“Slip, Trip, Stumble, Fall…

Tip the bucket, spill it all.  all-the-world-large

Better luck another day.

All the world goes round this way.”

Every page of Liz Scanlon’s All the World captures all that is pure, simple and earthy-true about the world we share. Playing at the beach. Climbing trees. Good food. Time with family. Day and night. Hot and Cold. Sun and Rain. Every page is beautiful thanks to her precious words and Marla Frazee’s masterful illustrations.

Because I feel like I’ve been stumbling a lot this week, her rainy day lines keep floating through my mind.

Better luck another day. All the world goes round this way.

Such a sweet nurturing message for us all when life doesn’t go the way we’d like.  We all stumble. We all fall. And what feels hard one day won’t the next.

What I desire and keep holding the intention to manifest — is steady, reliable work that will serve my higher good and the good of my family. And — WOW — it has felt like an incredible climb to bring it to life.

Freelancing has always seemed like the ideal way to make a living and maintain work-life balance as a mother. Even prior to meeting my husband, my main motivation for establishing a consulting business was because I knew motherhood was in my future and I though it was a brilliant way to be at home with my future children and work part-time. Prior to having my girls, I had a rocking, thriving, business in which I made great money working part-time.

Now trying to jump start it during a recession has been an ass-kicker.  And now that I’ve got one solid project to keep me busy, I’m learning that freelance work as a Mom can be as stressful as it is convenient if certain operational parameters aren’t in place. (Don’t you love the corporate-speak? Can’t help it….)

In theory, the inherent flexibility provides a truly ideal way for a mother of small children to earn money and maintain connection with her children during the day — something generally impossible when committed to an office outside the home. You make yourself available for phone meetings during the day and then you work to meet deadlines in whatever way works best for you and your family’s schedule.

The catch?

For it to really work for a mother requiring baby-sitting assistance, you’ve got to have a monthly retainer in place with a reasonable time commitment from the client. Ideally six months minimum in my book. With a retainer, you and your client define the general scope of the work you’ll complete and you agree to a set number of hours per week that you will dedicate to various projects, as well as the minimum amount of time you’ll be engaged.

The work that I remain grateful for – is a four week project to rewrite web site copy with undefined hours.  It took me two weeks to get into the rhythm of the work to realize that billing any more than 20 hours per week was unrealistic.  Thank goodness we have a friend helping us on the babysitting front who has been extraordinarily flexible and understanding buy antibiotics online no prescription with me changing up the schedule every other day.

“I think I need help all day tomorrow, does that work for you?”

“What do you think about half days for the next couple of days?”

“How about we try a full day with a break mid-day for me to connect with the girls?”

“Could you stay late today?”

God Bless Molly who always says, “Sure!”

Not only have I been experimenting with the total hours per day that I need in order to get the work completed, I’ve been trying out different ways of breaking up the time each day so that it’s easier on the girls.

Do I break up the day with an hour and half lunch so I can pick up Sadie from school and share lunch and pre-nap snuggles with both girls?  That can be great for all of us — except that the break generally ends up being over two hours by the time I get settled back into the computer.

Do I work mostly straight through with a brief pre-lunch break to nurse and another pre- afternoon nap break to connect with both girls?  This means letting our beloved friend and sitter go at 2:30 and banking on good naps so I can continue working which remains unpredictable every day.

Now – complicate the whole thing with the fact that despite my daily voicemail and email efforts, my client is so knee-deep in work that once I complete a piece of the project, it often takes me two days to receive the next part of my assignment.

On waiting-for-the-call days like this, I can’t let the sitter go — because there’s a chance I might get the call back with new instructions that come with a tight deadline. And then I go the entire day without word.  Last week, I paid our sitter for thirty hours and — all said and done — was able to bill for eight.

At the end of this four week project, we’re likely to pay well over 50 percent of what I earned for baby-sitting.  Still, says Mark, what I am able to keep is better than nothing. True. True.

My hope has been that after completing this project and impressing this company with what I produced, that I might secure ongoing work in the retainer set-up I described above.

This may still be possible. I learned Friday, however, they won’t likely determine whether or not they need ongoing work until later this month — and they definitely won’t have as much work as I seek.


I had to ask our sitter to cut her hours in half for next week and plan to take the following 2 weeks off until I know for sure if I have more work, and how much.

Our girls were just on the verge of getting used to the extended time with someone other than Mama.  After next week, it’s back to Mama 100% of the time and then starting all over again readjusting to our dear sitter (I hope) in April.  No fun.

Should my client come back and say they determined they don’t have budget for any more help, then I’m starting over on the job search. And at risk of losing our dream baby-sitter. Which makes my teeth grind and my face contort and my heart ache just thinking about it.

I prefer to focus my mind on the belief that soon and very soon generating income for our family will happen in a way that occurs to me as effortless.  I choose to trust that everything will work out exactly as it should.

“Hope and peace and love and trust. All the world is all of us.”

Thank you Liz.  And thank you readers who made it all the way through this decidedly poor-me post. I know I’m supposed to be learning something through this process and I will be grateful for that lesson. In the big picture, life is good. Some chapters of life are just tipped buckets for sure!

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2 Responses to ““Slip, Trip, Stumble, Fall…”

  1. Liz in Ink says:

    No, Monica. Thank YOU.
    And have faith that good work is coming.
    All the world goes round this way. It really does…

  2. Leenie says:

    Your “poor me” post is map of my life from the moment I gave birth six years ago. I am convinced it is the most difficult way to work – the distractions, breastfeeding while on conference calls or the little girl crys in the backgroud while you stuggle to find the mute button and, of course, the expense of the babysitter. Having said all of that, I wouldn’t trade any of the difficult moments for anything. I know it is going to work out for you. Sending good vibes for good news. XO

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