I may be a bit in over my head. I have this tendency to take on more than I can realistically handle and then watch with dismay as I allow balls to drop. Now that I'm a mom, and a stay-at-home mom at that, I'm particularly aware of how much time it takes to care for a baby day and night. Dedicated time to focus on work is in short supply.
I expressed my anxieties in my previous blog entry considering taking a full-time work-from-home position. Great news - I got the job! And I accepted it. But I also misunderstood the position. I'll be an independent contractor, not a full-time employee. Nowhere in my contract does it specify how many hours per week I'm expected to work. I'll be paid a set amount of compensation per month to do the work assigned to me, however many hours that takes.
Before beginning the job, it's difficult to know how many hours of actual work will be involved. In my previous two “full-time” career positions, neither came close to needing 40 hours of work per week. Actual work was usually a few hours per day, plus maybe a meeting or two. On an average week, I would say that 10 to 20 hours of work was required of me. The rest of the time, I was “on call” in my office or at home, and could work on other things. But I can't predict whether this new position will be the same.
Surprise - great news - I accepted another new job yesterday! Two new jobs! So now I'm “beyond full-time,” in a sense. I have a major contract that will be my primary position, and I have a minor contract that will be a side job. The new gig will pay commission on funds I bring in. My hours and schedule are my own to work out.
Within the next two weeks, I'll be starting not one, but two new jobs. My six-month-old has become a fast crawler, is able to stand, and is almost ready to start cruising. She can spend more time in independent play, but she requires more careful watching. I'm keeping my childcare options open. If need be, I'll hire an occasional or regular daytime babysitter or nanny, or I'll look into part-time daycare options. I'd love to be able to handle all motherhood and career responsibilities simultaneously, but that may not be realistic.
My favorite part of this extra income: I get to hire cleaning help! I don't know what it says about me that a cleaning service is at the very top of my “to buy if we have the money” list. I've been wanting a regular housecleaner since before the baby was born. Returning to a dual-income family means we can afford it. How frequently outside help will come is still to be decided. Outside help will lessen the burden on me to clean during the day or in my limited spare time.
An unexpected lifestyle change has been the need for me to begin sleep training the baby. Co-sleeping and bed-sharing saved me so much for the first six months of my daughter's life. I was able to more or less “sleep through” the night every night because the baby would barely wake me when she needed to nurse. Having her right there next to me was a sanity saver. I never felt like a stereotypical sleep deprived mom of an infant.
However, the baby no longer sleeps as long and as well as she used to. I got more uninterrupted sleep with her as a newborn than I do now with her at six months old. I feel like I'm tossing and turning every 30 minutes to nurse her or switch her to the other breast. I get so exhausted that I no longer remember to return her to her crib in the night. I wake up in the morning with her next to me, tired, not even remembering that I had picked her up. Co-sleeping is no longer working for me.
Sunday night, I moved her crib to the nursery and set up the baby monitor. For three nights so far, I've attempted sleep training. I allow for middle-of-the-night feeding because my baby is so small, but I return her to her crib after 10 to 15 minutes. Results have been mixed these past three nights. I'll write a dedicated sleep training update when it's all sorted out.
On top of my own life, my husband's path is still open. He may or may not get a job offer that would require us to move across the country in the next month or two. In addition to starting two new jobs, I may also be planning a move, selling our house, and buying a new one. I really don't know how I'm going to balance those responsibilities, if it happens.
In the times of my life when I think I may have to take on more than I can handle, I give it to God. I trust that it will all happen as it's meant to, and that I'm strong enough to make it through. All in all, these are great problems to have, and I'm very grateful.
|This is how I wrote this blog entry. Thankfully, her nap lasted long enough.|