I’ve been back from my four-day girls weekend since Sunday night and have barely had a chance to breathe, I’ve been so busy with TomKat orders! Monday was my unpacking/parents oogling over Linnea day, so I dedicated yesterday to catching up on the plethora of customizing and e-mailing I had to take care of so I could get caught up. I was in front of the computer from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and only got about halfway through- it was nuts! Then today I did the same thing. Don’t get me wrong- I am NOT complaining. Not in the least- I am so blessed to be doing what I’m doing, and to be working with Kim and our sweet customers is a better gig than I could have imagined. And it’s seriously like a comedy show around here tonight, with all the e-mails Kim and I have going back and forth. I’m falling off my chair laughing right now. I love that this is my job. I actually get PAID to do this.
My challenge lies in the balancing act that is required to be a WAHM, or a Work-At-Home Mom, or a Whacked-out ADHD Hell-raising Mamacita, if I may Dooce-ify my title a bit- only that’s the clean version. I have this child who is, yes, a little angel, but does require that my work flow be inturrupted continuously throughout the day in order to meet her needs, or rather, to simply not ignore her in order to do the things I need to get done. It breaks my heart to not interact with her as much as possible, but sometimes, it’s just HARD. Cody makes fun of me because he says I throw productivity fits, usually at the most ridiculous hours, but once I get going, man, everyone had better clear the way because I am getting things DONE! And yeah… it’s true. For goodness’ sake, it’s 12:30 and I’m sitting here blogging. But sometimes I feel like if I don’t do things late at night, they don’t get done. Then I wake up to my happy, clearly-a-morning-person baby girl cooing excitedly through the monitor, never any later than 7:00 a.m. Hmmm… Something’s gotta give. But what?
My husband wrote a great post the other day about being fully present. Even though finding balance may be a struggle, it is so important not to gloss over the precious moments we may miss in our pursuit of being the perfect mom and professional. We can’t live in the “someday” at the expense of enjoying our children growing up. Because I gotta tell ya, not only do I love my work, but I am having a blast watching my little girl discover her feet for the first time; listening to her incoherent and sweet opinions on EVERYTHING; holding her close while she figures out just who that little baby in the mirror is; making her almost giggle when I blow raspberries on her belly. I don’t want to miss a thing.
All that to say, I thought this would be a lot less challenging than it is. It’s not that my life is so hard… it’s just that at this point, as a new mom, I’m struggling to find a balance. And I know that there are plenty of mamas out there who can relate, and I hope we can all connect to support and encourage each other while we navigate the road toward raising amazing kids and realizing our dreams of becoming smart and savvy business owners!
I want to know the secrets, or maybe the realities, of the WAHMs who
seem to have this uncanny ability to juggle the demands of motherhood
with work… when they’re blended into one throughout your day. Does it
get easier or harder as your kids get older? What are the challenges
you face as your family grows? What tricks or advice can you share with other WAHMs who may just be starting out? Or, if you’re a new mom and new business owner, like I am, what specifically has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced? And, most importantly, how do we balance it all?
Ah…the NEW “age old dilemma.” Since every kid is different, this will vary…here’s what I did/do.
Get your child on a schedule. Nap times to bedtime, routines are not only important for your schedule, but important for your child’s growth.
Work on one nap-time and clean or do the things you can’t do with baby around during 2nd nap. If you’re unlucky enough to get a no napper, you have to use the swings and chair’s sporadically throughout the day to get work done.
Toddler: I go back and forth…we will do an activity together and then I will set her up with another activity to do alone so I can get some work in.
It does get easier as they get older because their attention span increases but it’s tough nonetheless.
I’ve learned to make my phone calls earlier in the day because she is less fussy, work on computer stuff at night when she goes to bed (which means I’m up until 2-3am!) and understand that THINGS ALWAYS CHANGE and to be okay with that. Sometimes I just have to let go and be okay with not getting anything done for the day. :o)
I could probably go on for hours…lol, I didn’t even get to how I get my house to stay clean etc..being a WAHM is definitely the hardest job I have ever done!!!
Thanks, Cheryl! You are a bit ahead of me in this journey and I value your experience tremendously. I am learning too that it is imperative to be OK with change- after all, that’s all children do is change! And I agree- being a WAHM is by far the hardest job I’ve ever done too!
I STILL can’t find a balance and I’m finding that the older my daughter gets, the harder it is. I work away from home 3 days a week, and work from home making cards, and other like items the other days. I feel like I’m always neglecting someone- her, my hubby, myself, the dog 😉 We have to give ourselves credit… and a break. We manage to keep it all together when no one else can. I’ll admit there are days when I cry because the sun is shining and I’m slaving away and cannot take time out to play with my babe- but see, I MUST learn to do that and give myself mental time away and time to enjoy her. They are only this small once in their lives!
I can totally relate to you being a WAHM mom and having 2 boys (now 4 & 6). I thought it was super hard to get it all done and work and the house and the baby, etc when I had the first one, then I had my 2nd just 19 months later and boy did my eyes open up to the possibility that I just couldn’t do anything anymore. I was tired, drained, overworked and a perfectionist on top of it. Now that my boys are older, I find a nice balance of getting things done and I think it’s because I now know that I can ask for SOME help. Years later, I am just learning this and it makes my rants to my husband far and few between now 🙂 (well sort of) I get very stressed easy and I like to have my list for the day accomplished but most of all I feel blessed that I can be home with my boys and I haven’t missed a thing!
First~ I’m not a WAHM, so I don’t face all of the same dilemmas you do, but I can definitley relate. I’m a SAHM of 5. Second~ Perfection is overrated. You don’t have to be the “perfect mom”; you just have to be Linnea’s mom. I think if you’re struggling with these issues, then you must be an AMAZING mom already! Third (because I can go on forever) treasure every moment as if it were your last. Sometimes I have to stop and think~ how much will it take for me to step away for just one moment and hold, smell, or touch my baby? Not much, but that’s what I got;o)
It get’s eaiser~ trust me!
For 15 months I was a WAHM of 3 boys – 5,4, and 2. My husband was traveling occasionally for his job and I thought I’d end up in a straight jacket. What I found was I had to do as much as possible in the mornings and late at night. It was hard to lead two separate lives…muting myself on a conference call while I dropped my oldest off at kindergarten. Now that my contract position is over I do miss those hectic days! Not that my days aren’t hectic anymore but just in a different way. I also needed to let go of the “perfect Mom” idea. I had to do the best I could at the time. I also had to remind myself to stop and breathe. I always managed to meet deadlines and get things done so I tried to stay focused on the task at hand and not get too far ahead of myself. You can’t beat the flexibility of working from home. Enjoy it while you can!
Something I have just started recently is having one day off (a Sunday suits us best) where I don’t use the computer AT ALL!!
It has been hard to not ‘just check on a blog’ or whatever (withdrawals!!) But it has helped bring balance and perspective to my week! xo