Life has been a whirlwind since I lost my job in January. I started off looking for traditional jobs, but after the last one did not come together (at the end of April), despite being told that I was a perfect fit both personally and professionally, Clint and I both felt it was time to try a different approach. It was becoming clear that it would be very difficult for me to get hired for a standard job with less than three months out from my due date.
I was also beginning to believe that the traditional job path must not be what God has in mind for me at this time because there were some many opportunities that should have come together and just didn’t. As I continued to pursue these jobs to no avail, I couldn’t help but notice that my new job as a homemaker sure seemed to fit well. Of course, it wasn’t a good fit financially, but it got me to thinking there had to be a way to bring in an income and take care of my family. I don’t mean to suggest that I wasn’t taking care of my family when I was working outside the home, but I was of course more limited in the ways that I could serve them.
So now that we were finally ready to purse alternative jobs, I thought back to all the possibilities that had danced through my head over the past few months, but I wasn’t really sure if any of them were right or where to start. Then one afternoon I was reading an e-book called How to Be a Work-at-Home Mom, and as the author was running through various skills that could be turned into a career opportunity, an idea popped into my head. Perhaps God inspired it because it was never specifically listed in the book. I found myself thinking about how I don’t actually mind doing laundry, am pretty good at it, and can do it while home with my boys. It seemed to me that there could be a lot of people who would benefit from a laundry service, such as someone in a busy season of life, like a new mom.
A quick Google search showed me that I wasn’t the first one to come up with this idea. In fact, there was a company nearby that consisted of a group of women that would pick up laundry, take it back their home to wash/dry/fold it, and then would return it to the customer the next day. As I searched their website, I discovered that they didn’t have anyone in my area yet. I reached out to the company, and after a few days I received a call from their Hiring Manager, which was almost immediately followed by a call from the owner and founder of the company. She and I hit it off so well that we talked for over an hour and a half. Before I knew it I was signing on the dotted line and officially becoming a Laundry Lady.
It is definitely odd, even to me, to go from a National Sales Manager to a Laundry Lady, so I can only imagine how it must seem to other people. There is no fancy title and no big paycheck… just a lot of laundry. The thing is that typical sales jobs generally involve calls, emails, in person meetings, etc. that cannot easily be done with kids underfoot. I considered part-time jobs, but the challenge there is finding one that pays well enough to have a reasonable amount of income leftover after the high costs of child care (unfortunately part time care is not much cheaper than full-time care). I also looked into jobs that had some degree of flexibility, but none of those came together. When you are feeling like what you are really meant to do is to spend the majority of your time caring for your precious little people, your husband and your home, yet you know that you need to bring in an income, you start to think about jobs that you can do while at home with your kids. Suddenly doing laundry for a living starts to make a lot of sense.
Interestingly enough, being a Laundry Lady does tap into my sales skills because I am responsible for building the business in this area. There will be some leads that will come in through the company’s website and Facebook page, but with a little effort on my part, I hope to be able to grow the business more quickly. Some of those things can be done with kids around, and some will involve doing a bit of work during nap time. Of course the main part of the job, laundry, can be done while I’m spending time with my kids. If this job will really allow me to be home with my kids full time and bring in income for my family, that would be amazing! I’m not in a phase in my life where making some sort of status statement with my job is something that is important to me. My ideal job would not require me to downplay the importance of my role as mom and wife, and so far with this job, being a wife and mother is an asset, not a potential liability.
Although I’m really excited about this opportunity, it doesn’t mean that everything is smooth sailing from here. It will be hard to get enough laundry business going to create a solid source of income for my family, especially as I don’t have a lot of time before baby girl arrives. Even then, we will most likely need to find other sources of income to cover the remaining financial needs of our family (we have some ideas about this, but it is all very up in the air at the moment). Under the circumstances though, we don’t have a lot to lose. I figure that even if this job is not a good fit for me, I will have learned more about what will or will not work for us, which will provide us with guidance for our journey. Right now I’m just trying to take it as it comes and do my best to embrace this phase without dwelling too much on the many unknowns of the future.
So wish me luck, and if you happen to know of a person or company who might be interested in a little laundry assistance, feel free to send them my way.
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