One of our goals when we moved was to build a livelihood together at the intersection of our skills and passion, expertise and interests. We don't have a specific "career" in mind for either of us. Instead, we envision our work as an ongoing evolution of projects and ideas that support our family.
We wanted to move away from Renee always as homemaker/homeschooler and Damien always as income earner. That model worked for our young family but I've grown, our kids have grown, and we all wanted more freedom to experiment and try new things, Damien included.
As we work our way closer to this dream reality there are bumps in the journey. Big bumps like low bank balances (those always scare me) and little bumps like Damien forgetting to take the cloth bags when he does the grocery shopping.
Our lives are constantly changing and evolving. This used to concern me and it still does some days. "What?! I can't box this thing, put it on the shelf and say 'done'?" I like routines, fixed points of reference and predictability. But I also like the opportunity to try new things, meet new people, and grow. You can't remain where you are in safe, known territory and keep moving forward.
I am growing in new and exciting ways. Our family is growing in new and exciting ways. I'm doing more coaching. It's gotten to the point where I have to schedule this work into my week because of its regularity.
I love talking to you about your homeschool. Sharing resources, listening, offering encouragement and ideas.
And then there are writing ideas to be published. Audio files to edit. And a store to open. Yes, our very own online store. Do go visit today but I will be talking more about that next week. And I have oh so much to share with you.
This is the work we are building while Damien's computer programming still mostly supports our family. And this work, all of our work really, is done together. There are projects and deadlines for our home and projects and deadlines for our income earning work. And when one of us is working on earning an income, the other one steps in to manage our home.
The homeschooling, cooking, shopping, managing the money, (the kids do most of the cleaning and laundry) - taking care of our home and our kids - these are not sideline jobs. These are full time gigs. A gig that used to be exclusively my domain but no longer is.
On one hand this is exhilarating and very validating for me. I always wondered how I would re-enter the "workforce" one day. If my homemaking and child raising skills would have any value beyond the security of our loving home. And who would hire me? Turns out I don't need a company or employer to hire me, I can create my own work and offer my experience directly to people who value my knowledge and skills.
On the other hand this is scary, because although our family still financially depends mostly on Damien's computer programming for various clients, we are starting to depend little by little on my work also. Though we don't call this work mine just like we don't call any of our ventures mine or yours, but ours.
This is our work. And we both depend on each other so very much that neither of us feel we stand-alone or are independent in income-earning projects or home life. For us, this is two becoming one.
So, yes I cringe a little when Damien comes home from grocery shopping carrying a dozen plastic bags, forgetting to take the re-usable bags. Again. (I've started handing him the bags when he leaves the door).
But these are little bumps. We'll find our way.
Because "I'll cook lunch while you edit that audio file", or "I'll take the kids to taekwondo and do the shopping and errands while I'm out so you can do your coaching" feels pretty good to me right now.
It feels like the life we want to live.