Saturday, April 13, 2013

Working From Home: Dream or Reality?

I hate the idea of someone else raising my kid, and one income isn't enough to make ends meet in the Bay Area (grumbles) especially on a mechanic's salary.

I love my husband and his benefits make it possible for us to do things that we previously couldn't, but let's face it - motorcycle maintenance is a labor of love, and not something that will get us through college, weddings, and retirement (I will say this - it is a stepping stone for greater things that I'm pretty sure will happen in the next 5 years. I'm crossing my fingers).

In any case, writing is wonderful but not a real consistent thing. I made enough to cover costs thus far (if you don't include time...ha!) but nothing over. While I'm gearing up to submit a bunch of shorts to magazines/contests, the pay out for such things is hardly guaranteed.

Meanwhile, time marches on, bringing us closer to the end of the school year and my teaching contract. I love teaching art, but monetary wise it won't make sense to continue next year (I would pay every cent I earned to a babysitter).

So, what does a new mommy do?


Just kidding. Well, I probably will...but seriously, until recently I was flummoxed. I want to spend time with my baby, continue writing, and earn money?! I must be INSANE to think this is possible.


I started applying to teach and evaluate at some online schools this week. This weekend and following week I'm going to look into some additional remote options. I may even go crazy and consider a business (that one scares me the most, but I also find it strangely intriguing and have for yeeeaaars!) or some training to open up some more doors (I love doors).

It appears the second trimester energy has come in full swing because I'm determined.  I won't take no for an answer. Failure is unacceptable as we would literally have to move (and I really don't want to move in my third tri, though I know women who have done it). Of course, if something doesn't materialize, we'll be looking at apartments.

My situation is a common one. I can't help wondering about women with fewer skills and less initiative. What do they do with their babies? How do they live? Do they just hand their babies over to someone to care for, not seeing them for at least 9 hours, 5 days a week? Doesn't it make their hearts ache?

And then of course, I think of the lack of support businesses and governments give to mothers and families. Work place daycare, paid parental leave, and affordable housing in the community where parents work are often fantasies. Commutes take time away from parents and children. Unpaid parental leave means families can't bond when their new baby has arrived without taking serious financial losses. Daycare away from work creates stress and added separation.

Part of me wishes I was an employer so I could show people how it's done. Part of me wishes I was a consultant so I could explain to people the cost-benefit analysis for society and labor productivity gained from instituting these kinds of changes. An iota of me wishes I was a government official making the changes themselves.

While I wait for the U.S. to become enlightened (and my writing to take off) I'll peruse the work-at-home options until the one that works best (badum cha!) comes to me.

Do me a favor and send good thoughts my way. I have until June 13. That's only a couple months away.

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