Since the move, I’ve been working from home. Because I also have a child, this makes me a work-at-home mom (WAHM). I’m a WAHM. Wait, I’m a WAHM? Well, yeah, I guess I am! This reality has certainly hit me like a ton of bricks.
It’s not that there’s anything bad about WAHMomhood at all – in fact, I admire women who can juggle the tasks of their jobs with the needs of their children, who are often present under the same roof while they complete their tasks for work. I’ve always respected StayAHMs and WAHMs alike because it takes a lot of patience to stay at home with a baby, toddler, or child all day long, and even when your kids grow up, at least for WAHMs, your main environment for everything really is your home. You sleep there. You cook there. You entertain there. You relax there. You work there. It seems like a closed off existence to me, which is why I was never really that fond of it. SAHMs and WAHMs have to put in more effort to have social interaction; whereas the rest of us who hold jobs outside of the home have it built into our routine of seeing others at our places of work, those moms have to seek groups to spend time with in order to socialize. It’s not automatic. Through that, these women also work hard to maintain their own identity outside of their status as parents. I can imagine this is challenging, and I commend those who live this lifestyle happily and confidently.
Just after having Kennedy, I never imagined I’d be an “at-home” anything. I knew I wanted to have a job with flexibility so that I could easily be near her, but I didn’t envision being a stay-at-home mom. After all, I have too many clothes, and shoes, and purses for that.
Despite my reluctance to fill the role, I’m not finding it to be all that bad. The most challenging part is scheduling my day so that all of my tasks get done, but I have my family helping with that. It’s easy to get wrapped up in playing with your child, then suddenly you realize they’re probably hungry, you feed them, you clean them up after feeding, you change a diaper, you get a bottle ready to put them down for a nap, and finally you lay them down. Just like that, two hours have vaporized off your clock. This happened to me plenty in the beginning. I am still learning to optimize my time while also keeping my baby fed, rested, and occupied with things that are not my computer, mouse, iPhone or iPad (when I’m using it).
I had previously thought of WAHMomhood as something that was all or nothing; the day I decide to start working from home, I will work from home for every job I hold in the future. It seems practical, especially as we discuss the possibility of having more children. However, I can’t say at this point that I’m ready to give up working outside of the home. Let’s face it – with an economy as unpredictable as ours is, most of us don’t have the luxury of saying there’s anything we will or won’t do to make money. Jobs are still hard to come by. I’m just grateful to have one right now.