I’ll open with a joke.
A good and God-fearing lady found herself in financial distress.
She decides to pray and says, “God, I need your help, please let me win the lottery.”
When she doesn’t win, she prays again the next week and says, “God, I really need the money, please oh please let me win the lottery.”
Once again, she doesn’t win, and once again she prays, “God, I have always served you faithfully, please tell me why you won’t let me win the lottery?”
Finally, God replies in exasperation, “Lady, help me out here and go buy yourself a ticket!”
That’s totally how I feel sometimes.
I want to trust in God’s plan for my life, but at the same time I know there is some expectation for me to make things happen. I can’t just sit around waiting for luck to befall me – I have to put in some effort. But also, perplexingly, I need to leave it all up to God.
It’s not easy figuring out where that line is.
This is all leading up to finally, finally discussing that huge problem I was having that is now somehow miraculously solved literally 2 weeks before it all exploded.
The problem was childcare – or rather, lack thereof. My sister can no longer care for my children post-June. I half-heartedly researched daycares many months ago and then decided that the absolute only solution to my problem was that I needed to figure out a way to work from home.
There’s really no reason that I CAN’T work from home. I’m a writer, and 95% of my workday is spent in solitude. As weeks passed, I became more and more resentful that I wasn’t working from home, and that other writers were working from home while I commuted 45 minutes each way to do work that I could just as easily accomplish from my living room.
That’s not to say I asked my current employer if it was an option – for some reason there’s a stigma associated with the practice, and I just got this vibe that it wouldn’t be well-received, even though it was just that – an assumption. Instead, I became obsessed with finding a new job that was remote-based. I suppose if I hadn’t successfully done that, I would have swallowed my pride and had the conversation, though I doubt they would have allowed me to do it five days per week. My current boss telecommutes three days, and I would say that’s their limit. Even that is better than being in the office full-time.
All along I was freelancing for a remote company and months ago I had interviewed for a full-time position with them. I thought that was my ace in the hole – but alas, I didn’t get the job. I got switched to a new team in that company and was busily submitting articles (part of the reason I never blog, because working full time + mom of two + freelancing = zero free time) and hoping another opportunity would present itself.
Weeks went by and my editor let me know that a part-time position on her team was opening up if I was interested. I gave an enthusiastic yes! Then… the waiting started. Each week brought another delay of figuring out details… checking with someone… the hiring process is just longgg and sloooow which of course is standard and not their fault but remember I had a deadline, so… I was in a panic. It got to the point where I’d keep my email tab open all day at work and check it the SECOND a new email came in. I can’t tell you how many times I cursed out Shutterfly for getting my hopes up for absolutely no reason. My stomach was in knots for two solid months.
I kept praying and asking God for the work from home thing to work out. I lined up my little sister Allie as a potential au pair for the summer, too. I figured if I could just get someone to tend to the kids while I worked, it would all be fine. Allie just turned 12… young enough that I don’t feel comfortable leaving her with just Eric (who works from home full time but is often stuck on long conference calls and holed up in the office unavailable) and the kids, but old enough that I know she could be enough help to keep the kiddos occupied while I got some serious writing done.
After many, many weeks and days of having a panic attack every time I got an email, I received word – I was hired part time to work from home! Amazing.
The next hurdle was telling my current employer AND convincing them to let me stay on freelance (since I still need to maintain the same salary, or as close as I can get). Luckily, they agreed to it immediately. Beginning June 5th I will be working part-time for the new company, freelancing for my current company, and at home 100% of the time.
As excited as I am, I’m a little nervous about how it will all work out. I have never done anything like this and will need to keep track of billing my freelance customers, keep track of all my hours for the part time role, and really just stay on top of things. Plus, I’m worried the work will dry up. I’ve always enjoyed the security of working full time and not worrying about that. Then again… no job is guaranteed, as I found out the hard way last November when I got laid off.
I’m very excited to be home more with the kids. I won’t be wasting so many hours sitting in traffic, or so much money on gas. I think it will be busy, and hectic, but I am totally romanticizing how nice it will be to be able to preheat the oven for dinner at 4:30 rather than not even stumbling in the door until 6 (by which point Liam is screaming hungry with no concept of “raw chicken must cook”). Or how about how I can throw in a load of towels at 12 noon on a Wednesday? My world is opening up. Domestic goddesshood, here I come. (HA. HA!)
I’m not naive though… Eric’s biggest complaint about working from home is that he’s always at work. If a client emails or calls him at 7PM, he’s expected to answer, and there’s no leaving work at work when your work is at your house. But I figure it’s a fair tradeoff. Also, my job is less stressful than his. I actually enjoy the articles I’ll be writing for this part time gig – they’re fun and not incredibly difficult to write.
Also, I do need to figure out a long-term solution for when Allie goes back to school in the fall – and I will have three kids, not two. But at least by then I will have figured out a rhythm to the work and will have a better idea what hours need to be covered. For now, I’m trying not to think about it. I’m just grateful it worked out with not a day to spare. (Literally – my sister wanted her last day to be June 6th, and I’m starting this job June 5th. That is an incredible coincidence).
New theme song: We can work from home… wo-ah, wo-ah.
….even though that song is DEFINITELY not about working.