I'm Leah, and in a lucky twist of fate, I've landed my three dream jobs:
book editor, writer, and mother. Since having my son in December 2008, my
work-life has been in constant flux - full-time? part-time? freelance?
working at home or in the office? It depends on the day and which way the
wind is blowing - and figuring out how to keep it all going is a constant
challenge. Heck, I'm still getting used to the idea of being someone's
Check out my profile on Work It, Mom! and my personal blog, A Girl and a Boy.
“Create a dedicated office space!”
“Get dressed every day!”
“Take a shower!”
“Put on makeup!”
“Get out and talk to real adult people, even if it’s just the cashier at the Starbucks drive-thru!” (No offense to cashiers at Starbucks drive-thrus. You make the world go ’round.)
It’s funny that so many of these Helpful Tips are hygiene related (funny cuz it’s true) and that, together, they make us WAHMs out to be a bunch of unkempt cavewomen who, save for the civilizing grace of the revered drive-thru cashier (and her gift of caffeine), are assumed to be perpetually one eight-hour shift away from losing our ability to walk upright and speak in full sentences.
For the most part, I find this sort of advice helpful only theoretically (yes, I really should take a shower), but in reality living by those well-meaning tenets isn’t the most practical way for me to balance the precarious fruit hat of responsibilities I wear most days. (It’s on loan from Carmen Miranda because I like to look nice while I’m doing the fancy job/house/kid/spouse dance.)
Yeah, that whole “As a mom and a career woman, I wear many hats” thing? I only wear one hat, but it’s piled high with heavy expectations, each one as un-comparable to the others as apples and oranges.
The one bit of work-at-home advice I’ve tried to adhere to has been the one that goes “Maintain strict office hours!” I’m not a workaholic by anyone’s definition, but I do always have work on my plate, and I have been known to send business emails while at the dinner table, so given those two factors alone, it’s good for me to remember that working and parenting at the same time is never beneficial to anyone involved.
But then I read this:
“Work fourteen hours on a Monday if you’re on a roll because Tuesday might kick your ass.”–Amber Adrian
YES. This is exactly what I do. When I’m on a roll, I feel compelled to keep on rolling because I just never know what’s around the bend. As both a mother and a freelancer, I know that kids get sick, rush jobs exclaim into my inbox, and some projects take twice as long as you budget them for. It seems to make sense to skip bedtime stories some nights because the work I get done then is work I won’t be missing the next time I have to take a half-day to deal with a feverish kid. It makes perfect sense but…is it wise? Is it healthy? Am I overthinking it? (Yes, for sure, on that last one.)
Fellow work-at-home cavewomen, what’s your strategy? Do you keep strict office hours and only work when you’re officially on the clock? Or do you work whenever and however you can, considering it time banked for later?
Subscribe to blog via RSS