The Pros and Cons of a Part-time job while Homeschooling your Kids

JMJ 41   *I quit my part-time position at Golden Valley Charter School (a charter that caters to homeschoolers) at the end of the last school year in order to have more time to spend with Sabrina in her senior year.  I also felt that it was time to reconnect on a deeper level with my other two daughters.  I had a choice, to do with less, but not bankrupt our family.  Others, I recognize, don’t have this choice.

Ring the School Bell 41/180 days

But how did I come to this decision?  Obviously the money was real nice.  It came when John was needing a tenant to sublease office space, so the income was able to subsidize expenses.  Being in the grown-up world and connecting with other professionals felt great, and non-messy.  It taught my kids more responsibility at home, as I had to delegate more of what needed to be done.  Looking back, I don’t honestly know if I would do it again, or I would recommend it. (I worked about 20 hours/week for 4 years) But I can say it was a positive learning experience and I learned an immense amount about how other moms homeschool, and what curriculum is trending out there.  And as the kids get older, I may go back to work again.

The reasons I chose to quit:

  1. Yes, I was able to escape the craziness of the “circus” at home for a few hours, but then when I would come back, I felt trampled by the elephants in terms of what I needed to do to maintain the home.  It was all there waiting for me.  I was able to delegate a few things out to my kids, but it didn’t create much of a dent in the overall amount of tasks to accomplish.
  2.  With my spouse, the computer replaced much of our regular conversation and time together.  During the day there were staff meetings, homeschool family visits, and other job obligations that took me away from the house, as well as the job of homeschooling the kids.  The curriculum-ordering for families and follow-up reports were done mainly in the evenings, when John was home.
  3. With the nature of John’s work, he is not able to help around the house.  He leaves in the morning and gets back around 9pm, so support during the day was not realistic.  And there were no available relatives to pitch in with daycare or other help.
  4. There was absolutely no time for me.  I missed the daily exercise walks and time for  reflection.
  5. The kids missed me. I seemed to always be leaving the house for some work-related reason.  The low point was when I forgot and scheduled a family visit on Melissa’s birthday.  It worked out okay.  I took her with me to the family visit, and then we went out to eat, but it definitely wasn’t her idea of an ideal birthday!

Working outside the home works well for some moms.  Everyone has different circumstances. Questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about it:

  1. Do you have a support network?  This is probably the most important question.  Do you have parents or a mom-friend to watch your kids for you?  Do you have a spouse that is available to pick up your kids from events, make dinner, and help around the house while you are at your job?  Are your kids old enough to delegate household chores to, or do you have a maid?
  2. Is this a temporary or long-term position?  Sometimes a sacrifice is worth it, if it is not for the long term.
  3. How badly do you need the money? How much money will you make after expenses like child care?
  4. Every hour you are gone, you are missing an hour of your child’s life.  Are you okay with that?  That is a hard one.  Ideally, a relative or other caring mom could fill your shoes, but nobody truly replaces Mommy, although my own mom comes close. Of course, this question becomes a little easier as your child grows older, and becomes more independent.

I did take a leap of faith and quit after four years with Golden Valley.  I prayed about it and it felt like the right thing to do.  But John didn’t have an office tenant yet and so that expense was still there.  The very next month after I quit,  I felt that God reaffirmed my decision by sending us a tenant, who would remain with us for several years.  What a blessing to our family.

We are ready for the Halloween Party!  Sarah set up a craft station.

On to Day 41…

Tomorrow will be the Halloween party, ready or not. I honestly don’t know if I would have planned a party of this magnitude if I were still working!  Now, I have an embarrassing admission to make.  I am one of those crazy moms who seems to host numerous gatherings every year.  Every time I extend invitations, I secretly hope not everyone will be available to make it in order to make it a little easier on me.  I am a bit ashamed about this fleeting thought, and the truth is everyone adds to the party in a special way, and I am sad to hear when someone can’t make it.  Okay maybe a little teensy weensy bit relieved.

In this case, everyone has RSVP’d a resounding “Yes!” Thirty children and their moms will be here.  Homeschool parties add up very fast in numbers because usually the entire families are invited to the festivities, and in our case we have many families blessed with an abundance of children.

Melissa putting out decorations for the party tomorrow

Under my supervision, Sarah has enthusiastically planned this party from start to finish and is beaming with pride over the experience, which has been a great help to me.

I spent time this evening pouring over Sabrina’s Cal Arts university application, a university dreamed up by Walt Disney himself.  We will go visit this university soon, as it is nearby in proximity.

See you at the party tomorrow!

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette






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