This is my last weekend working at CLC Bookcenter. During the past year, I have worked between 10 to 20 hours a week at night and on Saturdays. Now this season has past, and it is time to return to my homely duties. My main job in life is training my children to become God honoring adults (we personally do this through homeschooling) and running a peaceful household. I may not get many pats on the backs, nor any honorary degrees, but those are just things of this world. They are not to be compared to our heavenly reward or even just the joy one receives from serving God. Oh, and by the way, I do have a concentration in Women's Studies, so do not think I am just dumb conservative being suppressed by men. My "main job" mentioned above is one of ways I think is important to impact the world, and I LOVE my job.
The main reason for me getting a part-time job in the first place was not to go on a family vacation, but to pay bills. The company my husband works for as a software engineer cut all overtime, even on red hot projects like my husbands, which are usually have immunity. My husband applied for many part-time jobs, as well as I. Finally, I got a job first. We had enough for paying our monthly bills, but if something extra, like a car repair or health expense, came up, we did not have the cash ready.
Another big reason was our desire to live without debt except for our mortgage. Our long term goal is to be completely debt free. While we have not reached our short-term goal yet, I can see how much more we have each month when you lower your overhead by paying off debt. We have not started any paperwork yet, but we would love to adopt. By paying off our debts, we will be able to make that financially possible.
The plus side to working was that I no longer felt hopeless and anxious about our finances. While the job did add stress, it was actually less stressful working than not. And believe me, homeschooling is hard enough without adding a job. Just google homeschooling burnout mom and see how many hits you get. Surprisingly, I have found lots of home school moms work part-time. Their families just need that little extra paycheck. Additional bonuses were that I learned a lot to help me grow in my faith because I was working in a Christian bookstore. As well as, improving my time management . I am looking forward to using this on my extra time.
When you tag-team work (sharing caring for the kids with your spouse while the other works), it is important to make a extra conscious effort on your marriage. I must say, we probably talked more often with my job because we would chat in the kitchen when I got home from work. Also, I noticed my husband had a greater appreciation for me being home. This was also true for my kids.
Some people told me that the job was good for me because it would give me a break. Working is not a break. It was nice to talk to other adults, be in an adult environment, but if I want a brake I will do something refreshing or at least lock myself in our bedroom. It was not fun to get behind on housework and homeschooling preparations.
When I took the job, we thought Saturday afternoon and evening would not upset our household that much because we usually had outings or did cleaning projects in the morning. However, I soon found out how physical the job in the bookstore would deplete me so, that I would need Saturday morning to recover from working Friday night. The house has suffered a lot too. I just could not do it all.
Another negative side was that working in retail, I would catch so many viruses - no matter how much hand sanitizer I used. Whether this is from a low immune issue or not, the results are troublesome either way. This is the reason I have quit before reaching our goal, my health has really taken a toll for the hard work. Lots of people work hard, some people just do not have a constitution that can handle it. It is just getting to the point where my paycheck is being handed over for doctor visits and medicine. It makes much more financial sense to stay home, and work at stretching our dollars even more. We have had a very strict budget and have paid cash for everything from the start of our debt free goal, there is no cappuccino habit or eating out a lot. However, I can use the additional time to make improvements, many money saving tactics require time.
Now, I am looking forward to supporting my husband in his career. He works a ten hour day now overtime has been reinstated. That means when he is at home, he needs to rest, recuperate and spend time with the kids. I need to take care of the house so he can keep up with the heavy work load. Houses do not clean themselves, nor do kids - or at least not without heavy training. Not that I am saying stay at home moms do not work hard, especially homeschooling moms. I am saying the situations are different.
Looking Forward . . . Excited about my free time. Hoping to improve my health. Glad to have more family time before the kids grow up and have families of their own, and our sweet, little family times are just memories.
Rosie the Riveter (poster at top-J. Howard Miller's "We Can Do It!", commonly mistaken to be Rosie the Riveter)
Photo is of Ms G. and I at CLC Bookcenter.