It appears that I’ll be going back to work in the not-too-distant future.
Faced with a significant increase in tuition at the small private school where we send Boy Patriot and Hermione (and next year, Tiger), we have been looking at what to do about schooling next year for our three oldest children.
Without going into too much detail about finances, let us say that under normal circumstances, we’d be comfortable. Mr. P’s salary meets all of our basic requirements with enough room to breathe, and breathe fairly well, at that. There was a time when my income made a huge difference in our financial world, but it’s been a few years since we really needed anything from me to make a big difference in our finances. After the crash of 2008, my freelance commercial work dropped off pretty quickly–I finished out some contracts, but by mid-2009, everything was mostly dried up with just a few trickles of work here and there. By the end of 2009, I was no longer interested in pushing my freelance work for a wide variety of reasons–not the least of which was the fact that I was pursuing my fiction writing career.
In any case, it’s been a few years since I earned much of anything as a freelancer.
But last night, Mr. P and I went out for dinner and had a long talk. In general, we can talk much more efficiently without the input and distraction of four outside voices. We agreed that we essentially have two solutions to our education dilemma: homeschool or private school. Our previous experiences with sending Boy Patriot to traditional public school have been dismal, at best, so traditional public school wasn’t even on the table. We also agreed that of the two remaining options, no matter which one we chose, my life would have to change dramatically. In other words, I’d either have to learn how to homeschool three children of very different educational levels very quickly, or I’d have to go back to work in order for us to afford private school.
I hate to admit how much of a “no-brainer” that choice was.
While it’s no secret at all that I have a severe confidence issue when it comes to writing, that confidence issue pales in comparison to the one I would face were I to undertake the massive homeschooling challenge. And while it pains me to admit this, the truth is that I just like having my kids out of the house for large amounts of time.
There’s something you don’t see on Pinterest.
But I digress.
The point is, it would take me a very short amount of time and a very small amount of capital to reengage in the world of freelance commercial writing.
Still, I was hesitant. The confidence issue, the balance problems, the frustrations of trying to work and be a mom, taxes–all of those things flooded to the surface. Couldn’t I just find a nice, easy office job somewhere? Work as an administrative assistant or receptionist somewhere? Maybe I could find something part-time. Maybe even something flexible or virtual.
So I asked Mr. P flat out what he’d rather I do–find an office job or return to freelancing.
He wants me to return to freelancing.
Now, there are a dozen reasons why, and I won’t rehash them all. He made some good points and had good insights into the advantages of freelancing over some other work option.
But what I heard–and what is so vitally important right now–is that he trusts that I can do this.
It’s not even that he trusts in me in the sense that he has to actually say, “I believe in you” or some kind of falsely sentimental platitude designed specifically to encourage me.
No, his trust transcends such statements. His trust in my abilities reaches to the point where he believes it’s an unspoken, objective, obvious truth that of course I can freelance, so why should he even have to say it?
That kind of trust is water to a thirsty soul.
But so quickly the lies leap to mind:
A better CHRISTIAN mother would homeschool.
Your work was the cause of everything wrong in your home.
You think you can write? You can’t write. There are other people who are far better, and you don’t even have a degree.
You have gaps in your resume now . . . You haven’t done this in so long . . . Who will hire you? The economy is bad . . . No one can afford freelancers . . . Maybe if you prayed harder, better, louder, whatever, God would bless Mr. P’s work more and you wouldn’t need to freelance . . .
I am such a mess.
I put the lies to death. Not everyone is cut out for homeschooling. The house is still messy and the kids still get grumpy and obnoxious, and I haven’t written much of anything in almost two years, so maybe I wasn’t the cause of all the problems in the house. I can write, and write well, and the list of former clients will testify to that truth. No one will care about the gaps in a freelancer’s resume, because that’s what freelancers do–they work for a while and then take time off. And in a poor economy, a lot of businesses prefer a freelancer to a permanent employee.
And as for not praying “hard enough” . . . I don’t know. It’s true that my prayer life could use some improvement, but as to whether it’s influencing God’s blessing on our lives? Who could say? What I do know is that God already has blessed us immensely, and I have no reason or right to ask Him to bless us more abundantly. He has already given us more than we deserve.
So, at Mr. P’s prompting and with his encouragement and blessing, I am, once again, at work.
And so the next phase of the journey begins.
Till next we meet . . .