3/8/12

Working at Home: It's Not All BonBons and Unicorns

Unicorn Crossing
Photo courtesy of Rumpleteaser
My husband and I were in the car. Totally at random I say, "I think some people resent me because I get to stay at home."

He replies, "Oh well. We make a lot of sacrifices so you can stay home."

 I've been reluctant to label myself a "stay-at-home-mom" or a "work-at-home-mom." Neither is entirely accurate as there are weeks I hardly stay-at-home. And correct me if I'm wrong, but don't all moms work? Laundry, meal planning, chauffeuring, homework overseer, etc.: it's work. But for lack of a better label, technically I am a work-at-home mom.

I think it's a common misconception that if one stays home and earns a living, it's easier. Granted, there are some advantages; however, there are days I wished I had a regular nine-to-five gig somewhere.

In  my circle of other "WAHMs", the nature of the business is feast or famine. Or maybe that's just me. Actually in my case, feast would be more accurately described as a light snack. Regardless, I have contractual obligations and people waiting (VERY! patiently) for me to finish their projects. To add more fun to my day, I also babysit a very mobile, but completely adorable eleven-month-old every day from 7:30ish to 4:00ish.

Let's look at the pros and cons:

Pro: Can work in my pajamas.
Con: [Okay, you've got me here.]

But I do get dressed daily. I actually work better if I am dressed.

Pro: I can be selective on which projects I want to take.
Con: Sometimes I have to take certain projects simply because work is slow.

Pro:  My flexible schedule means I can plan appointments, grocery shopping, and other errands.
Con:  On days I have run errands typically means a late work night.

Pro: "I bet your house stays so clean!"
Con: Uh. No. It is a bit easier than when I had a job outside the house and having an infant crawling all around keeps me on my tidy toes. Also, for every minute I am distracted with cleaning and organizing, five minutes are added to my workload.

Pro: "I'd love to sit on the couch all day!"
Con: Me too. Maybe I will one day.
Weathered Wooden Fence
Photo courtesy of Kathleen Calavaro
Five days out of seven, I am grateful, that for a while, I am able to work from home. It's been a slow go, and I haven't reached the level of success I'd like -- YET.  The hours are long even with keeping a baby during the day.



Sacrifices have been made

  • The household budget is super- tight. Even more so since Big Daddy is unemployed. 
  • Coupons are like money and are treated with the same reverence. 
  • A vacation is unlikely any time soon. 
  • And the list could go on. 

Sure, I could work outside the house. Find a position somewhere that is steady in hours and pay. Predictable. 

Perhaps the budget would ease up. (I doubt it.) We might take a small vacation. (Still unlikely) We could purchase a new(ish) vehicle to replace the recently departed. (Pipedream. See: household budget)

Knowing me, as soon as the newness of said job wore off, I'd be saying, "Wow. I miss the days when I was at home working. Even on the late nights."

The grass is always greener on the other side. And just for the record, I don't like bon-bons.




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