Today we're doing things a little differently around here. I'm taking the kids to the sitter so I can get some work done. I know it may seem funny to use childcare if the whole point of being a work-at-home mom is that I can actually be at home with my kids, but there's a little more to it than that.
Something I've discovered about doing transcription at home is that I basically set my own salary. The amount I make is simply based on how much work I do. Contracting with more than one company makes it more likely that I can get as much work as I want. So now that we have student loan bills rolling in, it's time to kick things up a notch. If I work at home full-time just one day a week, it could really boost our income. But that means I'm going to have to enlist some help. Contrary to popular belief, you actually can't work at home with your kids under your desk or sitting on your lap. Time to call Susan!
So last week I made the call to our sitter, Susan, who watched our son for 3 years while I was working full-time, and she was more than happy to help out. We've decided to start taking the kids there once a week, so I can get in a full day's worth of work. The key part of this is the bottom line: Can I earn more in one day than I would have to pay our sitter for both kids? Significantly more? For me, the answer is yes.
I'm happy with this arrangement for a few reasons:
- It will make a significant difference in our monthly budget, even after paying the childcare bill each month.
- It's only one day a week, so it's more like a "fun day at Susan's house" for them than another day that mom's "working."
- I will probably be more productive at home, because it's impossible to sit at the computer transcribing all day non-stop. Breaks are necessary to avoid what I call "brain fuzz" or you may call semi-insanity. I'm looking forward to having a more tidy home.
- The kids will have a great time playing with other kids their own age.
- I have a free day each week where I can get other small errands done as well. It also gives me one definite day a week where I can participate in the market research studies I often turn down because I have no one to watch the kids! That's another opportunity to earn more.
The trick is going to be tweaking my workload so I take on the right amount. I'm confident that this is a good choice for us. Not every work-at-home job affords the ability to simply take on more work and make more money, but mine does. And from my experience, hourly jobs often offer lots of over time and pick up shifts if necessary. It sure beats getting a part-time job somewhere.
I'd like to hear from other work-at-home moms. If your children are not school age, do you have any kind of childcare arrangement (or did you when your children were younger)?