Giving up a good-paying online job

I resigned from my online job as a Content Marketer for an Australia-based web development company a month ago. When you think about it, nothing about my decision makes sense. The job was a lot of things many Filipino online workers hope for. I was receiving good pay and I had a kind employer who fairly appreciated the efforts I put into the company. So why give up all that, right?

The decision didn’t come easy, honestly. I would look back and remember how hard it was for us financially – the struggles we’ve had for years, the embarrassment of having to explain it to people who can’t just take a no to an invitation, and my side of the family ranting about how I could have been successful at this or that had I listened to them series….it wasn’t easy.

#motherhood #love

A photo posted by May De Jesus-Palacpac (@fullyhousewifed) on

  The truth is, I had been struggling to keep the job on my second year. My 4-year old would try to pry me off my chair (yes, pry is the right term) and I would have to say, “Mommy has to work” and he’d wail, “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” And he would cry. Broke my heart.

Many people who don’t know much about online jobs think we own our time. It doesn’t always work that way. Many of us sign up for full time 8 hour work-at-home jobs on fixed hours because those are the online jobs that are stable and pay well. You either do that or pile yourself up with a lot of clients and wait for a year to breathe. At least that’s how it is for a lot of work-at-home moms I know.

I really don’t appreciate it when people would refer to another online worker and say, “how come this person doesn’t have to do it the way you do…?” and all that, because honestly, you know nothing, Jon Snow. One person’s story does not make it everybody’s story.

What it’s really like in our world

Unlike people with regular jobs, full time WAHMs have to account for all 7 1/2 hours (30-minute lunch breaks) of our work time. If you see us on Facebook, that’s either part of our work or we’re bound to make up for that time later on. And yes, we have meetings, too. Virtual ones. That’s what Skype was originally for.

There are a lot of us working online, and the competition is stiff, especially for writers like me. There are hordes of writers, copy editors, editors and copywriters out there on the web who are actually good at what they do. And we’re not just after “just any job there is available.” What we’re competing for are jobs that require our skills, where we can deliver well in (yes, we care about the results), with clients who are great to work with and good pay.

If that’s the case, then, why resign, right? I had all that.

Setting my priorities straight

I am in no way blaming my children for my career choices, as one Tedx Talks speaker implied, but they are my biggest reason. If there is anything in this world that I am absolutely sure of, it’s that I am a mother and I will not give that up for anything in this world.

I had a great boss who tolerated my kids interrupting our video chats every now and then, but that wasn’t the only extent my kids competed with my work.

 We homeschool them. The past two years had been very slow for all of us and it wasn’t because we were keeping to their pace, it was because they were forced to stay in ours. And while we’re not particularly concerned with academics, we recognize DepEd as  an authority whose requirements we have to meet.

So why not put them in regular schools and then work, right? Sounds practical.   But just like motherhood, if there’s anything that I’m absolutely sure of, it’s that we’re called to homeschool our children for a period of time. And since we’re on the subject of what we’re absolutely sure of, let me add another to our list – Jay’s work, our ministry.

Between Jay and me, if it was a matter of whose job has to go, it has to be mine simply because one of the things we’re absolutely sure of is that we are called where we are. Jay and I, just like any couple, are working on settling some differences and I have personal issues to resolve, but I know in my heart that our calling has not changed.

Family, motherhood, ministry – these are what set my compass. Career? Not so much. Marketing was fun and exciting for a while, but I’m a writer and I don’t mind staying one I gave up my life’s passion a long time ago for another – Family; and as I’ve said to someone who offered to give me the backing I need if I give singing one more go, it’s a dream I can now afford to lose. Add subtitle text

So, is it a success story?

I wish I can say yes, but no. Not yet, anyway. The past two weeks since I’ve transitioned to freelancing had been really difficult, somewhat frustrating and a bit straining for all of us. The good news is that I’ve signed up with one of the top online marketing firms as a freelance writer, doing three articles a week, and I’ve recently landed a project on Upwork helping out a U.S.-based pastor put together his E-books based on his sermons (this one’s a dream project in many ways, by the way).

