August the 26th 2017 in Auckland marks the official kick-off to our massive 10:20 starting solids tour. It has been months of work behind the scenes – but we are pumped with that mixture of excitement and nervousness.
Ages back… when I was writing my book…my husband and I were talking about the tours and what cities to go to. I wanted to reach as many people as possible so we decided just go for it and go as big as we could – taking the boys with us. While having a break from them is always welcome (and sleep too) in order to travel the country for the period of time we have planned, leaving them at home was just not going to be an option. I did not want to be away from them that long AND we would have struggled to get help with this too.
More importantly, none of this would have been possible without them. Doing it as a family was the way forward. Truly merging my passion, our lives and business together.
And so the 10:20 tour was born.
First job was for me to finish writing the book.
Enter a few blurry weeks of crazy writing.
The next job was to work out the logistics of travelling as a family, with both of us still working and catering to the boys needs – our eldest son starting school as well in the middle of the tour (that is in October…I am in denial still) and all the financial challenges as well.
Getting Help and Hard Decisions.
For sometime – even before these tours were planned we have been struggling – drowning to use the exact words I often have said to my husband – in the day to day grind of getting the kids ready, double day-care drop off and then the reverse at the end of the day…followed by what I call my ‘second work period’ after dinner. Do not even ask about the housework.
My parents have chosen to not be involved with the children. For nearly five years now I have done this parenting gig without them. Not a single cooked meal, no looking after the boys for an hour, not even a box of nappies. My husband’s parents have done their very best to help but it is not the same – I cannot personally call on them – they also have jobs and are very involved with looking after the boys cousins. We had reached a point where we (as two working parents) just physically could not do anymore or juggle anymore between us.
Setting up these tours really pushed us to start to look at different options for help with the boys. I never thought we would be in a position where daycare was not enough. But we are. In addition, the cost of two in daycare, especially with one still under three has been a huge strain. We have tossed up the idea of having an Au Pair for sometime now. I actively looked at this last year but it was not right. Now with what we are trying to work towards it seemed like a potential option to get more help.
Trying something new is better than staying stuck – so we looked into an Au Pair seriously. Both Dream Au Pair and Au Pair Link I found excellent to work with. Dream Au Pair helped us find someone very quickly and so we took the plunge. To make this work we have had to drop both boys daycare hours right down and to help mediate things financially until Sahan turns three we will finish at his daycare soon. This has one of the hardest choices for me emotionally as he has been there since six weeks of age. They are family. He would need to leave when he turned three (as the daycare only goes to this age) but it has still felt like I was ‘breaking up’ with them and has left me awake at night trying to work through all my feelings and guilt.
New Family Life
Our wonderful Au Pair, Silva, arrived on Friday last week. We are settling into a new family life but it is honestly the best move we could have made. Silva helped me put the boys to bed on the day she arrived and I nearly cried with relief. As my husband often works late with his business I have done the evenings on my own for what feels like ages now. To have help like this and not feel so stretched or pulled at the end of the day was just surreal. Silva will be coming with us on tour which will mean that we can do our presentation and spend time with the boys after. It will also mean with have the help we need come school hours and holidays (an entire new phase of life nearly upon us).
The boys have not been fazed at all – in fact they were so excited about her arriving asking ‘how many sleeps’ until she came for days.
I realise that I will most likely be judged for this choice – but it is nothing new to me. I have been judged heavily for being a working mum and a lot of my decisions around my career pretty much the entire journey.
If there is one thing I have learnt along the motherhood journey so far is that it is ok to get help. It is also ok to pay for help. Having it all does not mean doing it all.
What works for your own family is the most important.
Once in a Life-Time
To us we see this as a tour of a life-time. We may never get a time like this again with the boys. They will soon have sport and friends to be with on the weekend. I want to make this a memorable time – yes it will be a lot of work but it can also be fun and special. Getting help with this when we do not have a lot of family help is right for us.
And so now we are on count down mode – just over six weeks until we kick off. There are still logistics to work out….like what we will do with our fur-baby (little dog) on the weekends away, trying to make sure we have the most cost effective places to stay but I cannot help but be excited. We have worked so hard to make this happen and I just cannot wait to meet families, talk all about starting solids and share my brand new book The Nourished Baby. Tickets have been flying and I have not even paid for any event promotion yet!
(On that note please do not wait to get your tickets as we expect these to sell out well in advance!).
We feel really grateful to have found such a wonderful Au Pair to be part of our family and to help make these tours with our boys possible – I look forward to seeing you all in our beautiful New Zealand cities soon!
Bring on tour time!!
xxx Dr Julie Bhosale
P.S To see when we will be in your city and to book your tickets just click on the link below!