As a mom who works from home in social media, my days aren’t 8-5. They don’t have a lunch break, I don’t get to shut the door to my office when my co-worker gets too loud or begins to throw a tantrum.
There are times I miss the routine of working outside the home before I had Bella. The consistency of a morning routine, the pull beyond my own self control to shower, dress up, have my day planned. These things are all up to me now – I set my own day 90% of the time.
This has been a tough thing to balance. I went from stay at home mom who wrote on her own blog and occasionally another to working for 2 other blogs in a matter of 2 weeks. It’s been 7 months since I started to juggle everything I was already doing and working nearly full time from home. Some days are a breeze, I’ll wake up to a moderate amount of emails, posts all set to publish, a few promotions to do, and I catch up on other stuff during nap.
And then some days I procrastinate on things until the last minute and wake up with a feeling of, “IT’S ALL CRASHING DOWN” and I try to squeeze stuff in as fast as I can. Those days usually also coincide with having to grocery shop, a sick child, no sitter that day, and a last minute change from an editor.
There are pros and cons to working at home as a writer. I really can, most days, set my own hours. I am able to work during naps and in the evenings. But the drawbacks hit all at once and I’m still learning to balance them. I’m also learning to pick what’s important in the moment.
I don’t struggle so much with the time working and with Bella. Like any working parent, my child comes first and I don’t feel bad about telling someone “She’s really sick, that will have to wait a few hours” or on the flip side telling Bella, “Mommy needs 30 minutes to work, then we can do that.” I hired our sitter so she could be with her while I work 2-3 days a week at the coffee shop – this eliminates the need for me to plop her in front of the TV for that amount of time or us fighting about how I have to work and she needs to go play.
It’s the other stuff that creeps up on me. Being at home means it’s so, so easy to get distracted during nap or the evening. The phone rings and hey – no one is there to tell me I can’t take personal calls. A (1) hits my Facebook tab and I just have to know if someone responded to my post. Something shiny bounces off my desk and….
You get the idea.
I’m far, far better than I was about this all 7 months ago. Still not to the point I’d like or really need to be. I worry every day that I’m going to get canned or scolded. The easy fix is to manage my time better, take the down days and work on things coming up so the busy days aren’t spent trying to do it all. But you know, that’s practical and so of course it makes it even harder.
I feel like I’m slowly getting there. It’ll never be perfect, but it could use a lot of improvement.