This week on HSHSP: Working While Homeschooling, Interview with Julie Smith Mendez. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
These days there are many, many mothers who are homeschooling and working a paid-job at the same time. Some started out homeschooling and added working as family needs arose. Some were career moms who started homeschooling because of COVID-19 or simply because that was best for their families.
There’s not ONE right way to be a homeschool mom! Working moms can also be happy homeschool moms!
That’s why Vicki asked her friend, Julie Smith Mendez, to join her for a discussion about being an homeschool mom with a career. Julie is a Career Coach and also invests in the homeschool community by supporting moms who are both working a job and working as homeschool moms.
Julie has two homeschoolers: eighth grader and sixth grader. Julie is also a Career Coach (another reason Vicki enjoys chatting with Julie, since Vicki is also a Career Coach).
Because of Julie’s husband’s career, they move every two years, often overseas. Homeschooling presented itself as a great option when her oldest was facing kindergarten.. Homeschooling would require fewer transitions when they had to move mid-year. Nine years later, they are still homeschooling and have found it to be fun and a perfect fit for her family.
Julie became a career coach when they were stuck between assignments for her husband’s work, with the expenses of living in Washington, DC. She had been a career coach before she had her girls, so she found that she could re-engage the career she loved (and could work from home).
At the time, Julie became the only working homeschool mom in her Washington DC homeschool groups. The first couple of years she felt like a unicorn in her homeschool community. It was especially noticeable when she had to start saying to her friends in regards to some homeschool activities, “Sorry, I can’t do that, I have to work.”
However, when they moved to Pennsylvania, they found themselves in a blue-collar community, where most of the homeschool moms worked: gigs, side-incomes, part-time outside the home and business owners. She was excited to be part of the community that was creatively working while homeschooling. She loved *not being the only one*. She loved being part of a community that valued flexibility and resilience of her new homeschooling community.
Now, Julie has found that many homeschool moms are in some manner, bringing in an income. (This is especially true during COVID-19 because many, many American families have suddenly become working homeschool families.)
What are some skills that Julie uses for happy working while homeschooling?
Julie uses the analogy of spinning plates. Julie says that working while homeschooling is like managing those plates: you run from plate to plate and keep them spinning. BUT, you spin one plate at a time!
- The important thing to remember is that this hectic time is temporary. Eventually your homeschoolers graduate, and even before they graduate, they become more and more independent learners, so the plate-spinning job becomes easier over time.
Julie makes a point of self-care (sometimes that simply looks like taking a shower). For Julie, during this time her self-care can look like:
- Learning a new skill that will help with her career.
- Force herself to get adequate sleep. Check out this post on sleep deprivation and homeschooling.
One thing that helps her manage self-care is knowing that her daughters are watching her and learning how to manage adulthood from her habits and routines.
- Julie found she has to live life and treat herself the way she wants her daughters to treat themselves, the way she wants them to accept being treated by others. She and her husband have the saying, “There’s no medals for martyrdom.”
Teach your kids to do chores.
- For instance, Julie’s girls do laundry to learn integrity and attention to detail.)
Remember! Teach your kids by your lifestyle the way you would like them to live their lives. While you will not manage their adult lives, these years are so influential in self-concept and ideals.
Julie has found that she loves homeschooling and working while homeschooling. As the 7Sisters say, “There’s not ONE right way to homeschool!”
Julie began her career coaching career as a young adult in New York. She loved knowing she was helping people get their life needs met. Once the digital world grew, Julie got married, she found that she could carry that career anywhere they traveled for her husband’s work. She helps people with career coaching for everyone’s needs *soup to nut* from best career-fit, job search, resume work, and more.
You can connect with Julie Smith Mendez at:
- Check out Julie’s interview with Vicki
- Working While Homeschooling Podcast
- Working While Homeschooling Facebook Group
Join Vicki and Julie for an encouraging discussion about working while homeschooling! Also, check out another HSHSP interview with our working-mom friend, Stacey Lane Clendaniel.
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