However, for the bulk of the three years I have also constantly battled the the guilt of not working outside of the home. Primarily, I hate that I don't contribute any real income. I also feel like I need/want an additional purpose in life; I don't want to be that mom who is just mom and lose myself in it. And lately, I have begun to wonder if having an outside outlet might be a bit of a relief when it comes to dealing with my boys. I know all jobs are stressful, but most people get to leave work stresses behind. You may come home to additional stresses, but at least they're different stresses. While, for me (and other SAHM), if the boys are being particularly difficult one day, I get no relief from that.
So, I arrive at the same conundrum I have faced for the last three years...what can I possibly do?
When I get down to it, I have three main priorities (listed in their order of importance with 1 and 2 being pretty close, and 3 being a little more distant).
- Time. I still believe very strongly in being a SAHM in that I don't want to sacrifice too much of my time with my boys. And I also hate the idea of sacrificing our very coveted family time when Josh is home with us. Obviously, that doesn't leave many options...work from home possibly being the only, so I have begun to accept that I probably will need to sacrifice some sort of time!
- Money. As I have said, I really hate that I do not contribute to our income. Josh and I have some high goals for the coming years, and I would like to play a part financially in getting us there.
- Passion. No one wants to work...no matter how little...at something they don't enjoy. If I'm going to work, obviously I want it to be at something I enjoy/am good at.
So with those in mind, these are the options I have been throwing around lately:
- Party planning. If you have been a reader here for awhile, you probably know that I do have a party planning business. But as my business picked up, I quickly realized that for that business to be successful I would have to sacrifice a lot of my weekends with my family...no bueno! Plus, to be honest, the money was completely unreliable. Sure, I would make a good amount when I did a party (and if I wanted to really push it, I'm sure I could make enough to not only contribute but really make a sizable income), but I'm not as aggressive with it as I should be and therefore still have very spotty bookings. On the major plus side, I do definitely enjoy it (or at least the planning and decorating). Moving forward, I could continue to use it as a side business/hobby, but I don't think considering it my "job" or expecting to make a reasonable income is realistic.
- Subbing/Preschool Teacher. I have recently begun to substitute at Colton's preschool. Honestly, this was kind of always my back up plan in my head...to one day teach (part-time) at the boys' preschool. But Levi is still only in school two days a week which creates two problems: 1. I only have two days to sub (and considering the pay is pretty measly, it's definitely not going to be a big money-maker), 2. I give up my super, super treasured time alone when I usually get errands done, clean the house, etc. Really, though, I realize that working moms never get alone time, so the pay, or lack thereof, is definitely more of the concern. Again, on the plus side, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed being back in a classroom. Plus, if I want to get a regular position at the school, I have to start with subbing, so I'm thinking it's something I should continue to do.
- Stella and Dot. So this is where the money starts speaking. From what I've read/discussed, an average SD show brings in about $250 in commission. To put it in perspective, that's about 8 days worth of subbing (told you the pay was measly!)! So I would really only have to do a couple shows a month to make an income that I would consider contributing (obviously, over the years we have worked within Josh's income, so an extra $500 a month would actually be pretty big to us at this point!). As another benefit, a lot of the shows are on weeknights. As much as I hate sacrificing my family time, I must admit that weeknights are much easier to do...and sometimes even a welcome change of pace after spending the whole day with the boys by myself. As for enjoying it, I can definitely say that hanging out with a bunch of girls and having a few drinks is among my favorite things to do. So what's the problem? Well, there's the whole sales thing. I'm not a salesperson. I hate pushy sales. And I am certainly not aggressive. Which leads me to question (and Josh to flat out doubt) whether or not I would be successful (even by my relatively low standards). Sure, I have a few close friends and family members that I know would help me out by hosting shows initially, but what about after that? Plus, you do have to make an investment of about $200 to get started, so I don't want to feel like I've wasted that away.
And in all the times I've gone through this in my head, I keep feeling like there's gotta be another option that I haven't yet thought of. What do you think blogland? I'm open to it all...any opinions, advice, suggestions, etc. are not only welcomed, but really hoped for!!! What should I do with my life (at least for the next couple of years when both boys will be in school full-time and then I have more options!!!)?!?!