You might not believe me, but I’ve had this idea in my queue of blog post ideas for over a year and a half. Really! I checked!
If I had written this article back then, it would have been a MUCH different article. Back then, I was working, but working solely for myself, and on a much smaller scale.
That all changed last November. Moving to DC put us in a much different financial situation than we had been prepared for, and my working became necessary rather than “extra.” I finally found a contract position where I could do the same work for another organization, with much more regular hours and pay, with little of the marketing/sales stress it takes when trying to drum up your own business.
But we were still homeschooling! What to do then? Working the calendar, I figured I could work in the afternoons and still be able to homeschool in the mornings. It would just take organization on my part. And so, that is what we did.
Boy howdee, did it take some organization! (More on that later.)
Recently I’ve seen a lot of post in homeschooling groups about working while homeschooling. There are lots of questions, lots of ideas and opinions, and just like homeschooling, lots of ways to make it work for you and your family.
I love the work that I do. I really enjoy the company I work with. They are a great organization – encourage telecommuting and working from home, and offer complete flexibility of my schedule. (Oh, and pay pretty well!) I love working with my private clients, dealing with my speaking engagements, getting to wear grown-up clothes every once in a while (even the hose I hate so much), and attending networking events. I love that the work I do – I’m a career coach – means something. It makes a difference in people’s lives, in a very tangible way. I love that my girls see me not just in a “stay at home mom” role, but me working and being successful at it.
I love homeschooling. I love just hanging with my girls and watching the silliness they create with their learning (like running around the house after bathtime “dressed like Pocahontas” – after we learned at our Jamestown field trip – they wore nothing but a loincloth. The girls interpreted that to be a washcloth, and so that’s all they wanted to wear as well! Not exactly what I was hoping they’d remember from that trip, but at least they learned something!). I love the deep discussions they want to have about their Bible lesson, or how my youngest still wants to sit in my lap while we do her reading lesson at my desk. I absolutely love listening to them read! Imagine! My little tiny babies. . . reading!
But I hate having to do both at the same time.
It’s not my ideal. I feel pulled in all directions, and like I do multiple things half-way and nothing really well. And as I get more and more successful at my “job” it’s starting to tug harder and harder at my most limited resource – my time. It is very, very hard to keep the boundaries there firm, especially when work is a financial necessity. There is no “down time.” Ever. I run and run and run like the Energizer Bunny, and then I collapse in bed, only to start again the next day. I start to understand the pull to “just put the kids in public school. Life would be so much easier.” Easier, maybe. Less joyful, definitely.
Even so, this happens to be the season of life I’m in, so I can either whine and moan and complain about it, or I can deal with it and look for the good. And enjoy it all while it lasts.
So, this series will cover some of my personal tips and advice on the HOW to make Homeschooling and Working work for you. Please note that I am not planning on telling you what work to do, or how to find a “work from home” job. If you really want that kind of advice, pay me to help you! 🙂 Besides, each of us has different skills and talents, and your best bet will be to find the work/position that best fits those skills and talents.
Instead, I will be focusing more on things you can do to help keep you from going completely insane in the process of both working and homeschooling. As long as you don’t hold me liable when you do! Cause you will. But then, most people think you were insane for just thinking about homeschooling. So you’re really just continuing further down the path to CrazyTown. And we’ll all be there to welcome you when you arrive and join us!