In October 2009 I quit my beloved but dead-end job as a newspaper reporter (because of this basically) to focus on what was then a fledgling natural hair website. And I remember having a conversation with my mother about how I was struggling to make BGLH a viable career option. She said to me, “You’ll be happy for this website when you have babies. You’ll be able to make money, watch your babies and stay at home.” At the time I wasn’t even married or engaged, so the words rang a little hollow. But less than 4 years later (wow… what a difference 4 years can make!) I see what my mother was saying. Still there are definite pros and cons to being a work-from-home mother.
The pro is that I can watch my son grow up without jeopardizing my earnings. I love that I can see his development up close — making sure things like his motor and language skills are on track — because he’s with me all the time.
The con is… he’s with me all the time, lol. Noah is an independent baby. He plays by himself for extended periods and naps very well during the day. But he’s still a baby. And babies need their mommies. Sometimes they want to be held for half an hour. Sometimes they want your undivided attention. And when these things happen, I have to throw my work plans out the window and attend to him.
The other major con is that being a work from home mother is exHAUSTINg!!! Like for real. It’s essentially like working two full-time jobs, running a daycare and doing your ‘work’ work. Whenever Friday rolls around I’m about ready to fall out. (And for this reason I am OFF Noah duty on weekends and evenings. My husband watches Noah exclusively while I decompress.)
But mothering is challenging regardless of what your situation is, whether you’re stay-at-home, work-from-home or work-outside-the-home, and I’d love to hear your experiences.
So I want to know:
1. Are you a work from home, stay at home or work outside the home mommy?
2. Are you comfortable in your current role, or do you aspire to something else. (For example, if you’re a work outside the home mommy, is your goal to be a stay at home mom? If you’re a work from home mom, do you aspire to be a work outside the home mommy?)
3. What kind of schedule do you have your children on during the week and on the weekends?
4. What kind of schedule do you have YOURSELF on?
5. And what tips do you have for making it all work?
I already kind of answered some of this, but I’ll do a quick summary of responses
1-2. I’m a work from home mommy and despite the challenges, I would like to remain a work from home mommy.
3. Noah is only 9 months old, so there’s not much I can do to ‘schedule’ him right now. He wakes up early (around 6:30/7) and takes his first nap around 9:30 and his second nap around 3:00. He naps anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours. His schedule is basically sleep, eat and play, lol. I have to encourage independent play so that I can work, so I try as much as possible to provide toys and games that facilitate this. I also set ‘safe zones’ in our apartment where he can explore for extended periods of time without hurting himself. My goal for each afternoon (between first nap and second nap) is to get him to the park or his baby gymnastics class. It’s good for both of us to get out of the apartment, get some fresh air and socialize with other mommies and babies. We usually hit our goal 3 times a week. Sometimes things are just too hectic and I can’t get away.
4. It’s funny because all my life my parents have woken up at 4 am and it always struck me as so bizarre. Now that I’m a Mom I find myself waking up earlier and earlier! I currently get up at 5:00 am. I use that time to work out, bathe/shower and get a jump on blogging for the day. I also do my best to schedule blog posts a few days in advance so I’m not under the gun on any particular day. Aside from getting up early and scheduling my posts in advance, I try to keep my schedule flexible and I live by lists! At any given time I have a list of 5 or 6 work items I need to get done. Each day I try to knock 1 or 2 things off the list. Every now and then I’ll have a golden day when I knock everything off the list. That’s when Nugg and I get to party! He has my undivided attention and we can enjoy some mommy/baby QT.
5. To make it all work in a work-from-home situation you must be willing to get up early or work late (or sadly, sometimes both!) And GET YOUR PARTNER INVOLVED! Once he gets home from his job he HAS to be willing to pitch in 100% to relieve you of duty.
Alright ladies, share your experiences and advice below!