Last year at this time, my husband and I were scraping by on his small grad assistantship and student loans, relying on credit cards to get us through.  It is a situation that landed us in a great deal of debt that we are currently paying off with gazelle intensity.

The Growth of My Business

Last February, I was delighted when I obtained one staff writing job and one virtual assistant job.  The two jobs together netted me $100, which was something, but not nearly enough to cobble together enough money to supplement my husband’s income.  I worked diligently on my two jobs, but additional work was slow coming.  In March, I had one staff writing job and two virtual assistant jobs.  By April, I had three staff writing jobs and four virtual assistant jobs, and I was finally beginning to have a positive impact on the family finances.

I had no idea how fast word-of-mouth referrals would snowball my business.  Now, I simply have more work than I can handle.  I do my best to squeeze working time in at naptime and at night and all day on Saturday and Sunday, but it is not enough.  For a good month now I have toyed with the decision to hire a babysitter one or two mornings a week to watch the girls for 2.5 hours while I work.

Making the Decision

I am overprotective of my kids and have only left them with my mom and aunt before.  They literally have never had a babysitter.  Yet, if I want to watch my business and income to increase so I can do my part to meet our big, hairy audacious goal, I need more time to work.  As it is now, I feel that I am neglecting my health because I have not found time to exercise or take any “me” time.

I have had a few conversations with Miranda at Planting Money Seeds who is a busy writer around the personal finance blog world.  From our conversations, I know that even though she worked from home since her son was small, she had him go to daycare so that when he was home, she could focus her attention solely on him.

My husband and I finally decided to find a sitter so I could work from home.  I will do my work in another room while a sitter stays with my girls.  The road to finding a babysitter has not been smooth.  I interviewed one person who seemed enthusiastic and took the job, yet when I called her to confirm she was coming the night before she was scheduled, she didn’t return my call.  The next day, she didn’t show up; I have not heard from her since the interview.

This past weekend I interviewed someone who seemed like she would be a great fit for our family.  My oldest daughter, who is quite shy, kept talking about the sitter after our interview.  However, she is a nanny 4 days a week, and the mother just told her she might need her for the 5th day, which means she would not be able to take the job with us.

Just this week I interviewed another babysitter who told me that she really likes to stay in her house, and she loves her mornings, so I would have to pay her quite well for her to want to give up mornings in her house.  I wondered why she interviewed.  Needless to say, she won’t be the babysitter I choose.

I have one more person to interview this week.  I am hoping she works out.

Still, despite the difficult, my husband and I feel this is the best decision.  I can make two to three times more money per hour than I need to pay the babysitter.  Now, we just need to find the right person.

If you work from home, do you feel conflict between caring for your children and your work load?  How do you deal with the feelings?


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