This article is free to reprint as long as all links and authors credits remain intact.Courtesy copy of publication would be appreciated._______________________________________________________________...
This article is free to reprint as long as all links and authors credits remain intact. Courtesy copy of publication would be appreciated. __________________________________________________________________
I am typing on the computer, trying to keep up with the flood of emails and programs that require my attention, when my 19 month old comes to me for the fourth time this morning calling ‘potty!’ I rush upstairs to the bathroom when I here the doorbell…my friends children have arrived as usual, since I care for them four days a week while their mother takes off for an adult world I hardly recognize. It is 7:20 am.
Breakfast follows, I set them up and dash to the computer again to finish what I started, but then the four year olds are fighting and the one year old has dumped her applesauce on the carpet. I determine that office environments were created for a reason. It’s 7:35 am.
Since I am paid to care for these children, I cannot devote much time to my other business during the days they are in my home. But that does not stop me from feeding my own children peanut buttered bread for breakfast and sitting them in front of the TV from 6:00am until 12:00 on my ‘day off’.
As you can see, or know from experience, working from home in any capacity is a change to your family’s life no matter what the business. But as much as I would love to dote on my own children and spend hours baking and coloring and folding laundry (RIGHT!), I, like many mothers, have been faced with the choice of returning to the typical ‘working world’ and passing my children into someone else’s care, or juggling to bring in an income while caring for them myself.
Our strategy has been for me to develop an online business while maintaining an income we can survive on by babysitting. The babysitting is temporary, and not my first choice, but I do love the children I care for, and now that we’ve all adjusted I am going to miss them terribly when we move on.
However, I knew the babysitting was not the long term solution, and I ache for the independence I read about with internet based business. So I plug away early morning, nap times and evenings after the children are in bed. This is how we move towards a simpler life. Eventually, my kids and my husband will have me pretty much to themselves. I know that working will always interfere with living, but this is a solution that I can accept.
My main learning, or coping strategy, is to do things in blocks. Writing an article is one block. Reading and responding to emails is another. Feeding the children, taking them for a walk, or planning an afternoon out (which is what I do with mine every day off), all combine to make this work-from-home mother’s work day move forward.
Should my children be classified as part of my work? No, absolutely I do not view it that way. This is the fabulousness of working from home. Stressful as it may be at times, I am choosing a life that allows me to step out of my office (so to speak) and cuddle on the couch with four little darlings (well, some of the time!). I can shake off the frustration of figuring out HTML code by having coffee with my neighbor. This is a life worth choosing.
So to all you work-from-home mothers (and fathers too), perhaps balance isn’t always possible, but keeping priorities is. You can decide that the children must quietly watch a video while you make a phone call or finish your project, and know that you are not putting them in second place. Why? Because you are there. And as long as you know when to put the office ‘away’ and be there for your children, you are giving them a life that, while busy and not always easy, it is a life that you are a bigger part of.
To all of you who take on the important task of raising your children, while making a living, my congratulations and encouragement!