On December 31st my husband and I planted our proverbial boot squarely on the backside of 2009 and gladly bid her adieu. The year left us exhausted. We lived through that ever tumultuous first year of marriage (as someone who’s had two separate first years of marriage I feel completely qualified in my “ever-tumultuous” diagnosis…it can’t just be me?). We navigated the unfamiliar territory of making our new blended family as fully functional as possible with former spouses, new spouses, in-laws, out-laws and found creative terms to replace the dreaded “step” moniker. We braced ourselves against the financial decline the year dumped on everyone. We struggled to give my 6 year old son, Owen, a brother or sister and, when those efforts failed, we began the infertility process. All are painful or difficult memories for sure. But what I’ll carry with me most every time I think back on 2009 is the fact that our January and December miscarriages were like two painful and monstrous bookends on a year I could not wait to shelve FOREVER.
In 2010, we have reprioritized. So in the midst of the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression and with nothing more than prayer, a humble savings and a promise from my parents that they will finish off their basement so we will never go homeless (love you both!) I quit my full-time-full-salaried-full-benefits-with-a-big-girl-office-and-even-a-window job. (And yes, every time I read this sentence I have a mini panic attack punctuated by one medium sized dry heave. There, I’m better now.)
Fear aside, I know I’m tired of constantly trying to strike that ever-elusive perfect balance of the working mom between professional success and familial dedication. I’m determined that there has to be a better way for moms to be smart and savvy contributors yet still be present for their families. Hence, the birth of “The Gig Girl”.
For the entire duration of my stay at home tenure, I will explore various “gigs” that will help allow me to perform the only job I truly want – being Owen’s mom (well that and of course, also help me avoid permanent residency in my folks’ cellar). The options seem pretty endless…but are they valid? I might try temping and I will definitely explore the vast and vague “work from home” wasteland that so far seems plagued with fraud and scam (but there has to be some legit opportunities??). Perhaps I will mystery shop (yes, really.), or attempt to delve into the realm of “coupon bliss” I keep hearing about (you know, where you see a stay at home mom buy $250 worth of groceries for a nickel…how does that happen??) I’m even formulating my own Virtual Assistant business plan to help make ends meet.
Most blogs ask for you to “walk with them as they chronicle their journey”. Warning: This is way less of a walk and way more of a unchoreographed cliff dive. (Scary, but even I will admit if you can get past the nausea from the altitude the free fall buzz is kinda nice). So take the leap with me as I journal the trials and tribulations of extending my stay at home mom life expectancy as long as I possibly can all while endeavoring to maintain a modicum of my social sanity. Will this be a success story or a cautionary tale? Who knows? Either way we’re forging ahead on our own terms.