I don’t think I can call myself a Stay At Home Mom anymore. It’s not fair to me, and I think it sets me up to feel like a failure.
I’m officially a WORK (or Write) At Home Mom. I work on paid freelance writing projects for other websites up to 10 hours a week. I work on projects for myself up to another 10-20 hours a week. I have been for a long time. I used to think I didn’t deserve to call myself a WAHM until I was bringing in a substantial income, but I’ve come to realize that I’m at the point in my business where I’m investing in my future. I may not be making an enormous profit just yet, but the time I’m putting into it will pay off down the road.
The plan has always been for me to “go back to work” when all the children are in school. Depending on when we have a 3rd, that’s roughly 7 years from now. But, part of me is yearning to “work” now, and another part of me shudders to think of my future “work” being a job in an office doing who-knows-what. I didn’t feel like I had much direction before I became a SAHM. I wasn’t working my dream job (though it wasn’t a BAD job). I didn’t even know what my dream job was.
You know what? Since quitting the workforce and becoming a SAHM, I actually think I’m on the road to finding it. I think this blog and the myriad of opportunities it brings me will lead to my dream job someday. I’m not saying I’ll make my living off this blog, alone, but the connections I’ve made through it are starting to form a network that will take me further than any amount of time searching Monster.com.
When I got back from Blogher at the beginning of August, I shifted the way I approach things, like this blog and freelance projects. I’m giving myself permission to take all of this more seriously. I’m “dressing” for the job I want, not the one I have, in a sense.
So the 15 hours a week Kendall spends at preschool are now specifically set aside for me to work. Well, that and take care of Leyna. She will likely start going to Mother’s Day Out one day a week in January of next year so I can at least have a solid 5 hours to myself. Calling myself a WAHM makes me feel less guilty about juggling so much and neglecting things like the dishes and the laundry during the day.
It’s an interesting work/life balance that I’m striving to find, and I certainly haven’t perfected any techniques yet. So I’m interested to hear how other WAHMs do it. What is your cleaning routine like? How do you balance taking care of a baby and getting things done on a deadline? Do you ever sleep?
And, I’m not sure if this is just me, but sometimes I have SO MUCH to do, and I get so overwhelmed, that I just don’t do anything. I sit in the living room with my laptop up, my to-do list next to me, baby on the floor in front of me, and I spin my wheels until it’s time to change her diaper or feed her. How do you jump start your own engine and keep it going while multitasking?
Kendall is 3 years 4 months old and Leyna is 8 months old