Being a mother throws up a lot of different challenges. One of the most difficult to get right however is work! We can easily start to get overwhelmed thinking “Do I need to work?” and “How can I find a job that will work around my family?”. These are just a couple of the questions that we face once we have started a family.
I think for some people, going back to work once their maternity leave has ended is a given. The thought of trying to get by without an extra income, plus an addition to the family just doesn’t seem feasible. Sometimes though, once you start going through the figures of what you will be bringing in to the household, what seemed like a certainty can change quite suddenly.
This was the case with me. When the time came to work out what we would do regarding my job, we soon realised that the drop in wage from full time to part time hours was quite drastic. We then of course had to deduct the cost of commuting and food. But it was the cost of childcare that put a real spanner in the works. We didn’t have any family locally that we could ask to help out by having the baby on the days I would be working, and the cost of childcare completely wiped out any hopes of actually having some money left over from my pay at the end of the month. So, we came to the conclusion that the only option we had was for me to be a ‘stay at home mum’ (much to my delight of course) until Isaac started school. 19 months later however baby Malachi was born, which postponed our plans for a further two years. Personally I feel that this was the best decision for our family. I always wanted to have children and I’m very grateful that I haven’t had to miss a thing during those special first years. Malachi is now due to start school in September 2015, only 8 months away, 🙁 so it is time to start thinking about work again.
What Are My Work Options?
When I started looking into different job options, I must admit that I felt a bit deflated. There just didn’t seem to be much, if anything, that would work around my family. You might think that I’m being picky, that there are loads of jobs to be had; I just need to make a few changes to my family routine to make it work. To be honest you would be right, I am being picky. I understand that everyone has their own views on this subject, and I totally appreciate that we all have different reasons for the decisions we make. Since I’ve been blogging though I’ve tried to write about how I feel about things, my own take on these decisions, and hopefully some people will relate to that. I want to work, but I want my work to fit in around my family so that I can still be with my children as much as possible, rather than my work dictating to me how much time I can spend with my children and when I can spend this time with them.
Is this really possible though? My husband and I quickly realised that if we were going to achieve the kind of work-life balance that is so important to us, then me being employed just wasn’t going to work for us. There just wasn’t a job in my home town that fit in nicely between school hours. So as scary as it can seem, my only option is to become my own boss.
Making it Work for You
My first thought was to go back to doing what I knew, beauty therapy. I was trained at college when I was 16 to be a beauty therapist and for a few years I made some extra money by doing pamper parties. It was really fun going to my family and friends houses and spending the night laughing away whilst earning some money. 🙂
Once I started thinking about it however, I soon realised that even though I would be there to take my children to school and pick them up, my hours would eat away at our family time, working most evenings most weekends. I don’t think that I would find it as fun this time round.
So I had to start thinking, again!
If you have read my blog before, you will know that I started to sew not too long ago, with the help (and a bit of a push) from my lovely mother and mother-in-law. This got me thinking of a new small business idea. The plan is to make bespoke items and sell them online, a bit like a mini boutique. It might be a bit early to call it a boutique right now, but that is the kind of thing I’m going for. 🙂 Sewing can be done as and when I need to do it, it is done from home so I can quickly get to work as soon as I have dropped the kids off at school, and it can just as quickly be put away when I need it to. Perfect!
The likelihood is that I’m not going to be making mega bucks but hopefully it will help me to make just enough money to buy a few extra things for the boys. And you just don’t know what it will turn into with time. It may even turn out to be a nice little business. For now though I will just be happy to be contributing again to the running of the household.
What about you, do you have any plans to make some extra money from home?