I have written about my struggle to work versus stay home with my baby boy.
This post is dedicated to those who need to work right now…whether part time or full time, whether by choice or necessity.
I made one change that has really helped my life so much easier.
It may not work for everybody, but it has made the world of difference for me. My hope is that it may help just one other working mom who is at the end of her rope.
I intentionally set out to find work that I could do from home.
I knew I wanted a steady gig, not freelance or contract basis. I knew I wanted to work in my industry. So I researched companies that would allow flexible at-home work.
Out of respect for my company, I have decided not to name them on this blog. But that really doesn’t matter to any of you. There many companies across many different industries that hire work-from-home staff.
I am not an affiliate for any company to tell you this. I am not going to pitch you on some multi-level marketing job where you have to sell stuff to your friends. I am talking about honest to goodness corporate jobs with full benefits. They do exist. And it has made the world of difference for me.
Some ways that this helps:
1. I have completely eliminated commuting time. My commute is the 13 steps I walk down to my home office in my basement. This alone adds at least an hour of time (probably more like 2 hours in my city) for time that I would be sitting in traffic.
It also helps lower what I spend on gas and miles that I put on my car. This means less frequent oil changes, tires last longer, brakes last longer, etc.
2. I eliminated the need for a vast work wardrobe. I have a few things for when I need to travel to corporate headquarters (only once a year so far). This cuts down on the cost of clothing, as well as dry cleaning. My goodness, what I used to spend on dry cleaning was absurd! Especially when I had to wear suits every day!
Also, time getting dressed can be minimized. Most days I do not shower until lunch. And I opt for more of a laid back style (air-dried hair, light make-up). This saves even more time.
I use the extra time in my day for other things like spending time with my son or cooking meals for my family. Things that would be so much more difficult in a traditional work-in-the-office job.
3. I maximize the use of my down time. In an office job, there was often time spent engaging chatty coworkers, going to birthday lunches, baby showers, etc.
Now when I get a free minute, I can do a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, or throw something in the crock pot for dinner. I also use my lunch hour to develop content for this blog…something I would not have time for otherwise.
Sometimes I split my lunch hour: 30 minutes of jogging/walking, followed by a little work, then 30 minutes for shower. I can grab a quick bite to eat at my desk while I get back to work.
4. I maximize the use of vacation and sick time. This was invaluable during my pregnancy. I did not have to be late for work due to battling nausea. After I came back from maternity leave, pumping breastmilk for my son was a non-issue. I could do it right from my desk.
I have not been out sick (for myself) the whole two years I have worked in my job. I’d have to be pretty darn sick to miss work now. Being at home makes it easier to manage.
Also, I can flex my working hours to accommodate doctors appointments and events at my child’s school – all without using valuable vacation (or other paid time off). This is an enormous benefit for me. Sometimes I do my grocery run or other errands during the day. The crowds are lighter, and I can take advantage of having childcare.
There are challenges, as no work situation is perfect. There are times that I feel socially isolated, and I suffer from the occasional case of cabin fever. But for me and my family, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
What about you? I would LOVE to hear from you other busy mamas. Raising little kids is a tough job, no matter what the situation. Do you have any tips for making life easier?
Tell me in the comments.