Kendi desire to earn extra cash, but still flexibility of being there for children
Early this year, Irene Kendi made a tough decision to quit her job to stay at home with her family. Her job as a banker was a demanding one.
“The pay was low and I worked for long hours. I felt stagnated in my career and I was spending less time with my family, which worried me,” says the mother of one.
Making it work
The desire to pursue a career and make money while still performing her motherly duties led her to starting Jabali imports, an online company, which assists people interested in buying goods for business or personal use. She is also a freelance writer, which she considers a side hustle. Luckily, she had her husband’s support.
“During the low season like now, I put more efforts on my side hustle. When it is high season, I assign other people to handle the extra work, which would sometimes make me stay up late working,” she says.
Presently, more and more stay-at-home mothers are looking for ways through which they can pursue their careers and still raise a family. While there are women who mind being stay-at-home mums for fear of being called lazy, Kendi, like many others who are going for this option, believe that the great sacrifice they are making is worth it if it means being there for their children as they make significant milestones in life.
According to financial expert Anne Wambui Gaitha, CEO and founder, Regal Africa, one of the many fights that couples have in homes involves finances. Earning your own money is vital as it empowers you to make money decisions in the house.
“Having your own cash not only empowers you as a woman, but also makes you feel useful and secures your future just in case of eventualities such as death or divorce,” she says.
For Irene, working from home means she also finds time for herself and the family as her schedule is flexible allowing her to adjust when necessary.
Also, she no longer needs a house help or taking her child to a pricey day care. She takes care of her child herself. This is one bill less.
However, sometimes she gets exhausted, especially when she has a heavy workload. “It’s fun working from home when you are single. You have time to do your job, socialise and have fun. But when you have a family, house chores doubles, you have children to attend to and a husband to care for. It becomes tough when you don’t have a house help. So, working from home becomes a challenge. You sometimes retire to bed late and fatigued and you have to wake up early the followind day,” she explains.
She plans to have an office and employ people who would assist her.
According to Wambui, there are many opportunities available for stay-at-home mums. The thing is find something interesting. For instance, one can make fluffy mats, khaki papers, liquid soap, among others. You may offer babysitting services, be a life coach or be a baker.
And in this digital era, the opportunities are many for stay at home mums. One may be an online writer or blogger as many publications would be interested in learning more about parenting.
“You can also opt to be an online tutor, a graphic or web designer, manage people’s travels as a virtual traveller, a social media consultant. One can also provide beauty styling and hair services to clients, be a massage therapist or a baker,” advises Wambui.
On the cons, gaining weight and sometimes lacking time to visit friends after church are some of the things that Irene grapples with as far as staying at home is concerned. However, she is currently enrolled in a gym and is also finding ways of making time for the ones she loves.
Her advice to other stay-at-home mums is to find something to do and not get comfy. “I believe to earn something, you must work for it. Don’t get into your comfort zone and feel secured in the fact that your husband is working. Get something to do. As a woman learn not to be too dependent,” she advises.