only need child care while I’m in class, and during the times when I actually have to be at the School of Education building.  So score MAJOR points for not having to be away from my little boy too much.  But also, I just love school.  Really, I do.  I love being in school myself– yes, I love taking classes and even enjoy the challenge of taking tests!– and I loved working in the pre-K and kindergarten classes.  Loooooved it.  And I still have all sorts of pre-K and kindergarten educational materials lying around the house– I just *love* teaching little kids.  So going back to school for a doctorate in Elementary Education would be perfect for me.  I could (hopefully) even use a good bit of my credits from my Master’s degree to put towards my Ph.D.

There are a few problems, though.  First of all, I couldn’t officially enter the Ph.D. program until next fall.  I do *not* want to work full time for a year, especially when Paulie’s so little and vulnerable.  Bad timing!  I could probably start taking classes this Spring, but I’m afraid that I would have to pay for them out of pocket (gulp!) since I can’t get financial aid until I’m admitted into a doctoral program full time.  We defininitely can’t afford to pay for my classes out of pocket.  I’m going to talk to my advisor from graduate school, though, and see if there’s anyting that she could do to get funding for me… you  never know.  I hope to get my Ph.D. from the school where I earned my Master’s, and my advisor and I have a really special relationship.  So who knows… I’m just so afraid to ask, and hear that I’ll have to wait a year to start school, and be away from my baby for a year…  **GULP**

But maybe the fact that childcare is so expensive makes it not make sense for me to work in the meantime?  Because there’s also the cost of gas for me to get to work, plus the cost of disposable diapers, since I’m assuming that a sitter wouldn’t allow us to send cloth.  And I’ll need some sort of basic work wardrobe if I go back to work, as I highly doubt my pre-baby clothes will fit at this point.  And I’d probably also need to get a haircut on a regular basis– lots of little expenses.  However, if sweetie gets laid off, then we definitely need for me to have a job, if only for the health insurance.  And if Sweetie’s laid off, he’d be home with Paulie– which I would feel so, so much better about than Paulie being with a sitter.  Sweetie is Paulie’s daddy, after all!  But it’s not as if Sweetie has plans to be a stay-at-home dad.  And his earning potential is much higher than mine, just because of the fields we’re in.

I’d really like to go back to school– Keep your fingers crossed that Sweetie keeps his job, and that I find a way to start school this coming Spring, instead of having to wait until next year!!  **