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Work Transition update


miranova

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So, I'm terrible at keeping secrets, it's me that will be quitting my job. I don't use my real name here and never have so I'll ask that if you somehow know who I am in real life that you keep this quiet for a few more months. Thanks. :)

 

I work in education and I am going to finish the school year unless I am offered another position before then. At this point I am only considering online teaching positions. If I do not find one, I will not have a regular W-2 job at all.

 

Reasons are many, but mostly the hours. I do not work for a regular public school system and hence have no contract (no union) and hence my hours, lack of time off, and work expectations are BRUTAL.

 

I miss my old life. I used to be the type of person to have Christmas shopping done by October. Now I am lucky to find 30 minutes to shop for my own children online. I used to read books. I used to have an organized calendar and never missed an appointment. Now I forget things all the time or don't get them done at all. I haven't seen the inside of a bank or dr's office in years because I am always working when they are open. I missed every single one of my 9th grader's track meets. My children are now behind on well visits and even their pre-teen vaccinations. (all the baby ones they got years ago). I can't tell you the number of times we've been out in public when I realize their pants are too short because I haven't had a chance to shop for them. I use every single break from school to either desperately try to catch up or to spend some down time with the kids that we also need and as soon as I feel like I can breathe again, the break is over and I am back to spinning plates. I have about 2 weeks of depression after every school break. It's only getting worse as the kids get older and are involved in more things.

 

I am not a natural stay at home mom. I do like working, but on MY terms. I don't like being tied down to a set schedule and trapped in the same room all day. I like to make decisions, run errands, get things done, make money, etc. I do not like sitting at home cleaning. And our kids are older and all in school so they don't need constant care. So our plan is for me to run the rental business and grow it enough to replace my income and then after that enough for Dh to retire early. It's totally doable, and we have both a long term and short term strategy. I won't bore you with all of the details, but we are ON FIRE to make this work and are getting things done already! We just can't do it all with our current work schedules. When Dh is not working he is doing our personal errands since his schedule is more flexible (but he works just as many hours as me if not more).

 

So we will have a period of transition, but hopefully onward and upward to better things. No risk, no reward.

 

I SHOULD still get paid until the middle of August, so hopefully another 4.5 months of full pay.

 

Questions:

If you transitioned from work to home or work to a business, what are your tips for me, keeping in mind I am sort of domestically challenged and am not doing this in order to clean more often or grow our own food or learn to sew my own clothes (I admire those who do, but it's not me!). It's more a combination of our kids needing one of us more available AND wanting to work the rental business.

 

I need like a super duper master calendar system of some type. With so many kids and Dh traveling, we always have 100 things going on. Are there any really good apps for this? Shareable would be great, so Dh and I can both see and change it.

 

Anything else?

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Google calendars is able to be shared with everyone that is on it. That is what we use for our master plan. My DH and myself can see what is going on by just going on our calendar app. I think it's free, or maybe 99 cents. Check it out for a calendar to help keep everyone in tuned. 

 

For the transition from working mom to stay at home mom, take it one day at a time. You will find that you will be just as busy being a stay at home mom with a side job then you were working your regular job. It's a different busy, so get used to that. You will need to find some outlets for adult interaction. Check for bible studies, or book clubs, or PTA at your kid's schools. 

 

You will be great in this new transition in life. You are going in it fully aware of what you want and why you are doing it. That's half the battle. Good luck in this new adventure. 

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Having been a teacher for many years, I can relate completely to your post.  I "retired" when I had my first baby and at this point, I don't see myself going back to full-time teaching.  The plan right now is to teach preschool when the little one goes to Kindergarten in a year.  I think you have an awesome plan (because knowing you, you have worked out all the details) and kudos to you for actually making the break.  I think you will be much happier.

 

For the calendar, I have a friend who swears by Cozi.

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If I recall correctly, you have a master's degree. For online teaching, are you considering college level as well as secondary?

 

Just might give you some more options, as I often hear of online needs for undergrads.

 

Way to go! You are taking your life back. I find I must do lists when I am off, or things don't get done. I have done some contract work from home, and scheduling things helps so much. It is not a straitjacket, but I do try to honor what is on the list for the day. I do move lower priority things to a later date if needed. I make sure it is not cram-packed.

