Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Want My Cake and I Wanna Eat it Too... Confessions of a Work-from-Home Mom

I work from home and while that is a luxury I'll freely admit, it's still actual work. I think sometimes being a work-from-home mom is over glorified. Still, even I am guilty of making it out to be more than it is.

For instance, I like to get a regular paycheck, but I still want to act like a housewife. I'm learning, though, that work-from-home mom and stay-at-home mom are not quite the same thing, unfortunately. Since I'm home, it's easy to think that I'm available all of the time to do whatever I want to do. If my friends want to get together for lunch, dinner or anything else, I want to be there. If there is a field trip at my kids' school, I want to be there. When my husband isn't working, I want to not be working too. I want to sleep in, go to the gym, watch all of my favorite television shows, social network and blog whenever I feel like it. I also want to get paid. But getting paid means that I have to work - unfortunately.

So, even though I have more flexibility than I would at a regular job, I do have to sacrifice some freedom in order to keep my working obligations.

It means that I have to choose what's MOST important to me. For me, it's really important that I'm available to my kids when they come home from school. In order to do this AND work, it means that I have to sacrifice some sleep and get up early in the morning. Of course, getting up early means that I may not be able to stay out late with my girlfriends. And working in the morning means I may not be available for weekday morning visits or every field trip. That's the price of having a job - whether it's at an actual place of business or at my home.

Whenever I forget these basic truths (which is often, regrettably), everyone pays the price. I end up missing out on the things that matter most... like family time, after school chats and homework help. I have to be self disciplined enough to treat my home job as seriously as I would a real job - set up a schedule and stick with it.

In the end, being a work-from-home mom means that I CAN have my cake and take little bites of it now and then too. It's all about moderation, people.

Do you have questions about working from home? Feel free to drop me a line in the comments section or by email. I'll be following up in a weekly series for work-at-home moms and those who wannabe.

(Photo courtesy of The Guardian.)

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