Managed to do a hour’s marketing and an hour’s work today on an old customer’s website, otherwise I helped Char with Jay – and wondered how satisfied I was with the overall balance between work and family, and what I would do to change it from now on.
The first question is easily answered: I am not satisfied – 2 hours per day is too little, although that has been the norm very often these past few weeks due to reasons you know by now if you have read the past month or so on The Blog: My mother’s illness, Char’s inflammation of the hand and general baby-chaos.
The second question has, as I believe I have indicated some posts ago, the promise of a more positive answer, although it is still difficult to get that time for work. But Char has accepted, I feel, that her hand is not going to get healed 100 per cent until Jay walks (those were the words of her doctor, by the way), and so I am beginning to accept that, too. (Obviously it has been a process for me, to get to that acceptance, as I don’t want to see her hurt.)
And even though it is still difficult, I think it is time to talk to her about prioritizing more hours for my work – even if some are spent on marketing that leads nowhere. But that will always be. Marketing has to be done to work, and a lot of time is indeed wasted. Anyway, I think Char is ready for that, so I wonder how ready? How many hours does she feel she can be alone with Jay per day and at what cost, physically and financially, if – in the latter case, I don’t have success in using my hours to haul in money? (Which means we will drain her inheritance and my credit – two sides of the same coin, since my credit is already propped up with a loan from Char.)
So far I have just rehashed old problems and challenges, hopefully in a constructive way. It is as much for my own sake to gather my thoughts and get an overview that I feel the need to reiterate where I am. But the key is the positive development, even if the situation is far from optimal: That I feel it is time to prioritize more hours for work and that I feel Char is ready, physically and mentally, to let me do that. Even if the specific number of hours will vary, still, for quite some time – from day to day.
As I have mentioned before, it is not impossible to spend more months – in fact, all the way until Jay starts daycare in April-ish – without me earning a dime and just eating away at my credit. I would still have around 5-6K USD in credit left, by a rough estimate, and I could in principle borrow those money out of Char’s inheritance. Or we can just use her inheritance money (which is still around 60K USD, after she has paid off her loans and spent money on new furniture and Jay).
But even if we are not on the streets in a worst case scenario for many more months, it is obviously not the way to go. I have to work and try to earn money, and she has to try to get by with Jay as long as she is eligible for payments from our system of support for mothers on maternity leave (which Char will be until March next year).
So there can’t be any doubt that this is the way to go, but if I should emphasize some things I have learned while considering the options it will definitely be:
- I should amp up my work hours from now on, in agreement with Char
- I should not stress or fret over what I don’t manage to earn
- I should be ready to take some time again completely off if there is more illness in the family or otherwise – unpredictable events, which is the definition esp. of parenthood.
- I should have faith that eventually I will earn more and better, because although things are slow now I continually grow my customer network
- I should also reaffirm my faith in The Higher and remember how many times things I needed, not necessarily wanted, were seemingly provided for me
- Lastly I should remember above all that we will have money enough until Spring at least, and well into the summer no matter what happens. So short-term panic is really not rational. Much could have changed for the better next summer. Char could have found a job again. I will definitely have a larger customer network and so on.
Sometimes it is good to sum up your strengths before you head back into the ring. In fact, it is always good. Also in the breaks.