 

If I don't do this, many times the day just floats away, kind of like money without a budget:)

 

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P.S. I haven't a CLUE as to who you are! Even if I did, your secret is safe here. Don't believe in stealing anyone else's thunder!

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I do have a master's, but it's in a different subject than my certificate. You only qualify for online positions if you have experience teaching the subject you are applying for. So, no college teaching for me, but that's fine. I am going through the very long and frustrating application process for high school online jobs. It may never pan out. Or, they could call me tomorrow. You just never know. But we decided I'm not starting another school year at my current job, so if the online doesn't pan out before August we will consider that a sign that it just isn't the right path for us.

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I dislike schedules as well, though my young kids enjoy them. Also not a natural stay at home mom. What works for me is having a morning and evening routine. I guess I did that while working, too but it helps me to have a semi-clean house and helps me mentally. I form a daily checklist but keep it very loose. I use google calendar for doctor appts(each lid has their own calendar and is shared w dh), house cleaning stuff that is not routine, vehicle registrations, etc.

 

I keep a list of 1 hour or less projects and work on them as I feel up to it. This helps me accomplish something but as it fits in.

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That's great!  It sounds like you have a sound plan.  If the online teaching idea doesn't pan out, have you considered grading standardized tests?  I have a friend who is a certified teacher who does that.  She is busy for a few months out of the year, but she does it from home and can work it around her schedule.

 

I will say that transitioning from working FT to being at home was a piece of cake from me.  Honestly, I quit and jumped right into another routine.  I hope your transition is as easy.  I am now transitioning back to FT with the goal of DH and I retiring early within the net nine years. 

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I SHOULD still get paid until the middle of August, so hopefully another 4.5 months of full pay.

Are they escrowing your pay so that you have a full year of pay?  When I was teaching years and years ago, they would take a set amount out of each check and put it in an escrow account to pay out to me over the summer.  When I left, it was the middle of a school year and all of that money came to me in a lump sum.  I don't know what would have happened if I had left at the end of the year.

 

I highly recommend reading "Say GoodBye to Survival Mode" by Crystal Payne.  She's got great tips figuring out how to get done what you want to get done, etc.  It's not just for SAHMs/WAHMs, but as you transition, it will probably help you figure out what shape your life can take.

 

As for working from home/online teaching postitions...you could also do some tutoring.  My aunt makes more per hour tutoring that she does teaching. 

 

In regards to a calendar system...I just use my outlook calendar, which I then sync with iphone.  I use an app called Week Cal.  Its not sharable, but we don't really need it to be.  DH isn't into scheduling himself lol.  I have heard lots of good things about Cozi, but last time I looked at it, it was like $10, which I didn't want to spend. 

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Yes they spread out our pay so that we get paid all summer. So if I finish the school year I would be entitled to the summer pay. It's not paid vacation, it's money already earned that was just delayed.

 

I still worry that they will try to short me though.

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Yes they spread out our pay so that we get paid all summer. So if I finish the school year I would be entitled to the summer pay. It's not paid vacation, it's money already earned that was just delayed.

 

I still worry that they will try to short me though.

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I had a feeling it was you making the change. You have mentioned it in previous comments that you were dissatisfied with your current job and that you may eventually manage your rentals.

 

Good for you!!! I like the idea of the Google calendars for activities and appointments. I think just having a plan for what you want to accomplish each day/ week will be most helpful. I know my kids, as teens, liked that I was able to be there for them after school and be involved with their activities. Glad I was able to have that time and work schedule to be there.

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Thanks for all of the calendar recommendations! I will be checking them out.

 

I used to make a killing tutoring where I used to live but there isn't a big market here. Here the parents have the expectation that if their kid needs extra help the teacher should provide it after school for free. Not that no one pays a tutor but it's not a big market and it's all nights and weekends.

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As always, I suggest putting your current income into a savings account and not using it except for those things that are required for work (daycare, gasoline, etc...).  Get used to living on less.  Figure out what you are going to have to give up to make this work.

 

I suggest thinking of "staying at home" as a job, and not as a maid.  Your job would be to make each dollar that comes in works as hard as you can make it work before it leaves the household.  
 
