I am so incredibly blessed to have carved out this little life of mine as a work-from-home-Mom (WFHM). It’s been my dream to be a Mom since the beginning of my time, and the opportunity to stay home hasn’t always been true.
Before my husband and I were married, we had the necessary discussions about our future family. He felt that if I were to stay home with the kids, then he would be working long hours and possible multiple jobs and miss out on our kids’ lives. While I didn’t want to agree, I do remember my Dad working long hours of multiple jobs and missing out on some holidays. I realized then that I would become a Mom, but I would have to work. That’s fine, the most important thing is that I become a Mom.
With kid 1, I went back to work full time when he was 12 weeks. There was a ton of emotional stress going on at the time: my Dad was battling stage IV lung cancer, plus the first time Mom adjustment and postpartum hormonal shifts. I kind of rocked it at work because it was my escape from the reality. I was dealing with the best and worst moments of my life all at once—work was a place for normalcy. I was working in advertising, and the hours were far from family friendly, so I proposed an early shift option for myself, that was thankfully welcomed by my superiors. This got my home for dinner most nights.
It wasn’t too long, however, that I felt that special “mom guilt” and my desires to be home raising my son started creeping up on me. This was also mixed with the need to spend as much time with my Dad as I could—his time with us was running out. I figured out about what my income would be if I worked 4 days a week and proposed it to my husband. After his approval, I proposed it to my boss. Within a few hours the new plan was accepted! I picked being home with my son every Monday, with the flexibility to change days if needed.
While our Monday’s were dearly cherished, it was way harder to Mom than to sit at a desk and work (for me). I wondered if I would have even been cut out for being a stay-at-home-mom…
A couple years passed, and we decided it was time to try for another baby. We were in month 3 of trying—ovulation week—and I found out that I would be laid off. We decided to stop “production” until I found another job. We had JUST purchased a new house based on 2 salaries and an anticipated raise for my husband. We were pretty upset to put off our family plans, and after a week we decided to keep trying anyway. I knew that the window of opportunity for that month had passed, but it was really special to hear my husband pumped up for another kid—so we kept trying.
Two weeks later…. Big fat positive! It had already happened! We were super excited, and also very, “oh shit, I’m pregnant with no job!”
There were MANY opportunities that I carved out for myself. But most importantly, maybe… just maybe… this was that golden gift from above to become a stay-at-home-mom.
I would have to work too, but how? I entertained the idea of watching other kids for money, but could I handle my own two? Let alone mine plus someone else’s? I ended up working for free for a start-up company…Soon learned to be the dreaded words for any graphic artist. Big promise, 3 years later—no financial reward.
Our second son was born—like a category 6 hurricane—and we planned for me to be home for 6 months before placing him in daycare and starting up the job hunt again.
I looked into real estate; got my license as a referral agent and helped with random tasks like letting the inspector in, writing the brochures and updating the groups branding. I even dabbled with estate sales to help the clients get rid of their belongs. The hours initially promised were never achieved due to the nature of the business. I also landed a marketing job for a small business through a good friend and former co-worker. I proposed that I be an off-site employee (work from home), and have flexible hours. I set my rate super low, to sweeten the deal, and was hired on the spot.
The real estate work paid even less, and it’s unpredictable hours were eating into my marketing job—causing me to lose money. Then, like a beautiful gift from above… my Mom retired! I proposed pulling kid 2 from daycare, calling on my Mom to help watch him and focusing on my marketing world. Husband’s on board! Granny is also on board! We pulled kid 2 from daycare, removed my availability for real estate (keeping the referral license), and became a WFHM!!
It was beautiful! I spent Tues/Thurs drop off and pick up chatting away with my dear Mom, and worked at home in an empty house! Some days, I would work outside on he patio. Oh my goodness how lovely!
Then… Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer! How dare the world hurt my Mom!! She is simply the best person. Devistated for her, about her—thankfully, a good prognosis!
It’s handed to me now… I must be a stay-at-home-Mom and figure out how to make this all work with work. And guess what?! I’m pregnant with kid 3!!
Somehow. Someone. Somewhere. Over the rainbow, perhaps… my dreams were in some way delivered to me. In ways that unfortunately also involve my parents being sick, but maybe how I dealt with it all I earned some credits.
At first, I tried to juggle it all daily and throughout the day. I would answer emails and do work while kid 2 played (kid 1 goes to school 5 hours a day), and work at night after bedtime. The night shift didn’t last too long, as I had the incredible sleepiness that pregnancy brings. The days became tough too, I felt like I was neglecting my son a bit because, “hold on, Mommy is working.”
I proposed a plan with my husband, that he would take over the house Tuesday and Thursday after work (cook dinner, clean up, do bedtime routine). Thankfully, he is totally capable of all this and willing to do the work! Love him! This is working out really nicely. I can focus on my family/home during the day (with the occasional work related things here and there), and clock in hours Tues/Thurs night plus any other night that I am surviving.
The morale of this (long) story is that where there is a will, there is a way. You can figure out a path that is best for you – if you take the time to look at your possible options and have the courage to propose your findings to the people that could help make your dreams possible.
What the heck will I do with 3 kids home this summer? This is soon to be figured out. Yikes!!