Those of you who keep up with the survey of the week at the top left hand corner of my sidebar know that this week's question is in regards to your jobs. Do you LOVE your job, HATE your job or TOLERATE your job?
I have two jobs: I'm a stay-at-home-mom which is a job that I really LOVE (most of the time) and I also work part-time out of the home. This is a job that I also would say that I LOVE -- as long as I'm busy (which in the past month or so has unfortunately NOT been the case).
I have been enjoying the balance between being at home and being at work for the most part (I work 40 hours every two weeks). But lately I have really been wishing that I could be a full-time SAHM until the girls start school -- which is really just around the corner; Joelle will start kindergarten next fall...Y-I-K-E-S!! However, with our budget set up the way it is, it's easy for us to see that we need my part-time income.
But God works in mysterious ways and I think He has closed a door for us on purpose. Since I returned to work after my second maternity leave, I have been fortunate to have family members and friends look after my girls. My mom has them every Tuesday (for FREE!!!) and I have had one of my sister-in-laws and my neighbor who were gracious enough to provide help for a fee much lower than daycare prices. This made it comfortable for me to leave the girls and also more affordable. I have appreciated all 3 of them who have aided in my going back to work.
However, after summer is over I am without a babysitter, other than my Mom doing Tuesdays and 2 out of 5 Fridays when Les is off of work from working occasional weekends. At first I was really stressed about this. I knew we couldn't afford to pay daycare prices for my other days, but yet we really needed my part-time income. How was this going to work? And I didn't want to work evenings and weekends because then family time suffers and that's not something I was interested in doing. I have done evenings and weekends before (in between my maternity leaves) and it was really hard.
So after stressing about this and praying about it -- and wondering why God would close this door that had seemed to work so well for us since September -- I got a thought. And the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to be exactly what God was trying to tell me. God was closing the door on our affordable child-care so that he could open the door to let me stay home more with my kids. I sat down and calculated everything out and I was blown away by what I discovered. By me only working every Tuesday and 2 out of 5 Fridays (which works out to 5-6 times a month) and only needing to pay for gas to get there and back, I would only be bringing in about $150 less per month than what I bring in now working 10-11 days per month having to pay for gas and child care. That's working HALF THE TIME and yet bringing home only a small amount less.
I was so blown away and I at first wished that I had known the minimal difference from the beginning; if I had, I would never have decided to work a much as I did. But the more I thought about that I realized God probably shielded me from that knowledge for a reason. See, work has proved to be very therapeutic for me in the past. There was a time not very long ago where I relied on work to get me through the week. I loved my kids dearly -- don't get me wrong -- but I was going through some post-pardum "stuff" and going to work seemed to help me through that.
I also was nervous about bringing this up to my boss. Would he still want to keep me around working only 5-6 days a month? Well, God again was looking out for me when my boss (although disappointed -- he wants me to work FULL TIME not the other way around!!) told me that they would take me in whatever capacity I could give them.
Isn't it amazing how God knows exactly what we need at any given time and how he opens and closes doors accordingly? We may not recognize what He's going at the time, but He always has a reason and a purpose.
And I'm looking forward to spending more time with my girls come September!!
(for the few of you from my work who read this blog, I'd appreciate if you'd keep this confidential for the time being)