Since you mentioned bread, there are all kinds of recipes for "artisan" bread that does not require the 4 hours of care that traditional bread may require.  They are a batter type bread, and take less than 15 minutes to make, plus cooking time.  And are just as tasty.
 
Don't know how popular homeschooling is in your area, but if you can find a group, that might be a source for tutoring/classes during the daytime hours.  In my area we have physical (as in you go to the teacher's house for class) science classes, physics, english, history, writing, and several other online classes offered by "retired" public school teachers offered.
 
I think that maybe your idea about SAHM is fairly outdated, but you'll find out when you actually are one.  =0)
 
I actually like the full sized (like desk sized.... 1.5'x2' or so) calendar on the wall behind the front door.  I have another smaller one in my purse.  But the full sized one lets me look at the month at a glance, and lets everyone add to it as needed.  But I like things that can't be zapped and "lost".  *L*  AND we don't all have those telephones that connect to the internet, so it would be useless for us to have a calendar on it.  The kids have been trained that "If it isn't on the calendar, it doesn't exist."  So they are pretty good at making sure the things they want to do are on the calendar.
 
I would not say that I am as busy as I was when working... but then again, I was a soldier, and I don't think many jobs are as busy as that!  *L*..... BUT it's not all drudgery and toil now either.  I am not Cinderella, and don't try to be, I'm too busy doing other things.  After you figure out your schedule (and there will be one...looser than now, but a schedule) if you have free time, you can always volunteer.  =0)
 
Good luck!
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I didn't mean to imply that all stay at home moms do is clean. :) I actually have been one before, when my kids were very little. At that time my ex had very specific expectations that definitely included more cleaning than I have ever wanted to do in my lifetime. I didn't meet his expectations. :) So maybe I was projecting some of that. :)

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Just found out my son now needs $3k of orthodontic work (not braces yet...those come later). My dental only pays up to $1000 for orthodontics but at least we will get that benefit before I quit! Glad we figured this out now and not 6 months from now.

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I just wanted to say that I think this is great that you are doing this while your kids are older. They need supervision and attention and making yourself more available for them is awesome.

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You will save money just by being at home though. Lots of conveniences you've had to pay for you can now avoid when you choose. Like last minute shopping and possibly overpaying, or eating out, or keeping up the pool and cleaning the house, not all day, use flylady and get your kids involved. And dont forget about all those taxes you pay on your income. :-)

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I was pretty sure it was you too, based on some of your previous posts. I'm a WAHM, though I do go out to a client one day per week. I have a wall calendar that the family references, then just my own personal daytimer to keep track of life. My basis does have specific deadlines so once a month I write out what I need to accomplish for the month and the deadlines, then usually once per week I break down my goals for the work with a goal day to focus on it. Works for me. You will do great and find what works for you very quickly I'm sure!

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Ok, we have a shared google calendar set up that synchs to our phones. I think this will work out well for us! I tried to do a yahoo calendar for awhile but we had to "invite" each other to things back and forth and every time we did it would be off by an hour for the other person. We actually took screen shots and sent it to yahoo and they couldn't figure it out. They literally gave up. LOL. Plus it wouldn't synch to my phone. So now we are trying google. It looks pretty user friendly so far.

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We use Google calendar. I write the meal plan and share that calendar with DH. It's great, syncs everywhere.

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Congratulations on making the decision to transition from your current work (which is stressing you) to work that you can enjoy. I am going through a similar transition where I will be moving from one job (outside the home) to another one in June that is work from home (but still working for a company as an employee with benefits). I'm looking forward to the transition because I don't have to purchase clothing to meet a "dress code". In the past, my husband and I were laid off so we had a year of working from home where I was bringing in clients and doing the work as a virtual assistant owning my own business. I wouldn't do that again (wearing all the hats was tiring!). I found that discipline in my daily routine was important.

 

"Dressing to shoes" as Flylady would say is also important so that you have that mental "I'm working now" mindset when you are fully dressed and able to leave the house on a moment's notice if needed. I'm glad that you have the option of using the rental income to replace your current income. Hopefully the rental income will grow as you expect it to with hard work and discipline. Regarding calendars, I would suggest Flylady's calendar, because it's big and there's lots of room to write in it.

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