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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Managing a Work/Life and Home School Balance.

Broken and disturbed sleep makes mother cranky and Boy intolerable. Every time stepfather goes away on business, Boy’s insomnia increases. I appreciate that it is the changed routine and increased anxiety about stepfather’s safety but gee it’s hard to manage and find balance: to work and to home school when we’ve both had minimal sleep.

On the eve of stepfather’s return, Boy slept well. Maybe the medication is beginning to work or perhaps Boy has some comfort in knowing step dad will be safely home tonight. Regardless, Boy awoke in a happy mood ready to go to the movies and complete his Tuesday movie review. Problem!

I have a mini training booked today for a local foster care agency. Without another adult home to stay with Boy, he has to come to the training on Life Story Work with me. This is not unusual for my children. They have often assisted me in the facilitation of my training programs and they loan real examples of how effective child focused tools are.

Boy has decided that he really does not want to come, he wants to go to the movies: he wants to do his schoolwork just as he is supposed to do. The problem is that the movie he wants to see is on at times overlapping with the mid day training I am facilitating and then again in the late afternoon. Following the training, I have a client: right at the time of the next movie screening. I can’t cancel the training at last minute so what to do???

When we undertook home schooling, we did it because it was the best thing for Boy, not for us. We agreed that Boy’s special needs took priority and that his education was of huge value. I knew that my workload (and income) would be cut by half (we school in the mornings and I see clients in the afternoon).

Going back to these original decisions on why we home school, the answer to “what to do” became very clear. I rescheduled my afternoon client so that I can take Boy to the movies and help him with a movie review. That is my most important job.

I require the income from employment because I carry sexually transmitted debt from a previous marriage. However, as a compromise, I now work part time counseling and consulting from home and I am surrounded by a terrific support network to help with Boy’s needs. On the days when my support network is unavailable, Boy, not work, remains my top priority. Debt will always be there, Boy will not.

My actions have not only prevented a potential Aspergers melt down but have also shown Boy that he has value, worth and that compromise can bring around a win/win situation.

How do you manage to balance home schooling with earning a living?


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...


I read your article on STD--the debt kind, and I can relate. My first marriage finally ended when my then-husband used money from my retirement to upgrade his computer.

Naturally, he got custody of that computer and I got custody of the kids. He did not and still does not work.

I worked as a teacher of science in order to provide my kids and me with a living, and could not have homeschooled. I had the house debt and the car debt. I had the same problem with the credit card that you had.

Fortunately for me, I met my now-husband at synagogue. (We'd actually known each other for a while, but he did not know I was divorced). He was single and a engineer making very good money, so he invested all of that, not having kids.
When we got married, I was not in debt except my car, which we paid off a week before the wedding, and my house which we sold. (We broke even on that deal). I had scrimped for four years to get to that point.

I worked four years after that for us to pay off the new house we bought together. Then, due to the housing market, we sold that house at a profit and completely paid for this new one. So now I don't work at all.

Anyway, I think you made the right decision about the movie--I'd have made the same decision. When I was a single Mom, I sometimes had to make those decisions. Others did not always understand and some responded angrily, but after all, the jobs were always there but the kids grow up.

Megan Bayliss said...

Oh E
thank you so much for your words. They gave me some confort.

I hate having to work to clear my STD but I've got it down from $350,000.00 to around $7,000.000.

I so wanted to begin my new marraige without the STD but it has not transpired.

Normally I would give myself a very hard time about cancelling a client but today, it just had to happen.

Congratulations to you for having cleared all of your past debt.

I am a firm believer in only being able to fully see the sunshine if you've first seen and walked through the dark. I've had the dark and now I want to experience the sunshine with Boy.

You take care.


This blog is no longer kept. I am instead blogging only to Imaginif Child Protection became Serious Business