Thursday, April 14, 2011

Here's How I Fell into working Weekends and Why it Saved my Sanity

Here is another GREAT guest post from Katie Kessler-Santos

Here's How I Fell into working Weekends and Why it Saved my Sanity.

I have always wanted to be a mom. I started babysitting as young as anyone would let me, most of the time with my older brother, and had a booming business by the time I was in high school. After I left for college, most of my clients had grown up enough to watch themselves so I started a series of retail jobs that were flexible enough so that I could go to school and work weekends or breaks and summers. After college, I continued at the retail jobs, picked up an extra one and continued studying and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Even taking a full time retail job allowed me to go to school, have insurance and even continue to intern or interview for other positions. I started full time at the "chocolate store" (as my kids call it) in the fall of 2003. By May 2004, just as insurance kicked in (thank God!), I found out I was pregnant.

There was no doubt in my mind that I would stay home with the baby. I wanted 100% to be the care taker and given that what I made at the chocolate store would just about cover day care, it was almost pointless to go back to work. Jack was born in January 2005 (after my water broke while working at the store!) and went back for a couple of shifts during Easter when he was about 3 months old. I was so irritated that I was there and actually had my very first complaint lodged to the manager about me and I didn't go back until a year later when my husband lost his job.

At that point, I had been home, by myself for what seemed like forever. We were sharing a car and I didn't see or talk to other adults for days at a time. When he came home and told me that he lost his job, I immediately got in the car and went back to the chocolate store and asked for whatever hours they had. I was the main bread winner for 3 weeks and my husband stayed home with our son. I was surprised how I was able to jump back into it - and it wasn't because I knew I had to do well so we could continue to pay bills. I enjoyed the social aspect of it. I have always loved the people who I worked with and most of the clientele, but I found that getting out and interacting with new people was really getting me out of a funk that I had apparently been in from being in the social isolation that can be the first year of motherhood.

Pete got a new job just in time for Thanksgiving and I worked my first holiday season since I had Jack and I loved it again. I loved talking to the moms who would come in, talking to the kids (sneaking them chocolate), making new friends with the new staff that had come in (some of whom were actually moms!). After the holidays, they asked me to stay on and as my husband's job had become a Monday through Friday, I offered to work the weekends. I was enjoying getting out of the house and having people use my real name, not just "Mama, mama, mama, mama". Now my husband is able to get a peek into what I do 5 days a week and spend some real quality time with them.

I don't work every weekend and some weeks I don't only work one of the two days. The schedule is flexible enough so that I can request time off and it has always been given (unless its Valentine's day!). This has been a God-send for me as I do tend to go a little stir-crazy and I would highly recommend it to any mom whether you need it financially or not.The extra money provides a small cushion at the end of the month so that we can have a little extra here and there, but what it does for my sanity is worth more than that!

1 comment:

  1. O.k... so how do you guys plan stuff to do all together if you are working every weekend? do you get some days off so that you guys can do stuff all together as a family?

    How do you do it with one car?

    I give you TONS of credit because I can't even get myself to log on to my computer to do my internet consulting work from home most days - although I'm sure if I had to go somewhere for work, it would be easier because I'd have no excuse.

    This post sure makes me miss working a whole lot more:) Thanks for posting!