The Work at Home Mom
I’m sure we’ll all agree that Moms who are home all day, work long hard hours with their only compensation being the occasional “thanks” or the ever heart-melting “I love you Mommy”. The Mom at home is in fact a work at home Mom no matter what anyone else would try to have you believe.
The crazy trick that I am trying to balance is the role of Work FROM Home Mom.
I spent a good amount of last year unemployed, and while that did work out in the “not having to pay for child care” arena, it did very little to assist in the “putting food on the table” activity.
As anyone who has tried to find a job in the past several years knows, there are not a whole lot of jobs out there right now and the job openings that do come up don’t seem to pay very well, and when you do apply for a job you know going into it that there are likely a thousand other equally qualified people applying for the same position. It is very overwhelming and often depressing. It seems that the holy grail of jobs is the work from home position, you don’t have to make as much money as you did outside the house in order to have a similar standard of living since you don’t have the commute or the clothing issues, the lunch cost issues and in many cases, the child care issue. As all three of my kids are in school full time I thought this seemed like a good avenue to pursue – and my husband agreed.
Direct hire work from home positions are few and far between and the majority of jobs for the work at home employee are often in the “independent contractor” or “freelance” designation. In effect you become your own employer and hire out your skills. You may or may not be tied to one company with this set up and you are completely responsible for your own expenses, taxes, and equipment. This is where I found myself, first on a “jobber” basis and finally on an independent contactor basis. I LOVE the company I do work for, I really like the people that I work with (I actually wouldn’t mind seeing them in person more often), and the work I do is something I am good at and enjoy. It is also part time which works with my schedule and as phone work is only a very minor part of the work I can often complete my tasks at any hour of the day. Sounds great for the work from home Mom doesn’t it?
Nothing throws a wrench into the work from home dream like kids. Kids who will be happy to be left alone to watch TV or ride bikes or read a book or play with friends have a sixth sense about when Mom is getting on a work phone call or is concentrating on something for “the boss”. I am quite sure that if I had no idea where my kids were and needed them to all show up at once all I would need to do is try to get in touch with a client for something and they’d all come running needing something RIGHT NOW (of course).
I’m not sure how to balance it all, Monday of this week when the unexpected day off from school happened I barely got any work done, yesterday was a pretty balanced day and today I had to force myself to take a break to eat (and write this). I’m looking for answers on how to balance it all, working (at home), raising kids, cleaning the house, making dinner, walking the dog and that big pile of laundry that needs folded. I’m sure I’ll figure it out and the kids will adapt but for now I have to go, dog wants in, dryer needs emptied, need to send a work e-mail and go pick the kids up from school. Wonder what is for dinner?