I’ve also decided to stick to contributing articles for Smart Parenting on a freelance basis. I’m a full time Creative Entrepreneur now, still working on establishing my business and my income. The current pay is definitively less and unstable.

Observing our bunso as he participated in the first #trialclass of #Preschool @ the Fort. He was very happy. A photo posted by May De Jesus-Palacpac (@fullyhousewifed) on

But I can juggle my work hours around and can leave my workstation anytime any my children would ask me to.

I get to accompany my 4-year old to preschool events and play with him more. I can also spend more time reading to him, teaching him, and guiding him. We have a lot to catch up on.

I have been able to resume discussions with my kids regarding the topics they’re studying about and do more stuff with them.

I get to clean the house, cook the meals, fold the clothes, play with the dog, and yell less.

Yell. Less.

I know most people think I’m crazy for quitting my job and the perks seem few and small in comparison, but I know that there are others who understand.

As for a plan, mine is simple: Pray. Be thankful. Give my best in the work that I’ve been given at the moment. Hang tight.


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“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” Colossians 3:23.

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56 Comments

  1. Congratulations, May! Truly the best decision.

    I, on the other hand, will be transitioning to being a WAHM, from an corporate job that I no longer really like. It’s great, for now, because compared to the stress + unpaid work hours + travel time, I get to save a lot for hours staying from home. I thought it would take me longer (we also plan to homeschool our daughter and maybe travel full time). I am very excited for our future although I also have plans of freelancing myself. Maybe one step at a time.

    Cheers to an exciting journey ahead to the both of us! 🙂

  2. What an inspiring entry, May! So happy that you finally made the leap and followed your heart and your calling. With you in prayers for good projects to come, and sharing your joy for the freedom to just be what you are called to be, Fully Housewifed!

  3. “As for a plan, mine is simple: Pray. Be thankful. Give my best in what I’ve been given at the moment. Hang tight.”

    I dunno Mommy May, but those words are just what I needed today. Thank you! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your story. God bless on the great leap! 🙂

  4. I can relate to this, May. I quit my long-term stable online job of almost 4 years for similar reasons. I wanted to do freelance writing work, but God apparently had a different plan for me because I ended up right in a full-time online work with a parenting magazine. Good news is that I have more free time and I finally have an “employed” status. I pray for stable and smooth-sailing seas for you. 🙂

  5. I am crying while reading this. You pretty much covered everything I would say if I were to write my own blog about my online life.

    I love it. I am still yelling- so I guess, I haven’t found my serenity as yet.

    Love yah! Miss you!

    1. Love yah and miss you, too. You were one of those in my mind when I was writing some parts of this blog. 🙂

  6. Sis! This made me tear up. Ewan ko. But I absolutely get you. There are dreams, you just can let go because your children, your family matters most. You are a good writer and everything will fall into place. I hope I can stay at home too but for now, I can’t. It’s a decision I have to make. See you Saturday sis!

  7. Okay. I’m now having a double take on weather should I try to get a proper paying job cause of your post… cause I know that I’m a mom first, career woman second.. Hay.. Such an inspiring and personal post, but it’s probably one I shouldn’t have read at the moment hahaha!

    1. Honestly, this is relative, mommy Nicole, depending on your circumstances. I have 3 little children and one that requires my constant attention at the moment. 🙂 It’s a seasonal type of thing. For a season it worked for us,that season is over. I have to let go.

    1. It was not as taxing in the first year because my youngest did not demand my attention as much as he does now and my husband’s schedule was not as full as it is in the last year. The work served us well but it was time to let it go. Another season for us to enter.:)

  8. Since my 3 kids are now grown and I only have my 3 year old at home, I know how fleeting our time with them is. Savor every moment! If you feel God calls you to do this, then do so with much anticipation for what He has in store for your family. He’ll provide more than you think you need. Bless you, my dear friend!

  9. I love your post May! I salute you for all that you have given up for your family, especially your children.

    I believe God will always provide for all our needs and we need not worry.

