Monday, September 22, 2008

Pioneer spirit still alive in my sistas

I like discovering what women do with their "spare" time. It's nice knowing I have sistas in the same boat as me. I use sistas to mean women, not my literal sisters. Amazingly to me, many women I know also work from home part-time. In my neighborhood,
  • Rina down the street tries putting in four hours a day balancing books for a grocery store in Hawaii.
  • Her sister-in-law Jonelle runs a screen printing business out of her home.
  • Ellen sells insurance from her home.
  • Allyssa around the corner is an editor at a newspaper and does the majority of work from home.
  • Mandy sells cosmetics.
  • Kama runs the books and helps out where she can for her husband's painting and construction business.
  • Lacy makes crafts and sells them at Quilted Bear.
  • Maria helps manage the family's rental properties.

I once had an idea to start a woman's cooperative business, where instead of businesses paying people overseas low wages to do work, they pay some stay-at-home moms low wages to do work. Sometimes women just like a little spending money of their own. And it's not so these women can go buy themselves Manolo shoes. Most women use their money to help ease the family finances. Finally, the family car's oil can be changed when the sticker says it should, the girls can get much needed haircuts, or new clothes for the kids won't break the family bank.

I try squeezing my work in before the kids get up and sprinkle it throughout the day. The problem I've been running up against lately is that Nohea has been getting up with me, crying. So I snuggle her to bed, falling to sleep in the process. I awake at 7:40 AM. My plans are all but ruined. Trying to sneak in five hours of work while they're awake is painful.

"Mom, can you get me a glass of milk?" "Mom, can we go to the park?" "Mom, can you help me do this puzzle, read this book, help me spell?"

Then there's the constant laundry and dishes. It all seems a little much, but it's nothing new for women.

I think of our pioneer ancestors often. What did they do with the children when it was time to do laundry, help on the farm, or cook dinner? I'm sure the children, even very small children, just ran around the neighborhood, because the neighborhood consisted of cousins and little wild animals, and they didn't have the fear of a car running them over or someone kidnapping the kids (but there were rattlesnacks, which still scurry around our neighborhood from time to time).

Even so, if we just budgeted better and didn't eat out as much, I could probably get rid of my part-time job. When the baby wakes early in the morning, I ask myself, "Is this satan tempting me to quit my job and place my family on faulty financial footing, or is this God's way of telling me to quit my job and put my priorities in order?" And then we have the near financial meltdown that occurred last week in this country, and I think, "Maybe it's time I go to full-time and just pay off all our debts in fast order." If only the government would bail us out.


go mom go said...

Wouldn't that be nice to have the government to bail us out every time we had a shopping spree? Your children are better off because they not only see you working, but because you're right there with them. Just being there and not having them in someone elses care is big. I spent time in daycares. Trust me, being with them, whether you're working while they're awake, or not, is time well spent.
You're a GREAT mom!

mariann and Tory said...

I think the devil tries to get us out there in the work force so that he can destroy families faster. I had those same thoughts earlier this year...should I go get a job while the kids are in school? I was thinking this to myself..didn't tell TOry about it. When he did back to school blessings, in my blessing it said that I was to stay home with the girls and that was the most important job I could do. Not to go get a job. Tory didn't even no that I was thinking about going to get a job! Awesome!

Kristi said...

Amen sista. I also work from home and am constantly asking if getting out of debt or being there for my kids is a higher priority. I haven't figured it out yet, if you do please let me know.

Petit Elefant said...

This is the hardest trial I have right now. I don't know that there's one answer for everyone, but for me it's to stay home and figure out what I can financially from there instead of going out into the workforce. It's harder though, working from home. It would be much easier to go out and have someone else take care of my kids for me.

MarySquare said...

I'll chime in as a work from home mom. Truthfully it is easier with just one child -- once you have more, it makes the equation much more difficult.

Sometimes I like to think my situation was different (and it was I think) I had to get a job because I had to pay my own rent and buy food for my kid. I think I was blessed in that I had been able to finish my degree and a job opportunity opened up that would provide ample amount of dough to pay for childcare and pay for rent/food/living, etc. Very very lucky! If I had to do what I did on a smaller wage, life would be so much more depressing. I consider my degree as a form of "emergency preparedness" and it really has been. I've been able to do a lot of good while working, hey, I paid another stay at home mom to watch my child so that she didn't have to get a job outside of the home -- that was a good thing right?

This is long-winded I know -- but now that I'm about to have my second child, I plan on quitting working and staying at home and it scares the heck out of me. I am trying to be faithful and putting my trust in HF that things will be alright. This financial downturn has me super scared because I keep getting tempted to go back to work because "why give up a great job while I've got it?"

I just keep listening to my Dave Ramsey and telling myself that if we live the way we live now, things will be a-okay. It is super scary -- but I'm willing to take the leap of faith and join the ranks of the stay at home moms.

MarySquare said...

Work from home = work outside the home -- sorry for the mix-up

Morkthefied said...

All good stuff, one and all. Mary, Dave Ramsey has brought solace to my soul these last few days of economic turmoil. He's so positive and reassuring that life will not end; that the American economic system is well and good. Mostly, we've been hearing that we're nearing a great depression, but not Dave. Maybe he's wrong, but I'd rather listen to that than the other right now.

Mr. Flynn said...

I noticed post is that this was posted by Fish--at least according to the signature line at the bottom of the post. I never knew he considered himself a "sista". Hey, buddy--more power to ya. If that clay aiken guy can come out of the closet, then you shouldn't have any worries either.