Themed Weekend: Working From Home

"I'll be right there," I call toward the front door as I mop up the spilled milk from my 2-year-old's cereal bowl, while holding my 3-month-old baby.

I realize I'm still wearing my pajamas so I hastily throw on a tee and some yoga pants, pull back my hair in a ponytail, and head for the front door.

"It's a package!" My 2-year-old exclaims. I open the door, "Sorry for the wait", I say to the UPS driver, who recognizes me. He comes to our house almost every day. I probably should know his name by now. I sign in the little box and he says, "Have a nice day."

My cell phone starts ringing. I let the voicemail get it because my 2-year-old says, "I need to go potty." "Okay, I'll meet you in there," I say to her, stopping to pick up toys and start a load of laundry before helping her. While she washes her hands, I write down things on my to-do list and talk with her about things that 2-year-olds like to talk about it - animals and arts & crafts and birthday parties.

grandma-and-big-sister-june-2009The doorbell rings again. It's my mother-in-law. She comes over three times a week to play with my 2-year-old while I work. She is an AMAZING woman (pictured, right) - kind, energetic, fun, full of life and love. It's the perfect arrangement actually. My daughter adores her grandma and they spend their days taking walks and picking flowers and "doing the alphabet."

While they settle in to do crafts in the office, I check my e-mail while nursing the baby. 340 new messages. I start sorting e-mails - PR contacts, blogging buddies, contest winners, school district personnel, etc. My baby falls asleep and I work quickly. E-mails. Write blog post. Edit letter for the superintendent. Write press release for the district. Work out final details for upcoming Themed Weekend. Send rates to new advertiser. Jot down business ideas.

The baby stirs. I pick her up and join my 2-year-old and "Ma" in the office. My daughter hands me a picture of colorful scribbles that she made for me. Somehow it's the most beautiful thing I've seen all day. We laugh and talk and decide to eat popsicles in the backyard.

Then, back to work for a few more hours - with breaks for lunch and nursing and kissing ouchies and changing diapers and switching the laundry from washer to dryer and smiling at my baby.

We say good-bye to grandma and play the rest of the day away, the girls and I. Then, it's dinner and family walk and bath and bed and husband time...and back to work until the wee hours of the morning.

Just another day in paradise.

sisters-june-2009-2

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Being a work-at-home mom can be a little crazy. Actually, I take that back. It's crazy all of the time. But I like it that way. I like the thrill of being creative, the surprises that greet me in my inbox each morning, the amazing relationships I make with people around the world, the potential to use my talents to change the world for the better. I love my little corner of chaos. I really do.

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This weekend is all about working from home. There will be articles, tips, product reviews, and giveaways...all designed to help you work more efficiently out of your home. Whether your have your own business or you contract with a big company or you are looking for ideas on how to make $$$ at home, this series is for you.

YOUR TURN: Do you work-at-home...or would you like to? Why or why not?

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30 comments on “Themed Weekend: Working From Home”

  1. i seriously cannot wait to work from home. i want to raise kids and be able to work..i dont want to pay a small fortune in day care..i just wouldnt like that! so yea..if given a chance..i will definitely try to work from home!

  2. I always worked outside the home until I was laid off last summer. It's been wonderful to be home with my kids, but I need a way to replace the full-time income. I love blogging and basically do consider myself 'working' from home right now, although it doesn't really pay anything. It's really hard to juggle spending time with the girls and 'work' time - but it's also so much less stressful than having to deal with sick days, squeezing 2 hours of errands into one lunch hour, and never being able to go to any of my kids' activities and school events. If I could find a way to actually make money while working at home, things would be perfect!

  3. I work from my mother-in-laws house. We have a family business and I go in once a week to do bills, paychecks, taxes etc. Then I go to the post office and bank every day. It gets me out of the house. I would like to find some other work from home job but not sure when I would do it.

  4. I would love to be a WAHM but that will probably have to wait until my next baby is beyond the newborn stage. I'm not an organized person, and we have no family in the area, so having two little ones and starting a new job would stress me out HUGELY. So, for now, I'm happy just blogging.

    But, thanks for the great resources. I will keep them in mind for next year.

  5. I just started working from home a couple hours a day. So far its working out great, I just need to get the baby to take her naps in her pack-n-play.

