For the last 2 weeks I’ve been thinking of working from home, entrepreneurship/ business and that kind of stuff. OK, let me go back a little. I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, a choice that has raised quite a debate from my friends but that is a topic for another day. Now that I’m married and planning to add to my family (ahem) I’m even more convinced I don’t want an 8-5 job.
One of my very close friends got a baby at the start of this year. After her 3 months leave, she went back to work last month. We met recently and she told how she would quit employment if she could. Then she said, “I’d love to be there for my son, never miss the milestones as he grows. I feel awful being at the mercy of my house-help and my boss.”
As I listened to her I realized I wanted the same thing too. And which mother wouldn’t? No mother wants to come home and find her baby started walking while she was in the office! Plus I have heard terrible stories of house-helps who tell you they’re leaving at 7:00 am just when you’re leaving to go to work. Woe unto you if you have a bad boss. I once had a colleague who brought her baby to work because she had no choice. Sigh.
I would love to be there for my baby’s first word, to teach my children about God and instill good values in them. I do not like the idea of a stranger (house-help) teaching my kids weird values/behavior or worse putting them in front of a TV to pick up whatever is on air as she goes on with her life.
I went to a parenting seminar during FOCUS conference 2011 which was jumping the gun since I wasn’t even married yet 🙂 It’s never too early to start. Yes? Anyway, here is something the speaker (Dr. Mukolwe from Navigators) said that totally changed my thinking.
“No one wants to be a house-girl when they grow up, circumstances force them. They are there because they have to be. You have to remember that to them, that is just a job. That is not their child and so they have no obligation to go beyond duty of feeding and keeping your baby clean. They cannot love that baby the way you do.”
Having said that, I know most women would quit employment in a heartbeat if they had the chance. So, what is stopping them? Money. When you look at your family expenses; mortgages/rent, food, fare/fuel etc you begin to appreciate the fact that you have 2 salaries in the house.
Am not oblivious of the role of money in life. I would love a relatively comfortable life where I have a roof over my head (hopefully not a rented one), I can take my kids to good schools and even go for vacation every now and then. I’m painfully aware that all these things need money and it doesn’t grow on trees (thanks mom for the constant reminder.)
But I have been thinking, do you need to be employed to have money? No. There many people making much more money in freelance work and business than they would be making in employment. Not to mention the flexible working environment.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying women should not work. Even the Proverbs 31 woman was not lazy; actually she is the most hardworking person I’ve read about – merchants came from far away lands to trade with her. What she did however was work around her family. We read about her setting portions for her maid servants and making clothes – I doubt I fall here 🙂 She even buys land – a vineyard to be precise! But note that her household affairs are in order.
Verse 27: She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
It is these thoughts of being there for my kids (and husband 🙂 ) that got me thinking about freelance work and business. I’ve been reading up and doing a lot of research and I will share with you what I learn as time goes by.