  10. One thing I admire about you May (among many other things I admire about you!) is your passion and courage, I want to be like you when I grow up. I have the tendency to hold on to things because I’m scared of change which is funny because I am desperate for change.

    Wishing you all the best and I know you will do very well in your chosen path. 🙂

  11. It takes plenty of courage and soul-searching to come up with a decision such as yours. I get where you’re coming from because I was a work-from-home mom too. Aside from the constant distraction of house work, you also need to make time for the needs of your children. There will always be people who will openly and quietly question your decision, but at the end of the day, it’s your call. I wish you all the best!

    1. You’re right, I was aware that most of those who will understand where I’m coming from are those who have actually gone through what I’ve gone through. In fact, I’ve been seeing some of these indirect “comments” on my newsfeed already, but that’s alright. It’s always easier to accuse than be supportive. 🙂

  12. I soo get you! I actually had a project just last week and it kept me busy whenever I was at home. I was always angry with the kids because I had to wait for them to sleep to be able to work. I was like a walking time bomb, exploding over the littlest of things. I felt so kawawa for them. Hay, so glad that was over. I guess I’d have to stick with less taxing projects next time.

    1. Yes, much as we don’t want to be “choosy”, we have to for the sake of our kids. Minsan lang talaga choosy and opportunities don’t mix.

  13. i think this is already a success story in itself, you should be proud of the things you are able to accomplish, that’s a lot, the word supermom comes to mind. keep it up and i hope everything pans out for you and your family soon.

  14. Trust you don’t feel bad at all for you did everything for the kids… I feel you cause Nanay din ako and I will literally DO ANYTHING best for my kids. See you around!

  15. I can definitely relate. Balancing online work with family is a lot harder than some might think. I am constantly struggling to do more with my kids and less on my computer. I do some work at home for the extra income so that I can do things with and buy things for my kids, but striking a balance can be so hard!

    1. Thank you Heather. Yes, it’s a lot harder than it sounds bec much as you want to stick to a schedule, it just doesn’t always go as planned.

  16. Aww… *virtual hugs* i feel you, mommy May. I also believe in PRAY and be GRATEFUL always. God is always on our side. God will provide. God bless you and your family always.

  17. Hi Mommy May,

    I know the feeling. Before I gave birth to my second child, I’ve been juggling three to four different employers. Eventually, I retained one so I could focus more on my kids. As much as I want to work, I need to set my priorities and obviously my kids and family come first. I hope all is well 🙂

  18. This is such an honest piece and so true for most online workers (especially for parents). I used to do that before and one of the things that really break my heart is that, most of us expect that working from home means we have MORE TIME to do what we want, to be with our kids more, and have more control with our time. BUT NO. Working from home means more yelling and more chores left undone. It gets really frustrating. I left working online from home but I’m also in a dilemma with new work right now that I’m starting to work outside from home (another issue). Ugh. Never easy but let’s all just trust that everything will soon be better. 🙂 ♥

  19. Naku I know how you feel every time you are in front of the computer and your kid wants your attention. Super kawawa din my daughter’s face when she says please mommy sleep beside me (when she wants to make lambing after waking up from her nap).

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

    1. Hirap no? My son carries on the entire day. It’s been very difficult to concentrate on work when he’s wailing and crying and whining and doing all sort of stuff to get my attention away from my laptop.

  20. Hi May! You will understand if I will say this: tagos hangang buto. Parang echo ako sa bawat salita na meron sa blog post mo. Baliktad naman tayo, ako I took a work-at-home job kasi di na talaga kakayanin ng finances namin ang pa-freelance-freelance lang. Though the job comes in as a blessing talaga. But I’m so happy for your decision, isa lang ang masasabi ko… may darating na mas maganda na swak na swak sa priorities mo. Just keep looking, believing and praying. 🙂

  21. Online work is definitely harder because your children want your attention. As a blogger and freelance WAHM, I definitely get it. Good for you for making the right choice for your family. <3 Good luck in your new path!

    1. Yeah, the pay is a bit low, honestly, but among everything I’m currently doing, it’s the one I’m enjoying a lot. 🙂

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