Today I’m going to share a little bit about my professional journey since becoming a mother. It is only my experience, and isn’t an attempt to speak for all mothers. We all feel differently!
Before I had my first child, I enjoyed a career in higher education. It was extremely rewarding to work so closely with college students and help them as they discerned their vocational goals. It was very demanding, but I had the time to give to them.
And then Darah was born. I was fortunate to be able to stay home with her for 11 weeks, and then she went to a day care center just across the street from where I worked. I visited her every day at lunch. And I cried on many of those walks to and from my office.
I was really and truly shocked at just how miserable I was.
A series of unfortunate events transpired over the first year of Darah’s life (random blood clot and hospital stay for my husband, interstate wreck for me and Darah, and the loss of a 4 day work week). We decided enough was enough and seized the opportunity for a fresh start in another city. I was going to get to stay at home full-time with my daughter and give her the time and attention she needed.
And after a while, I was really and truly shocked at just how miserable I was.
I was actually happier than when I was working full-time outside of the home, but I was still left feeling a bit empty, and as though certain parts of my brain were no longer being exercised. I also would look at my framed bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and feel pangs of guilt. We spent a small fortune on my brain, and continued to make monthly payments on that investment. I really didn’t like that I wasn’t making any financial contributions to the family. I think many stay-at-home moms struggle with this issue. The work of raising children is perhaps the most crucial work in the entire world, and yet, the pay is TERRIBLE (aside from those sweet, slobbery kisses, of course).
This is when I decided to get more serious with my blog work, and to start learning all I could about social media marketing so that I could turn a fun hobby into a source of income. While my blog isn’t a big income generator at this point, I am learning new things every day, I am keeping my skill set sharpened and adding new tools to it, and I’m having a really great time. When I do earn money with the blog, it feels SO GOOD! I love being able to help provide for my family while still being able to stay at home with my kids. It definitely takes a lot of discipline and a willingness to work at odd hours (I get up between 4 and 5 am most days to start work), but it is worth it!
I have also recently realized that I’m not so sure that I will ever go back to a traditional work environment. If I’m not able to grow my blog to the point where it can replace a traditional full-time income, I may have to get back in the rat race. But I feel very motivated to keep honing my skills and learning how to work smarter from home. My kids will both be in school all day long in just a few short years, but that doesn’t mean that my work is done as a parent, so I will likely still feel the tug to be at home for quite a few more years.
If you are like me and looking for ways to step out of the 9-5 grind, but also need and/or want to provide financially for your family, opportunities to work full-time or part-time from home are growing! I really love the website working mums, which is a premiere resource for our sisters across the pond. It has a really comprehensive list of LEGITIMATE (that’s the key!) flexible work opportunities.
Even though this site doesn’t list opportunities to work from home in the states, it does contain some sections that you should peruse if you are seeking a flexible work opportunity. Be sure to read their career advice posts as well as their career toolkit, which can help you put your best foot forward and help you think about all your options as you seek to more seamlessly blend family life with career aspirations. Definitely check them out.
I’d also really love to hear if any of my readers are currently pursuing opportunities that provide more flexibility in your schedules. What kind of work are you doing?
This post brought to you by our friends at http://www.workingmums.co.uk.