Things to Consider When Becoming a Poker Mom
Being a poker mom isn’t something that’s easy to do. Being a mum in any career line is hard, but the poker industry seems harder. People can disagree with these two statements I have just made, though keep in mind when disagreeing I am not just speculating. I don’t state these facts because I am a poker mom, I know them as I have had one hell of a career span over all sorts of industries, all the time having my children by my side to care for and nurture.
I can’t compare every type of career against poker and what it’s like to be a mother as you support your family. I can compare quite a few though. I have diplomas in Business Accounting and Information Technology which have seen me work in some high profile positions in the country Australia. I also have a teaching background and was an instructor in my two primary fields mentioned above. In addition I have worked in various positions in factories, restaurants, as a journalist and writer and as a Director of Public Relations.
When I compare all of the positions I have been employed in, there are many things that make being a poker mom more difficult. This article will hopefully place into prospective how difficult the roles of mum plus a poker career are combined together.
In regular corporate positions which sometimes means working 50 hour weeks, it was more than difficult with my little kiddies to consider because of the time away from home. There is no doubt about that! The key to success with being a mom in the corporate world is the availability to place the children into care when required. And not just any care, you need to find good childcare. If you can find a job that has some flex time so you can take your children to school then that’s a plus. Now and again I had some trips away, not too often though. A good thing was I wasn’t ridiculed about my choice of how to generate income and the the only stresses I faced were at work. Of course, it was also nice to be able to plan for the consistent payment amounts on pay day.
The same applied as I performed my role as a teacher, managed my own I.T. business and worked in factories and restaurants, although late afternoon starts in restaurants were quite a pain when organising child care. Journalism can result in some late night work, in general though you work from home and can work on your own schedule to a certain degree.This of course would not apply to field journalism.
When I decided to use poker as my career, I thought it would be easier to be able to set my own hours and not be away from home as much. I figured I might be able to make as much money as I was and work less. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It is more than challenging to fit poker into your home life, and I feel its more challenging than other positions I have held. Children need to be taken to school and need routine in their life. There is no such thing as routine in the poker industry. There is also no such thing as a guaranteed stable income. You really need to focus on doing things the best way you can and balancing your time with your children and the bills.
“Get a real job!” that you hear from many people including friends and family has to be one of the most difficult things to deal with. When your kids overhear this enough, even they start to think you are an odd person. People look down on you and your children suffer as they can see how you feel about being put down.
Tournaments and cash games don’t wait for family time either. 3 a.m. starts or early morning ones for major tournaments online are a must. If you are still in a tournament when it is time to organize the children for school or escort them to a bus things are bad and you actually have to sit out of your game. Juggling this issue can mean lack of concentration on your game or your children and there is really no bargaining over which comes first as the children do – but sometimes you are in a financial bind as the family needs cash so playing the tournament becomes a first priority as much as getting them ready for school does. This is when playing your tournament in a car or while walking via a laptop becomes a new part of your life. Alternatively, you are sitting out and risking getting blinded out during crucial parts of the game.
Poker usually means travel too especially if you want to mix live and online, and have a chance at some boosts to your career. There is usually more travelling involved then other high profile corporate jobs. This means family or a trusted care on hand and pre-planning for months ahead. It also means packing for multiple people, if your children are going to stay at family’s and exhaustion before you even leave for that jet plane. It brings heartache to your kids to have their mom away from home and also to yourself with the time and distance between you. Again, laptops come in handy with Skype for video conferencing with the kids on a daily basis. Also coming in handy is a fat budget saved as sitters for a weekend or extended stay is far from cheap, if you can’t find family or friends to sit.
It isn’t all gloom being a poker mom though. There are many benefits including free time to go to all your children’s events such as school concerts, performances and sporting competitions. It just takes some pre-planning.
It can also be a very good way to get ahead financially if you play your cards right. Your children’s smiles are the main reason you live for, and taking down a big tourney or a weekly wage in one hand of poker indeed makes them smile, they smile as much as you do after your big win.
There are many differences between working a 9 to 5 job and being a poker mom. There are also more pros and cons then can be pointed out in one article, but it does give the reader something to think about if you are wondering if you should make the leap to being a full time poker mom.
I am on night shift tonight. It is 4 p.m. and time for me to sleep for a 3 a.m. major tournament start. I won’t be tucking my kids into bed tonight; they will be tucking me in as they wish me luck instead. What I will be doing though is being part of their morning wakeup routine and being there for the start to their day, as well as welcoming them home from school. These things are all part of the benefits of being a poker mom. It is things like tonight that make poker moms the luckiest moms in the world – after all how many other moms get tucked in tight by their kids?