Mommy Debate: Taking on Extra Work vs. Spending Time with Your Baby

As a mom, I’m a busy lady. Actually, as a person in general I’m a busy lady.

I’ve always been that way though… I’m at my happiest when I have a bunch of stuff going on and I’d probably be totally confused if my brain only had to think about one thing at a time.

Last Fall, when I was dealing with the ‘oh crap I’m losing my job’ drama I started doing freelance on the side. My plan was that if I couldn’t find a job with my growing preggo belly, I’d at least have something to fall back on for a while. It wasn’t a long term plan at the time, because momma needs health insurance. However, one of my possible plans is to go strictly freelance at some point in the future.

I LOVED working on my own terms and kept on a few of my clients when I started my new/current position in December. However, when I popped out my baby everyone pretty much disappeared – which I chalked up to them giving me some space to bond with my mini me.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when I got a call from my favorite freelance client. He had an event about a week away and really needed me to design an event program. I really, really wanted to do the job because I hadn’t used my design muscles in a little while. But, now that I have a baby and a full time job, I had to think of whether it was worth it to take on additional work.

In the pro’s list:

  • My brain was happy about the thought of doing design work again.
  • Extra money is always nice!
  • I truly enjoy working with the client.
  • The quick timing of the project meant that I would be doing the majority of work a couple evenings after my main job with edits over the weekend.

In the con’s list:

  • I was already working away from Jack 3 days a week, sometimes gone from 7:30 am – 10:00 pm.
  •  My husband also works full days and would need to pick up the slack by keeping Jack downstairs and happy while I shut myself in the office to work.
  • Our computer really, really needs an upgrade so it has gotten a bit frustrating to do design work with a bunch of programs open at a time. Of course, this could totally be solved with the extra freelance money being used to buy a new computer…

Also, I feared that passing up on this opportunity would prove to the client that I’ve lost my edge and can’t handle any freelance jobs now that I have a baby.

With all these thoughts in mind, I decided to commit to the project. My husband fully supported me and kept Jack occupied so that I could lock myself away for two evenings after work from about 6pm – midnight. Taking care of the additional edits was a breeze, since we were both home that weekend. The best part was that my client was extremely happy with the results and (even better) pays invoices promptly.

Would I take on extra projects every week?

Probably not.

As much as I loved challenging myself with the work, I was super tired after knocking out the project in addition to my full time job and nighttime feedings.

However, taking on a project every so often reminds me who the old Joules used to be before I had mommy brain and blathered on about how cute my kid is.

So what do you think –knowing how quickly kids grow up would it be worth it to you to take on additional work? As always, feel free to comment here, on my facebook page or tweet me @JoulesDellinger.

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