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hello, ego boost


Carrie

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I've been down and out with sinus crud (maybe a cold) since Sunday, so I've been particularly unproductive this week. This evening I got a call from the firm I used to contract with, or rather, who I contract with when I'm not off having babies. It seems my productivity, experience, and talent are not easy to replace. (Warning: ego now inflated.)

He wants to know if I want work. He needs help and has been through several employees since I stopped billing hours in July.

Here's the thing, my baby is only (almost) 7 months old. My 3 year old isn't in anything at the moment. I'm developing a social anxiety disorder, I can feel it.

I'm wondering if I should accept some work and either enroll both Littles in MMO 2-3 mornings per week, or hire a mother's helper to come to the house while I work. (Baby still nurses often, but is mobile, so I can't work without some childcare help.)

I love being home, but making extra money and keeping my foot in the door is so tempting. DH isn't crazy about the daycare option due to extra illness. I don't know that I want to wait until all are in public school to ramp back up, either.

We don't needit, but I hate to turn it down. I just don't know how to make it work and not add stress. At the same time, I'm so good at my career, I hate to leave it all behind for SAHM turned retiree.

I need to have a plan for when he calls me back next week.

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Do you have someone in mind to be a mother's helper?  Or is there a college nearby, for example, that has a pool you can draw from (and can get recommendations from professors)?

 

If you plan on going back to work when the kids are in school full time, and you know you're getting antsy, and you won't be working more than you want to right now, then I think it could be a very good idea.

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No, I don't know who I'd get. Hoping for a SAHM in my neighborhood. So that would require some networking. Or a home schooled teen. DH just recommended I do a trial and see what I can get done without childcare. While they play quietly, nap, nights & weekends.

 

I bill $35/hr, but haven't raised my rates in years. Might be able to bill a little more? I don't even know the going rate for helpers. I have never ever paid a sitter!

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The handful of people I know who do contract work usually charge $50+ per hour.  I think it's worth discussing with the employer.

 

As for how much to pay for the helper/babysitter, I think it would depend on where the children are.  If I'm going to watch children in my home, I would expect to be paid more than if I go to the client's house and a parent is actually there.

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Agreed, if they are knocking down your door like this then you can probably charge more than you have been.

 

Payment for a sitter depends on your area.  Around here you could get someone for around minimum wage or a bit more, but in many areas you would need to pay more.  I'd try asking around other parents you know to get an idea of the going rate in your town.

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I used mother's helpers. In the summer, I used local school kids. During the school year, I used someone I found on Care.com (early 20's barely pregnant) until she had her baby. Then I used a neighbor mom for a while which worked well as she was only getting a few hours a week at the school. 

 

I only needed help for a few hours a day through lunch. When the kids went down for naps, I would continue working and then stop when they got up. I did have to put in some hours after they went to bed when I got busy, but heck, I do that now too!

 

It worked really well for us and we were in the same boat. There is a bit more stress now as I am really busy right now and it can get crazy trying to get dinner and homework and activities done but we manage. There are times though that DH says that maybe I should stop working and focus on running the house ( and I kind of agree sometimes) but I like having my foot in the industry and it is allowing us to pay off our debt faster. 

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I totally understand your concerns. I've always enjoyed part time work, so my instinct is to tell you to go for it. If you can, offer up your ideal schedule, it might be easier and cost effective to drop kids off somewhere twice a week at daycare. I found having working days and home days was easier mentally than half-days of each.

 

You could pump for baby, but after 6 months I found my babies had no problem with formula 1-2 times a day twice a week and no issues with continued breastfeeding(all were over a year). At that point they are eating baby food anyway so I consider it an extension of that. Baby's only organic is a reasonable price and they don't advertise in hospitals, which I like.

 

Point is a little time to be "yourself" and earn some income can be valuable. I feel its equally valuable to "stay home" if that is what works for you. I personally feel part time is the best of both worlds but of course it depends on what you see yourself doing in the future.

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If you do evenings/weekends now to get the feel you can hire a local teen for 20 hrs a week or whatever in the summer. S/he can do the pool, parks etc with you so it is more relaxing as well as care for the kids while you work. Then maybe start MMO for the younger two in the fall.

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It occurs to me that I have a new friend, a mom around the corner from me, who is off during the summer. (She just got a job teaching at the elementary school.) I could pay her a bit to watch the kids a few hours.

 

I'm considering getting a baby yard, grab minutes where I can, do a few hours at night, work more on the weekend. By fall, baby will be a year old and old enough for 2x week MMO, 3 year old will be in montessori preschool 5x week, half days.

 

While I like the idea of not working, how awesome would it be to pay off the house on the accelerated schedule? I was just recalculating yesterday that there was no way to hit our ambitious goal. Never say never!

 

I think I'll do it.

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I want to wait until after summer to do (extremely ) part time daycare for baby (MMO), mostly to get her 1 yr. Vaccinations. Give her more time breastfeeding on demand. By 14 mo, she'll be able to go 4 hours without me, no problem with no pumping or supplementation.

 

I'd do it sooner if we needed it, but this money would go straight to the mortgage + associated child care. (Not for our day to day bills, snowball only.)

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