Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Job Offer

Most who know me, know I'm a HUGE advocate for being a stay-at-home-mom.

I feel it's my calling, my role, even my privilege to have such a career.

I love being with our children throughout the day; throughout their childhood.  To be able to mold their values; their worldview; their educational process.  To be the primary influence in their lives.  To direct them in the ways of God.  To attempt to be a good model for their lives.

However, sometimes new opportunities just drop into your lap -- even when you aren't looking for them.  Even when you don't think you necessarily want or need them.  That's what's happened in my life recently.

Over the last 6 months or so I've been given the opportunity to serve our neighbors, our local businesses, even our community in small ways that pulled me OUT of our home once in awhile.

Initially I was helping our neighbor with her cleaning business. She has a lot of local clients that she cleans houses for.  Personal residents to rental properties. There were a few months where she was swamped (yes, she's THAT good at what she does) so she asked if I'd be willing to help her out once in a while.  I graciously agreed.  I was honored to be given this opportunity to assist her.  It resulted in me being away from home a couple hours a day, usually only one day a week, a couple weeks a month, for about 3-4 months.  Not a major change for our crew.  Our routine.  I was still able to do school with the girls in the morning and head out around lunch to clean.  I was always back in plenty of time to prepare dinner and be with the family in the evening.  I'm not even sure they realized I was gone most of the time.  ;-)

Then, as that position was dwindling down, my friend called to ask if I could help out a local guest ranch with laundry duties.  Basically just helping to get laundry 'caught up' from the weekends to start the new week of guests.  I talked to the owners and we figured out a workable plan. I'd come once a week, in the afternoon, and fold laundry for 2-4 hours (whatever was needed to finish up the weekends laundry load).  Again, it was easy to fit around our schedules and school as I would head out in the afternoons and was only gone a few hours once a week.  Still home for dinner and family time.  The girls did realize I was gone for this position as it was consistent, week after week.  The days were flexible making it easy to work around schoolwork, housework, and appointments for the kids.

Recently, the local Post Master suggested I apply for the 'Relief Post Master' position being offered at our local post office.  This position would enable her to occasionally take days off for vacation, personal days, or even sick days.  The position is just as it sounds.  I'd be the 'fill in' gal at the post office on occasion.

I came home and discussed it with Techno.  A similar position had been available not long after we moved here.  We had discussed the possibility of me applying.  At that point in time, it wasn't ideal. I was still needed 100% at home. Selah wasn't yet officially doing school. Trinity was on the cusp of being a strong reader and Charity was just beginning to read independently.  They both still needed a lot of input and guidance from me in their lessons.

We both agreed -- it was NOT the right time.  It was not what God was prompting me toward.

Now?  Things are different.  The older 2 are completely independent and capable of 'filling in the gap' if I need to be gone.  They've handily proved that with the plethora of doctor's appointments and such the last year has brought.  The girls are getting more and more independent.  Trinity and Charity are both strong readers; excelling in all their subjects; capable of completing their seat work with minimal intervention on my part.  Selah is now able to read on her own and is 'on the cusp' of being more independent in her studies as well.  Obviously she still needs instruction from mom, but she can manage to do some seat work on her own.  All three of them are navigating their on-line lessons like pros.

Was it the right time?  Should I apply?

Given the limited hours that I would be expected to work, we decided I should go for it.

I got on-line. Filled out the application.  (Boy was that interesting considering I haven't officially held a job in about 20 years -- other than folding laundry of course.)  My 'work history' was more my 'volunteer' history as they only wanted the last 7 years or so.

I filled out the background check.  Did a pre-employment drug test.  Had an interview.

An interview!

Haven't had one of those officially in 20-25 years - since I was hired for my first several positions out of college.  WOW!  That's a LONG time once written out and thought about.   :-/

I was nervous, but not quite as much as I expected.  A couple times during the interview I felt like that 20 something young woman just starting out in the workforce.  Yet, I also felt calm.  Either way, I was ok with the outcome of this particular adventure.  The stakes weren't quite as high.

I would enjoy helping our community by being an assistant for our current post master, but I'm also content with being at home -- serving my family as I've done the last 20 years.

The interview went well.  It sounded like I 'had the job'.  Even our current post master who sat in on the interview agreed.  When the phone call was over, she looked at me and said, "I think you have the job, don't you?"

A couple days later, the e-mail arrived.  I was offered the job and now had 7 days to accept or decline.

The moment of truth.  Do I go through with it?  Do I take a 'job' outside the home after all these years as a full time-stay-at-home-homechooling-mom???

A little more discussion with Techno and we decided........................................


At max - it'll be 6 hours a week.  Usually on Saturdays - late morning to mid-afternoon.   More likely  only 6-12 hours a month when the official Post Master wants a little breather from her 6 day a week work schedule.  (So she can actually visit family; get away for the weekend; just take a break.)  If she should ever need time off for illness, I can step in and fill the gap at the post office.  There's also the possibility of a week long stint if she ever takes a vacation.  Although, I've never seen her take a vacation since she started this position.  (Of course, she never had a relief post master to fill in for her so....... who knows.)

It's a strange new world to be entering a 'paid job' outside the home again.  I'm blessed to be home with our kids and I wouldn't change that for the world. This small opportunity will allow me to dip my toe in the workforce waters once again, while continuing my chosen career as 'MOMMY' most of the time.  I look forward to being a blessing to our neighbors and getting to know more of the members in our community while manning the post office yet still caring and ministering to my own family at home.

I can't deny that the income from these 'little jobs' has been nice as I've convinced Techno to allow me to expand our mini-mountain-menagerie.  Critters are expensive - in case you didn't know. LOL!

Plus, seeing as how I've been a stay-at-home-mom for so many years, this will help me get closer to the all elusive 'social security retirement benefits' that I currently do not possess enough 'work hours' to receive.  Well, if said benefits are still around come time for me to retire.  :-)

But that's a whole different kind of post that I'm NOT going to attempt.

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