The topic for this week’s Blog Cruise is “How do you juggle working either in the home or outside the home and homeschooling?” Make sure and visit the Blog Cruise site and read how others juggle this hard topic.
At the present time, I am not working a job outside of being a homeschooling mom. But this has been the first year in about 12 years that I have not had a paying job. This topic has really brought back memories of the past 12 years and some introspective thoughts about them.
When I first started homeschooling, I was working as our church janitor. This was a very easy job to incorporate into our homeschooling. It simply involved cleaning the church once a week on either Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Since I had been doing this job for a few years before starting to homeschool, we continued as we always did. I have to say that, as unglamorous as this job was , I enjoyed it. I could go in on my own time and I could take my family with me. My kids learned early how to vacuum, dust pews, dump trash and clean bathrooms. Because of this job, my kids were very comfortable at church, as well as being very conscious of the mess they made. They knew if they dropped crumbs while eating cookies on Sunday, they would be vacuuming up those same crumbs on Friday.
I had to quit the janitor job when my husband was transferred to another state. About 3 months after we had moved our Pastor called and asked if I could come see him. He said they had noticed that I knew how to use the computer and would I be interested in being an assistant secretary. The duty that my husband had at this base involved him going into the field for four days at a time and then he would be home for about five days. The secretary at the church only needed help about one week a month to get out the newsletter. I was able to schedule when I went into work around my husbands off time. So for about one week a month, Dad would be home doing school with the two oldest and taking care of the two youngest.
This job worked out well for about 3 1/2 years. Then my husband was moved out of the field and into an office job. This made my working harder on me. The church was wonderful and would let me bring my kids and the two older ones would do their schoolwork and the two younger ones would go the the daycare at the church. I eventually found that it was too hard to be gone for a week or more throughout the month.
I ended up quitting my job as secretary and getting an evening/weekend job at Bath and Body Works in the mall. This job was totally different for me. I had never worked retail and was pretty worried about talking to customers and terrified of using the cash register. But I quickly learned.
This retail job was harder than any of the other ones to do while homeschooling. While the hours I worked were outside of “school” hours, I found I was pretty frazzled. My husband was wonderful. He would cook dinner and take care of the kids in the evening. Most nights he would drive me to work and pick me up just so we could have some time together on those days. One of the hardest aspects of this job for me was that I would work until 10:00pm or later, then have to get up with the kids in the morning and be functional to teach them. It was also hard when I would work both Sat. and Sunday afternoon/evenings and had no time to prepare school for the week and no real down time.
So now we have moved to a new base about a year and half ago. I do not have a job here. I have mixed feelings about this. I really enjoy not being rushed or frazzled trying to get things done before I have to go to work. I do not miss the drama that happens at some workplaces. But, I do miss the extra money that my job brought in. I miss being able to afford piano lessons or art lessons for the kids. We don’t do as many trips to places like the children’s museum. But when it really comes down to it, God has been very gracious and has supplied all that we need. We do not have an overabundance, but we do have each other and time together during my two oldest kids teen years.