About Being a Work at Home Mom

family eating ice cream
Image via Galit Breen

 

“Bye mom!” They call, one following the other, their backs to me.

Flip-flops in gradated sizes smacking against concrete, hair whisping in this cool August day, the faded scent of sunscreen wafting through sun-kissed air. Each one a beloved summer relic.

The door clicks closed.

Coffee in hand, I sit down to write.

One eye on the clock, I calculate how long I have, what I need to get done, and if finishing it all is remotely possible.

I’m gifted with these hours, and I’m grateful for them.

But I’m all too aware that I’m trading time with my family for time with my work.

Throughout the week, I wake up early and stay up late, I carve out an hour here, trade an hour there.

The gifts and pressures of working from home are equal.

My kids need my time, and I want to give it to them. My editors need my words, and these too I want to give.

And our household needs the money I make, the food I serve, the cleaning I do, the books I read, the plans I make. I want to do and create and give all of these. So that’s what I try to do.

Working from home is a dream come true. I adore my ability to be here with my kids and provide for them at the same time.

But it’s hard to explain – to others, to myself — why deadlines are (sometimes) hard to meet and why bathrooms are (often) hard to clean. I’m trying to do two jobs within time that is truly only meant for one.

I’m trying to do two jobs within time that is truly only meant for one.

If I have an article to write, I can either get up at four in the morning to write it, or trade pool time for writing time.

If there’s research to be done, I can either stay up late – my eyes barely staying open, my family’s sleep breaths an even beat in my background – or trade a play date for work time.

I’m often told how lucky I am to work from home. And I feel this to my core, I see it written in my light.

When my girls set their workbooks by my laptop and we all work quietly together.

When Brody curls by my side, skin warm and hair mussed from his nap, and I trade writing my words for reading a picture book.

When we walk to the store, those same flip flops smacking sun kissed concrete, to pick fresh ingredients for that night’s dinner.

I see lucky written in white clouds and freshly cut grass blades, in sun kissed cheeks and knobby knees.

I also see deadlines and trades and work to be done. And that is the reality of working from home.

Working from home is a beautiful gift, wrapped in a juggling act that’s hard to maintain.

Life is a series of choices, I believe this with every fiber of my being. And I’m so grateful to be able to make the choice to create a living out of my passion. But that doesn’t make it easy.

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Being a work at home mom is a beautiful gift, wrapped in a juggling act that can be hard to maintain.

 

To my working moms (both in the home and out), how do you carve out that all important quality family time? What strategies do you have in place to make it work?  

 

What do you think?

About Being a Work at Home Mom

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can get your child a phone and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She liv ... More

Tell us what you think!

12 comments

  1. Andrea says:

    Working at something other than being a mom is never easy, at home or elsewhere. We find a new balance every day, and I believe that as long as you are aware that it is ever-changing, you are doing the right thing. Today my daughter might not need to a have a fifteen-minute conversation with me about a problem she is having with a friend, but tomorrow she might. To know when to take those moments for work and family is key, and difficult.

  2. Ashley says:

    hello,

    does anyone know any great resources for finding companies that offer work at home opportunities?

    please and thank you for any recommendations

  3. Bobbi Jo says:

    I would love to find a part time work from home job.

  4. Billie says:

    When I got laid off from a job I had loved for 11 yrs., I was so depressed. I didn’t like not having an income. I have since tried to make the best of it by becoming a daycare provider. It’s not my dream job, but with 5 of my own kids, I cant afford to put them all in daycare full or part time. The kids love having me home with them, and like to see me when they get off the bus during the school yr. My husband has wanted me to be a sahm since we stared our family. Now I’m home and he loves it. Maybe some day I will go back out of the home to work, but for now my plan is to stay at home and do daycare until all of my children are in school full time. Then I can retire from it and just be a sahm. I will have 8 hrs a day to myself and be able to have a house that stays picked up for longer than 20 minutes. I may even be able to finally get around to vacuuming under beds and in closets. My house will be clean- Yay!!

  5. Jessie says:

    This one resonated enough to get me to surrender to the stupid sign in feature that will guarantee me facebook ‘like this one, too’ spam for months to come.

    I work from home, teaching college English online. The schedule is a Godsend with two kids on the spectrum. They’ve “graduated” from therapy (for now- often you come and go back and forth) but they both still have numerous appointments every week (especially my son with his added mood disorders). But it saps my writing energy, and I’ve had to carve out that time by getting up unholy early so I can write before the workday starts.

  6. Leigh says:

    I have pretty much had to let go of any expectation of getting work done during the day, unless it’s something very pressing. I just can’t focus. So if I’m not going to work, I may as well dive into taking care of them and not stress until I actually CAN sit down, right?

    And since I take my girls to the pool or wherever several times a week, I’m more than happy to let my husband do it on the weekends so I can work. I feel so lucky to have THAT opportunity as well. 🙂

  7. Phammom says:

    Would love to find a part time job I could do from home.

  8. Arnebya says:

    It is a gift, yes. But the past few years I’ve had to look at my full time out of the home job as a gift too. I know so many people struggling to make ends meet. That said, I still wish I could work from home, make my own timeline, be more in control over when dishes/laundry/household chores are done in relation to my work. It is a balance that I think isn’t necessarily hard to achieve; it’s hard to maintain! It is a conscious juggling of determing what’s most important “at that moment.”

  9. Galit, this just summarizes my life so well. One of my most favorite lines is “…our household needs the money I make, the food I serve, the cleaning I do, the books I read, the plans I make.” Reading “the books I read” felt so soothing, because I often feel guilty when I’m curled up with a book, even though it’s my lifeblood to be a better writer. We’re in this together!

  10. Alison Lee says:

    It’s like you wrote my life, Galit.
    Right now, I have 2 writing deadlines and 3 work (for my own business) deadlines, and I’m far from meeting them. But my children are happy and healthy, and my house is relatively clean. Still a win, right? 🙂

  11. Carolyn says:

    I loved this. This is how my days go, how I feel. So well written!

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