Re: question for those parents who work at home
***Would appreciate any stories from parents who made this work (working at home and unschooling) AND had happy kids. And what did your kids do whole you worked to be happy?
And what works for different age groups? I mean, if you give me advice for something that worked for your 9 year old, could this also work for my 4 or 2 year old?***
When Chamille was 4, my husband and I both needed to work. We put her in a part time alternative day care. My husband worked a later shift than me and would take her there in the late morning and I worked an early shift and would pick her up in the early evening. She was usually there for 6 hrs each day. She was very social at 4 and really craved play time with other kids. Although, in my view, it wasn't ideal, she really liked going to that place. Every day she woke up excited to go and every day she was having so much fun that she was reluctant to leave. That lasted a year.
That's what it took for us to get financially stable so that we could bring her back home. I doubt it would have worked great if she'd been miserable there. It took up over a 1/3 of my income to pay for it.
Your kids are young enough that they aren't school age yet, so wherever you take them, school wise, would cost money. You want to unschool, but need to work. You can work really hard to make the living situation happier and work your schedule to fit, or you could take the kids somewhere during the day, pay for someone to watch them while you work. If you can't afford a nanny, how would you afford daycare?
People don't like to talk about bankruptcy, but sometimes it's not a bad thing to do that and change your circumstances. Would it make your life easier and happier? It's not as if you can default on all debt, you will still have some after a bankruptcy. Without going into all the details on this list, think about how much money you need to live and work with less stress and more joy. Imagine what a bankruptcy would do. Weigh the pros and cons.
If the goal is to keep the kids home, look at all the options. What if you guys changed jobs and worked tag team? What if one of you worked out of the home or at night? Don't look at those changes as forever things, think of them as temporary until things are better and easier. Your kids are 2 and 4, they require a LOT of time and energy and that would be true even if you both worked out of the home and put them in daycare.
Where else can you cut expenses? Sell a car? Move somewhere cheaper? Shop every other week? Make big meals and freeze them? Buy all items from the thrift stores? Buy cheaper insurance? Get cheaper phones? Get a Costco membership? Most people have more wiggle room than they think they do.
This helps me, I think of the worst case scenario and then look at what I have instead. It helps me re-frame what I DO have, as abundance. Once I can see the abundance around me, it helps me think less of where I'm lacking.
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