Tuesday, August 03, 2010

My Domestic Church: The SAHM/homeschooling mom - how I made it work.

A blast from the past, first posted in October, 2007

The SAHM/homeschooling mom - how I made it work.

When I first became a stay-at-home mom,I also became a work-at-home mom. I am a medical transcriptionist and when my first child was born 18 years ago, I decided that I wanted to be home-based so that I could be there for my child.

I remember my very first day working from home. I blissfully dressed and groomed myself, nursed and changed my precious baby, and then tenderly lay him in a bassinet beside my desk, expecting him to be content and playful for at least two hours while I proceeded to get my work done. That worked for about 15 minutes. It quickly became clear to me that if I was going to get any work done, it was going to have to be done when the baby was napping. And thus for the next three years or so I found myself quickly working during afternoon naps, and after bedtime. Sometimes I dropped into bed around 2:00 a.m. only to have to get up at 7:00 the next day with my son. I kept this system going until the birth of my third child.

I did use babysitters and day care off and on, but I eventually quit using outside help. I figured that the time and money I spent transporting them to and from day care, plus the money I was spending sort of negated what I had set out to accomplish in the first place! So after baby #3, all my kids stayed home with me full time everyday. I required afternoon quiet time, and I still worked in the evening.

More challenges presented themselves when I started to homeschool. Most of the homeschool books that I read suggested that I try to get as much school time in when my younger children were napping. Of course that was my primary working time too! I had to get more inventive.

I tried a lot of different things to keep younger kids occupied. All of them more or less worked for a while, and of course as the kids grew and developed what I could keep them busy with changed too. I found that if they had an opportunity at some time in the morning for rigorous play, they usually napped longer in the afternoon, giving me a chance for a little homeschool and work. I'm not ashamed to say I used a lot of educational videos and television programs and I also let the littlest kids play a lot by themselves in a specific area. Lots of people think it's hard to manage a lot of kids, but the truth is the more kids you have the easier it gets in a way because they can entertain and be companions to each other and mom doesn't have to be everything to them!

When my fourth child was born I had a serendipitous experience that lead me to early morning work hours. I can't remember if I was sick, or Mr. Pete or one of the kids, I just remember that my schedule got all messed up and I found myself typing at 5:00 a.m. before anyone was up - and I liked it! I got tons done and to this day, I get most of my work done in the wee morning hours.

My family's needs and my work load have changed over the years. While I enjoy medical transcription it does take a tremendous amount of concentration in solitude which takes me away from my family even while I am home. To make more income without taking on too much extra transcription work, I branched out in to selling on e-Bay. I could actually include some of my kids with that type of work. The children (especially my daughter) help me scout out deals and take pictures of stuff for e-Bay. It's fun to have them work on this with me.

A friend of mine who sells on e-Bay included her older teenage children by finding an item, and then calling them at home to research how it was selling online. By working together they could determine what was going to be a good resource for them to resell, and what they should just take a pass on.

Recently I have also started blogging for money with PayperPost. I ask my kids and my husband for their advice about which opportunities I should take, and then I run my post by them before I submit it for payment. This gives my older children a chance to think like a writer and how to use their writing skills to get a point across clearly.

All these years later and now with five kids learning at home and a toddler just learning to be a toddler, I still face the challenge of getting everything done. I've learned that I absolutely can't transcribe for 20 hours a week and have a quality of life that makes it worth it to me. But I've learned how to make due with what I have and other ways of benefiting my family that don't require me to be apart from them. Every year our situation changes as do our needs but with a little flexibility and creativity it all works out!


My Domestic Church: The SAHM/homeschooling mom - how I made it work.

Add to Google
Add to Technorati Favorites
Please browse my eBay items! Visit my new Amazon Store!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...