I’m seriously discouraged.
I’ve been looking for a job, let’s just say for a while. I’m not looking for pity. What I am looking for is apparently, very hard to come by. I want to get paid writing and I also want to be there for my children. I want to work whenever I feel inspired. I hate the idea of a time clock to punch in/out.
In fact, that’s the idea. I want to work for myself. I want to figure out how to make money doing what I love. I know, not a unique idea, but I feel like I’m on the verge of making it happen. I love writing. I embrace social media. I enjoy identifying content of interest and producing it for my readers. I’m very curious and stay informed.
I’m also a mom of two young ladies. It’s important to me that I’m there for them. So, I want a flexible schedule. I’ve never been a 9-5’er. I used to work weekends, holidays, second shift, you name it. But, I’ve never worked a so-called ‘day job’ in my life. However, I’m open to it!
I have a bachelors degree. I’ve not only held down several jobs in the past 15+ years, I’ve been good at them. Most, except for one, (I was laid-off when the TV station stopped producing news) I chose to leave in pursuit of other opportunities. I have had a fantastic career. When my husband and I decided we wanted to have children, I had no intention of staying home full time with them (at times, I had hoped, but we knew we couldn’t afford to) and we agreed I would go back. I instead, worked an earlier shift so I could, A. still earn my paycheck B. spend more time with my daughter. It worked, for a little while, until I got pregnant again. The hours, combined with the desire to spend more time with my toddler and excel at my job, starting eating away at me. At that point, I realized, my heart was at home. That’s where I wanted to be. I remember simply thinking, I’m great at my job, but I don’t love it. I also had a really hard time not seeing my daughter when she woke up in the morning. Being a TV News Producer requires you to be on your game every second, of every day. It’s an intense position that I took very seriously. I thrived on meeting tight deadlines, making last minute decisions and communicating all my last minute changes to my team of co-workers. It was a rush. I wanted, however, to be that good at everything, and I felt like something had to give. I always want to be passionate about what I’m doing. I don’t ever half-ass anything and even though I was unsure of my future in TV News, I never let my work suffer. While on maternity leave, I thought about what would make me happy and what would work for our family. My husband and I had countless conversations on the matter while struggling to get some sleep. We tried to come up with a compromise, but we couldn’t. I was staying home. At the time, I remember feeling a mix of relief and “Oh shit!”. Because, I felt very strongly about wanting to be home with my kids, while knowing it was probably the stupidest financial decision we’ve ever made.
Fast forward to the present day. I am in a position so many parents find themselves in eventually. My children are a little bit older. They are no longer babies who need me every second. I no longer need to be with them every second. I don’t ball my eyes out anymore when I leave them for a couple hours. In fact, I look forward to it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with admitting that both their needs and mine have changed. I find myself needing and wanting more adult conversation. More challenging ways to stimulate my brain. For the life of me, I can’t understand the debate between working parents and stay at home parents. Aren’t we all in this together? Shouldn’t we be supporting whatever decision makes our family happy? And, then, why can’t we change our minds?
I have some steady freelance writing work that I’ve been doing since my youngest was a few months old. Besides earning grocery money, it keeps me in the game. I enjoy it. I get to do it from home. It satisfies me. But I want more. I want to write more, to get out of the house more, to allow someone I trust to watch my daughters when they, gulp, both, go to school in the fall. So, why is it so hard for parents to find flexible work schedules? We’re intelligent, hard-working, smart and masters of multi-tasking. So, employers, I implore you, consider the resumes that have ‘gaps’ in them. We’re better qualified now.