Thursday, April 15, 2010

Challenges of Working Parents

Everyone has challenges, but tonight I'm thinking about the challenges of working parents.  Specifically, the 2 that live in my home.

For many years, we've made various decisions about our family that have allowed us the maximum time together as a family. Those decisions included me staying home and choosing to homeschool to ensure that we were able to do things as a family as Bo's schedule allowed.  There were a couple years that he was working 6 days a week, 15 hours a day - so it was very important that when he had a free hour or two we could spend it as a family.

During the last couple years, I've made a return to income-producing work. At first it was freelance writing from home, which was still possible to work around everyone's schedule. When I returned to the classroom, things got a little more complicated. Thankfully, we found a couple great child care options and worked it out for the 1 - 2 days a week I worked.

Right now, it's becoming much more complicated.  Bo works as an outside salesperson, which means he needs to be available when the customer is available.  It could mean he has a call at 7AM (like tomorrow) or at 6PM (like tonight).  Currently, he has days that have him running from call to call from 7AM until 8 or 9PM.  To further complicate matters, he has a company vehicle.  Since family members cannot ride in company vehicles, he has to drive to child care in one of our vehicles, return home and switch vehicles.

I'm starting to work more often. Depending on which client I'm working with, my day can start anywhere from 7 - 9AM.  My commute time also differs depending on location, which means I must leave home between 45 and 60 minutes before I need to be at work.  On those days that Bo can't drop off, I have to leave even earlier to drop off at child care.

It's difficult not knowing week to week what my schedule will look like, but I do my best to share it with Bo when I know.  Unfortunately, his schedule is even more volatile.  Add in getting the boys to their enrichment program, Nate to speech therapy, overseeing homeschooling, writing, and everything else . . . it gets pretty complicated.  Oh, and did I mention I'm going to be on TV again in a couple weeks?  I'm currently sifting through a ton of PR pitches trying to find the best products to showcase.

Don't misunderstand!  I'm grateful that Bo is busy.  I'm grateful for my teaching opportunities which allow me to continue working part-time outside home. I'm grateful for all the doors that blogging has opened for me. It's just challenging -- some days more than others. 

I'm about to add another level of complexity to all that I do.  But, you'll just have to keep reading to find out what that is.  I'm not quite ready to share it with the Internet. 

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