Monday, February 20, 2012

Free Time? What's that?


I love being home with my kids, I truly do. I can't imagine working outside the home and having to leave them with someone, that would be very hard. But since this is my little corner of the web, it's my only place to vent! I am a work at home mother. Eco-Babyz isn't my only job (and hobby), I help out as I can to put bread on the table by writing for Today's Mama, Thanks Mama, and Social Moms

Somehow when you tell others you work from home, I think they picture me doing this, whenever I please - at my leisure:



The reality is quite different, especially with a toddler and three month old! Yes, I have a flexible schedule, but I don't have days off. I don't work, I don't get paid. The reality is - it takes so much longer to get work done. You think I work for a couple of hours a day, get paid in gold, and then spend all my time with the kids? That would be glamorous. Blogging and freelance writing is an incredible amount of work! I often feel like I'm working all day, with breaks to eat, go outside, or change a diaper. Yes, I prefer this to leaving my kids with strangers, but my day most often looks like this, sometimes without the smile on the face (just add one more kid tugging at the skirt, okay, so I'm not usually that dressed up):


I find myself doing at least two things at the same time about 80% of the day. Draining? You bet. That's the life of a mother, and even more so a work at home mom. Working to support the family does change everything. It means you may not get out of the house as much as you would like. It means you may not have company over as often as you would like. It means you may spend time working instead of shopping. It means the laundry may sit in the basket a little longer and there will be a few more dust bunnies than your childless, work-outside-the-home friend has.

This is what I would like 'working at home' to look like (some days it does, for a few minutes):


At the moment my husband has to work seven days a week. We have no weekends, no down time, no breaks in this phase of our life. I know it will pass. I know someday I'll have time to clean the house again. I know someday I'll be more open to having company over. Someday my husband will not be working all weekend. But at the moment there is no such thing as free time, I work during all of my 'free time', hence it isn't free.

Why am I writing this? Because apparently some people think that work at home moms don't do much all day and have oodles of free time. Some of you may be contemplating working at home because you may think it's easy and pays well. I've got news for you, it isn't all roses. It's hard work. At the end of the day I'm exhausted because I give my all to my kids, my husband, and my part time work. No mom has it easy, and I think you'll agree there just aren't enough hours in a day for all the laundry, cooking, vacuuming, dusting, wiping bottoms, changing diapers, taking care of kids, and working on top of it.

You'll think I'm crazy for adding homeschooling to the list! Yes, I am, and I know hundreds of moms in the same boat. But when the kids are grown up, at least I will not be regretting not spending enough time with them. It is then I'll sit down with a book and a cup of tea in a reading nook and claim my moments of free time.

I imagine I'm going to get a kick out of reading this ten years from now!


Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

8 comments:

  1. I, too, work from home and I have an almost-3-year-old and a baby on the way in just two short months. I did work outside of the home when my son was a baby, and I think that they both have their difficulties. I love that I get to be home with my kids now, but I dislike that I can't just leave work at work like I did when I worked outside of the house. It's so hard to do it all, isn't it?!

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    1. I agree, it's tough not to be able to 'leave work'! I guess all arrangements have their difficulties and benefits. At least for now the benefits of working from home are worth the struggles for me :)

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  2. I know a mom, who is working outside of the house, homeschooling and taking all three to sports outside of the house.
    How some mom's do what they do only they know. How to find sanity through out the day is pretty hard too, and yes i completely agree, there is not enough hours in a day to get everything done. It's as simple as let your husband stay at home one day and experience that with you. =) The comment i got from mine is "do you ever sit down."
    It's never enough when it comes to finances, because we want to improve and get better at one area in our life or the other.

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    1. I'm slowly learning to be comfortable with the fact that nothing will ever be 'done'. There is no such thing as being done with something for a mom! :) I'm also learning to be content with what we have, because always wanting something is stressful and a waste of energy - that is tough though, seems like my wish list never ends!

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  3. Must agree, I an a semi-stay-at-home Mom..work 1 day a week, it is a lot more work for me to be home with my son...going to work my 1 day a week is my break:) I totally understand how you feel!

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    1. I'm starting to think that I need to do just that :) Like arrange childcare for one day when I can just take my laptop, leave the house and work for 8 hours uninterrupted, I think I would get more done than I do in a whole week with kids at my feet! :)

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  4. I SO understand your post/vent. I work from home 30 hours a week and it is HARD. I love it, but it is challenging. I feel like I'm always working. I work in the morning, I work during rest time, I work at night. Both of my boys are in preschool 7 hours a week, so that adds a little bit of time. And I am blessed that my mom takes them almost a full day once a week, which is my big work day. I've been trying really hard to separate work and home time as much as possible - not checking my email in the morning when I'm not working, etc. It's hard, but it's helping with the balance. I've also had to let a lot of housework just go. I feel like our house is much more "lived in" because we're home so much and because time I would normally be doing housework I'm working. You're not alone :).

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    1. Oh thank you! See, I know that so many moms do this, but it feels so good to read your comment and know that we have similar struggles trying to make this balance every day. Thank you so much for your comment, it helps! Wishing you the best in this WAHM journey!

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