It may sound like a bad idea to add another responsibility on top of an already agonizing workload. After all, managing a household is certainly plenty of work. Fortunately, many modern day conveniences allow for a household to still run well without sunup to sundown backbreaking labor. On top of that, many things people consider hobbies can be considered work if you’re good at them. Photography, painting, and writing are all legitimate careers. Is it going to pay your bills? Probably not, however if you enjoy your “work” then any money which comes from it is simply a bonus. Instead of a job it’s a break from the monotony.
Is your child able to be taken care of by someone else for the same, or less, money than you would make working full or part time from home? If so you can work from home and be available for any emergencies which might come up. For example, my son’s feeding tube is the only thing a babysitter would encounter over an eight hour period. With a weeks worth of training, someone could easily learn to do that.
Working from home allows you to take all of the emergencies off the table. As an example, it prevents a sitter from needing to learn how to replace my son’s feeding tube button if he were to pull it out. I can examine him in the event he spikes a fever to determine whether he’s sick or if it’s part of his typical behavior. It’s rare that he gets hungry for additional food, but when he does I’ll be able to tell. That’s not something you can figure out over the phone.
For now Dad and Grandma are the only ones watching our son and Grandma only for short periods. We still have one more set of tests to run to determine if his immune system is healthy enough to be in a group setting. If it’s medically safe, I look forward to checking if any of the nearby daycares will take him. If it’s not, we’ll find someone to come to our home. It’ll give me a chance to have a break from caregiving and allow our son to become familiar with being taken care of by someone besides Mom. If it’s medically safe, he’ll also be able to make some new friends his own size!
Remember the most important part. You must enjoy your job for this to add value to your life and provide a much-needed break. If you don’t enjoy working, then it’s just another burden to bear and none of us need any more of those. When you come back to your charge you’ll be refreshed and ready to put your full energy into their caregiving. You may even think of some ways to improve your child’s care. It really is amazing what giving your mind a break from a repetitive task can do for both creativity and your wellbeing.
If you already have a job you dislike, it’s worth looking for a new one. Even if the search is unsuccessful you’ll feel empowered by taking action to change the situation. It’s also possible you might find something that’s a much better fit for you and your family.
I often tell John that I would love a job outside of the home. I would be viewed as a valuable part of society, vs. a leach. I have a love hate relationship with staying at home. My MIL needs me here, my kids value my availability to take them anywhere at any time. I just wish my other half, and the rest of society viewed me in a better light. I suppose part of that has to do with my own feelings as well…
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First and foremost, you’re not a leech. I’m not sure why we, as a society, don’t value caretakers more. Most people need one at some point in their lives. The cost of hiring someone to do it is frequently more than someone working full time can afford. Doing it for “free” needs to be valued just as highly as if you were being hired to be a caregiver for someone else and paid accordingly.
Working external to the home, either from home or in an office, is more about doing something different every once in a while. If you find a job you like its a nice break. Your work is no less valuable because no money is exchanging hands. Preventing an expense is just as helpful to your family’s finances as bringing in additional funds.
I hope you find something that makes you feel better about your role. ❤
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