I’ll preface this by saying that I wouldn’t have things any other way right now.
When I’m running up and down the basement stairs, trying to get in a quick load of laundry while Duncan is happily playing in the living room; when I’m squeezing in a trip to Wegmans to get groceries, feeding him crackers or handing him the container of bacos to keep him happy; when I’m headed upstairs away from my husband and son to start my work day inbetween repeated interruptions … I remember that I woldn’t have it any other way.
When people ask me if I’m a stay-at-home mum, it seems like my two options for responses are that I 1) Go to work full-time outside the home for someone else or 2) Don’t work and stay at home. Option 3 (one of several others): Work from home part-time doesn’t seem to factor into people’s ideas of what mum’s do. And they don’t seem to give it much credence or real respect.
Don’t get me wrong. Mums that don’t work for financial gain outside or inside the home and mums that have a full-time job all work hard. But so do mums (like me) who work from home. I bring in an income — I bring in a very significant portion of our family’s income — but I do it working for myself and I do it without having to find full-time daycare. In our case, different working schedules, working during naps and a little bit of daycare make it work. But it’s not a piece of cake.
If anything, it’d be easier to be on salary working for an employer, enjoing vacation time, sick days and the knowledge that when I’m at work I’m not at home and that no one that I’ve ever encountered actually does 8 hours of solid work in an office. There’s lots of chit chat, coffee time and various distractions to be had.
Me? I get paid only when I’m performing billable services for my clients. Checking my e-mail, blogging, even invoicing, is all on my own time. It gives you a different appreciation for work and what you get from a “regular job.” (Of course, I’m talking salaried office-based job here, not the contantly on-the-go stuff that people in service-related jobs experience.)
But being able to see Duncan (and Kevin) in the middle of the day, to see the precious moments, to take a coffee break with my husband and son instead of coworkers, to pop in a load of laundry or grab a snack from the fridge that I didn’t have to remember to tote into the office with me that day — that has its benefit too. And in any job, if you want to succeed and perform well, there’s only so much of the distractions you can afford to pay attention to. At the end of the day, work has to get done.
So all in all, I know this kind of work life is what’s right for me. Makes me feel good I ultimately chose it, even if people don’t quite understand all that it entails.