Time For That

One of the most common questions Betsy and I get asked, “How do you have time for that?” I thought I would do a post or two on our daily life since we both work unconventional jobs. Along with the benefits and drawbacks of self-employment.

Betsy and I are both interpreters. We both work and stay home. There was a brief time before kids that we considered leaving the field of interpreting. Thankfully, that thought was short lived. We are both freelance interpreters, which means we work for a handful of companies, some as “staff” and others as contractors. There is a lot of freedom in creating our own schedule (although limited by when we get requests.) But also some drawbacks to self-employment

After having Noa, I stayed home full time for six months. It was awful. I loved being home with Noa but knew staying home full time was not for me. Around the six month mark we decided we needed to split our schedules between working and staying home. We didn’t want to put Noa, or any of our kids, into daycare. The price is outrageous and we like getting to witness all the milestones. I recognize we are extremely lucky in having this option.

So, what does our day to day life look like? Here’s a peak.

Monday- Work from home for an hour. Paint some furniture. Family lunch. Another job in the afternoon. Betsy is also supposed to work but her job cancelled. Evening as a family.

Tuesday- Two jobs for me. Second one finishes early. Home for entire middle of day. Another job in the evening that overlaps with Betsy. Although hers is cancelled.

Wednesday- Job in community then straight home for a job online. Online job is a no show. Several hours free to hang as a family/paint furniture. Afternoon job for me. Betsy has an evening job that cancels.

Thursday- Morning job at home. Long break. Afternoon job that is a no show. We paint furniture, housework, play outside. Betsy has an evening job that cancels. I pick up a job in the evening.

Friday- Betsy works in the morning. Rushes home. Appointment. Betsy has an evening job.

Saturday- I have a middle of the day job. Pre and post job is family time.

Sunday- Family day.

This isn’t the exact schedule each week but we do a fair amount of evening/weekend jobs. There are also a fair amount of no shows and cancellations thrown in. Oh, and the times we show up and they find out we are not a Spanish interpreter and they ordered the wrong language. Which allows us lots of time to do other things. Like paint furniture. Or read nap while the boys are napping and Noa is at school.

There are times when our schedules overlap due to requests. Luckily, we have family close by that can babysit. We are fortunate that there is a plethora of work in the area and we try to split the schedule as evenly as possible. This makes for much happier moms.

There are TONS of benefits to being self-employed. Flexible schedule, saving money on daycare, lots of family time, getting to take our kids to the doctor, being home when they are sick, unconventional vacations times, etc. However, there are also drawbacks (health insurance issues!!!!!), which I will go into in my next post.



Life With Kids

I don’t typically do list posts but I’ve been itching to do a post and lists are easier than formal paragraphs. So, here goes.

Things I’ve learned about life with kids. In no particular order.

  1. You will be judged on everything. Things you never thought you could possibly be judged on. The less personal you take it, the better.
  2. Find a hobby. Even if you’ve dreamed about being a mother your whole life sometime between four and 14 months postpartum you want to be more than just a mother. Having a hobby helps this feeling of loss.
  3. At some point you will feel like your partner is doing it wrong. Let them do it wrong. You probably can get the baby to stop crying in half the time. But in nine months you will want your partner to be able to get the baby to stop crying without you.
  4. Some days your child has seven hours of screen time. Other days you bake cookies and picnic at the park. Everything in moderation.
  5. Because you are an adult and contributing member of society, your parents (or in-laws) will feel like they did it right. And you are doing it wrong. Regardless of the fact that times have changed and we know more (car seats, sleeping positions, brain development) they will still have an opinion on your parenting.
  6. They will also magically forget that when you were a toddler you were an asshole. They will ask you things like “why won’t he listen to me?” (the 2.5 year old.) “Well, because he is 2.5 and needs to be told things three thousand times.”
  7. It doesn’t matter how much you love your partner before kids, there is a reason marital satisfaction decreases after kids. It’s hard. Sometimes you just co-exist. “That won’t happen to us.” It will. And that’s cool. Just do something about it.
  8. Having your baby “fit into you life” is much easier in theory than reality. Betsy and I wanted to see Chicago on a business trip. We planned to have a day in Chicago before flying out in the evening. Noa was done napping, Atticus would nap in the carrier. Ha, nice try moms. Mid-July, 100+ temps, Lollapalooza, a delayed flight, arrived home at 3AM. Maybe we’re just not that family.
  9. Co-sleeping might not be for everyone, but damn it feels good to snuggle a sleeping child.
  10. The best prep for a child is a Boxer.
  11. Never ask a moms group for parenting advice. Made that mistake once. A mother told me that if I just screamed in my child’s face the behavior would stop. Also, don’t google shit. Trust your gut. Or ask a well trusted friend.
  12. Parenting feels super overrated for the first 6 months.
  13. Your partner will constantly surprise you with random shit they can do, like braid your daughter’s hair.
  14. And finally, if you’re in the pre-kid stage, relish in how good of a parent you are now. We should all get “Best Parent” award because we pop those babies out. Because let’s face it, we’re all way better parents before we had kids.