One thing I have to thank my parents for is instilling a hard work ethic. Growing up in small world Tennessee, I wasn't lucky enough to have your typical fast food or other places teenagers get to work close to me. It was at least 15 minutes in either direction to get to something other than a gas station. This made me pretty resourceful when it came to making my own money.
My work ethic
I started out babysitting and cleaning a neighbor's house, using the school bus as a smart way of getting around not having a driver's license. I would ride to the house of whoever I was scheduled to babysit that day and then ride home with my parents on their way home from work. I was never one to stay home and do nothing. I was always busy and on the go.
As I got older, this never changed. If I'm working, I put all my effort into that. If I'm at home with my kiddo, I focus on her. Seeing my parents work hard to provide for us made me who I am. I began working within weeks of graduating high school and never turned back.
Whether I was working retail or in an office, then later on in healthcare, I loved being able to help others with what they needed. This is still how I am today, just with a few changes. With the pandemic beginning, I knew things would change big time for me. Having asthma, diabetes, as well as being immunocompromised scared me. On the first day of the shutdown, I worked inside the local COVID Respiratory Clinic. Quickly I realized my life was going to change.
Working changes with IBS and other conditions
Long story short, I left my job in healthcare to begin working from home. This has been a huge adjustment. I never thought I would enjoy working from home, but I was completely wrong. My whole life, I have been dedicated myself to fixing or helping others however I can. Becoming a work-from-home mom was something I had no idea about going into. Don't get me wrong; I was a stay-at-home mom until my daughter was in school, but as we all know, stay-at-home moms still work.
At first, I felt like I was back to square one as a 15-year-old. I started babysitting again. This was great because I spent tons of time with my niece. That little girl can brighten up anyone's day. With moving back to Illinois, though, things looked different. I was lucky that a close friend had just had a little girl and was looking for childcare. I began keeping E a few months ago, and I feel like I found myself again with those little ones.
If you had told me 20 years ago that I would be back to babysitting, I would have laughed at you. This proved to me though sometimes, even as teenagers, we may have things more figured out than we give ourselves credit for. I wouldn't change being a work-from-home mom for anything. Being able to pick my daughter up daily and watching little ones grow up in my care has given me a brighter outlook on life. If I gained nothing else from this pandemic, at least I realized childcare was the place I was meant to be working.
Did the pandemic change your way of working?
Do you have difficulties with setting boundaries and saying no?