When my first child was born almost five years ago, I was on maternity leave from my full-time office job. A few weeks into my leave, we found out my daughter had a couple of health and immunity issues that would need more of my attention than I could give if we put her into a typical daycare. Along with that, my husband is a firefighter. He works 24-hour shifts at a time, often gets called in to work overtime, has to keep up with his training during his off hours, and goes out on FEMA deployments when needed. Needless to say, our daily schedule is always changing… much like that of many families who have a parent in the military or any other public service field. Saving lives is so important and I love what my husband does, but it is definitely hard with children to work around another full-time office job. We knew that financially, we both needed to work, so it was time to figure out a solution to allow for a bit more flexibility.
Figuring Out How to Be Flexible
I decided to approach the company I worked for about the possibility of telecommuting. I figured if I worked from home only on the days my husband was working, I could be in the office all other days. They agreed, and I was so thankful. Even though I was nervous about telecommuting with a baby at home, I quickly fell in love with the flexibility. It did take some getting used to. I had to commit to my work every day and focus when I needed to. I was able to be at home to help my daughter grow and learn, keeping her away from daycare germs to help her immune system at such a young age, while continuing my career and passion for PR and writing.
Taking Flexibility a Step Further
After telecommuting about twice a week with my daughter and through the birth of my son, I was quickly realizing that I knew what I wanted: a job that allowed me to work entirely from home. A co-worker told me about a site she had used to find freelance work called FlexJobs. I figured it would not hurt to try it out, and when I did, I loved what I saw. The company had the same mindset I had come to after glimpsing how much flexibility had benefited so many aspects of my life.
After reviewing job listings, applying for jobs, and reading the blog on a daily basis, I was hired to work for the company whose mission I thought so highly of.
Flexibility Impacts Health and Wellness
Even though I never had a horribly long commute, not taking the time to drive to and from the office gives you more hours in a day. I am able to take more time for myself. I can actually find time to sit down and read a few chapters of a good book. I love that I have more flexibility to fit exercise into my schedule, because we all know how hard that is to do with young children at home. Little things also make the flexibility worth it. Being able to prepare dinner earlier in the day, or simply starting a load of laundry while I am working makes the evenings a little less rushed. My all-time favorite benefit is that I am able to spend more quality time with my children and my husband, because they are what make it all worth it.
Spreading the Word About Flexibility
In today’s high-tech world, there is no reason that anyone needs to give up a career or family—you can have the best of both worlds if you really want! I was lucky enough to find that and now I am thrilled that I am able to help get the word out about flexibility so others can benefit just as I have. Please join me and support 1 Million for Work Flexibility today!
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