When Andrew and I learned that I was pregnant, we knew that once the baby comes, things won’t be quite the same as before. I worked full-time at a nearby community college, took part-time college classes in the evenings, and cared for our pets + kept our house clean, clothes washed, and food on the table. I’m not sure how I did it for nearly 2 years with *most* of my sanity intact, but somehow I managed. Until pregnancy. I had
morning around-the-clock sickness that made it almost impossible to function. (At this point I’m semi-functioning but still nauseous.) After barely surviving the workday, I’d come home from work and take a nap. Andy would arrive home, and I’d spend maybe 30 minutes with him before I went to bed. On the weekends, we’d catch up on cleaning and homework and finish our chores just in time for the next week to begin. It was exhausting for both of us, and we both knew that we could not keep up this pace any longer, especially after the baby arrives.
As we looked into childcare options in this tiny, rural town we’re stationed in, we quickly discovered there are minimal childcare opportunities. Since we’re not stationed at an Army post meaning there’s not an on-post CDC nearby, we would be eligible to use military-subsidized childcare fee assistance; unfortunately, the majority of daycares we looked into in our tiny town were unable/unwilling to accept the subsidy. Additionally, we realized that after I returned from maternity leave, I would be left with absolutely no sick or vacation time. When the baby is sick, or the daycare is closed, who would stay home with the baby? Me, because Andy wouldn’t be able to take off. That means I would need to use leave without pay; having used leave without pay this past year for my mom’s hip replacement, it’s not a situation I’d like to be in again.
We prayed and asked God for guidance because we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t really want to give up my income because there’s no guarantee I’d be able to find a job at the next duty station, but I was so sick and exhausted and stressed out with no idea how I could keep going… and somehow add a newborn into the mix in a few months.
The one photo I have from my previous job– setting up snacks for students at the welcome tables on the first day of classes!
At the same time that I was struggling with what to do, I received an email from Instant Teams that a new position that fit my qualifications was available. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Instant Teams, it is a company that helps military spouses find remote employment opportunities. (I met one of the co-founders, Erica, at the 2017 Military Influencer Conference.) After walking through the interview process, I was extended an offer as a part-time Human Resources Support Specialist. Accepting this position was a no-brainer. It’s in my career field. I would be able to set my own hours and work from home– home being wherever the Army sends us, be it a PCS or a TDY or needing to travel to my hometown. I can take (unlimited unpaid) time off whenever I need to. And the hourly pay rate is a substantial increase over the hourly pay of my full-time position, so there isn’t a drastic cut in my take-home pay.
As I was talking over this job change with Andy, we realized that this is the first time I’ve made a job change for myself. Before, I’ve left positions when I was going off to college, graduating from college, moving to get married, or moving when the Army gave us orders. This time, it’s because I knew what was best for myself. I’ve been working in this position for a few weeks now (I actually started while I was finishing my time at my previous employer!) and it’s safe to say this was definitely the right decision for our family. It’s quite a change going from an office job where I interacted face-to-face with numerous people every day to a remote position where my only coworkers are my dogs and cat. It took a big leap of faith to leave the security of my previous job for this one, but I’m excited to see where it leads.