True Life :: I’m a Work at Home Mom

{Before I start, I feel like I need a disclaimer stating that I truly – truly! – am thankful for the opportunity to stay home with my babies. My dream since I was a little girl was to be a mommy someday, and I realize it’s a blessing to not be forced to work outside the home if I don’t want to. The last thing I want is for this post to come off as ungrateful, since that couldn’t be further from the truth.}

It’s no secret that there are constant debates and blog posts today on stay at home vs. working moms. I don’t feel like I quite fall into either of those categories as a work at home mom. I think sometimes it’s viewed as “the best of both worlds”, and maybe that’s true, but here’s a little peek at some truths about working from home that might not be common knowledge.

True Life :: I'm a Work at Home Mom

  1. I do actually work. I’ve found a lot of people see working from home as complete flexibility. I have more flexibility than most (i.e. I really am my own boss of a company I started years ago in hopes I’d build it to a point where I could stay home) but that doesn’t mean I’m always free to watch someone else’s child/run an errand for someone/etc. Can I rearrange my day and make it possible? Sometimes. And I usually do, because I have the hardest time saying no. But that also means I need to make up the work I missed another time (like when my child is sleeping or the few hours a week I have childcare.) That’s the thing about working for yourself – there’s no one else to pick up the slack if you take a day off.

 

  1. It’s not nearly as glamorous as it seems. I was able to go full-time with my business a year or so before having our first daughter, and I really didn’t think TOO much would change with a newborn. I mean, she’s a newborn…she sleeps most of the day, right? Ha. I got very comfortable working while wearing or nursing her, since she really only liked to sleep on me for the first few months. With a baby on the way this month, I’m much more realistic about what that will look like for my productivity when they’re older. Making calls with a screaming toddler in the background isn’t the most professional to do business. And multiple times I’ve found myself saying, “We have 10 minutes until the post office closes and these orders have to ship today! I don’t care if you don’t have shoes, we are getting in the car!”

 

  1. It’s a constant struggle to find balance. Working in your own home is great, except for the fact that you’re constantly surrounded by the messy house you need to clean and the laundry that needs to be done and the kitchen where you should’ve thrown dinner in the crockpot three hours ago, but you forgot. For so long I felt like at the end of every day I had failed in two of three areas – Maybe I got enough work done, but I failed as a mom and didn’t play nearly enough with my daughter and the house is a disaster. Or maybe I had a fun day at the zoo, but didn’t get any orders or housework done and now feel overwhelmed and behind. I finally came to this realization a few months ago that balance just isn’t attainable. It’s this mythical idea that I can be all things at all times, and it just sets me up for disappointment. After getting rid of that expectation, life has gotten so much less stressful. (Now, our house may be a bit messier, but I’m ok with that!)

Of course, there are parts of every work situation as a mom that are difficult – a full time working mom missing out on things, a stay at home mom longing to contribute financially to lessen the burden on her spouse, moms who are currently staying home but miss their careers and that part of their identity…the list goes on and on. I’m committing to being thankful for and finding joy in the situation I’m in now and reminding myself that this season of life is so short and the chaos will be a memory before I know it.

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