  6. right now i am lucky enough to stay at home with my boys without having to do any work that brings in an income. if the need arose for me to start bringing in some money, i think i would prefer to work from home... doing what, i'm not sure. it seems like it would be the best of both worlds... bringing in an income while still being at home to be a wife and mom.
    before my kids were born i was an elem. school teacher. i don't think i would want to go back to it since being a teacher requires so much extra time otside of the school day (lesson planning, project and classroom prep., grading, meetings, etc.) if i had to go back into the school setting, i'd probably go back as an aide or substitute... then i'd be able to leave work at work and not have the added responsibilities.

  7. I work at home, although at the moment I'm 90% on mat leave. I stopped going into the office reliably sometime during my first trimester - something about needing to lie down suddenly (and unpredictably) was incompatible with office life.

    I definitely find it difficult to concentrate on work at the moment though. It seems that as soon as Elizabeth is asleep for a nap, I want to decompress from all that playing. By the time I feel decompressed and "ready" to work, she's awake again. Hmmm.

  8. I wish I could work at home. I enjoy my job at the high school but I'd really like to homeschool my youngest. Unfortunately there just isn't anything I can do from home that will bring in enough income.

  9. I work at home while attempting to entertain my 4 and 2 year old daughters. Fortunately, I am blessed to work with an incredible partner! Thank you!

  10. How great to have such a good relationship with your mother in law! Mine is okay but if I saw her that often I think that might change... I can't even imagine having my mother around if I was trying to get work done.

    Your little one looks like a teeny tiny doll in the last picture.

  11. wow that's busy but kind of what i do when my husband is off. its a fine balance between keeping the house functioning and getting work done that needs to be done. I picked up a "job" on our condominium's board of directors. busy busy

  12. My son is at the office with me 3 days per week. When I'm not there helping patients, I'm working at home (dishes, laundry, meal prep, scrubbing toilets, emptying the potty, etc.). My husband calls those days my "days off" but I usually feel I'm working just as hard, just different tasks. I love that my son is with me and that we haven't delegated his upbringing to someone else. I may not grow my practice as quickly as many of my colleagues, but I believe I'm making an eternal impact in one of the most important people in my life...nothing tops that!

    I really enjoyed this post, and I hope you'll write more with glimpses into your life as you balance working from home and being a wife and mom.

    By being forced to answer emails, write posts, contact PR folks, etc. have you become more efficient with your time and ability to write effectively and quickly?

  13. Wow. I need to up my game. You sound busy and... awesome! I am struggling to survive simply taking care of a 4.5 month old.

    I'd love to work from home, but I don't seem to have the energy/motivation right now. Nor do I know what I would do from home. I'm also a bit scared to try... we want to have baby #2 soon, and that may put me over the top! ha.

  14. Looking forward to the Themed Weekend! I work at home, and it's been great. I work primarily at night, since I don't have anyone to play with my daughter during the day.But this gets scratched when she's sick or my husband is away. Still, it's great that I can continue to be professionally engaged, working on an issue I care deeply about, while also being my daughter's primary caregiver.

  15. Working at home is so chaotic! I'm grateful though to be able to do it. Keeping my son at home with me is one of my main priorities, and working from home allows me to do that. Sometimes, I wonder though, how I'll make it to the end of a day in one piece. Wouldn't change it though!

  16. In a sense I feel like I'm a work at home mom who also moonlights as a part time librarian.

    It's the best of both worlds in my shoes.

    Anyway you look at it, all moms are working moms!

  17. Once I finish my course work I'll be a work from home mom. I'm still trying to figure out if it's going to work out like I hope. My 2 year old does not like it when I'm studying, I can only imagine when I have to work.

  18. What a fabulous post describing life as a wahm. And the pictures are perfect. I work at home, and have since 2004. I love what I do, and that I'm home with my kids!

    Nell

  19. I would also love to be able to work from home, but feel the same way as the others and worry about becoming a victim of a scam.

    I'm excited to see what tips you have to share!

  20. I will obtain my BA in Anthropology this fall, but I have decided to put off graduate school due to the needs of my family. I would love to work from home, but I am just muddling through the planning. I really have no idea what I am doing!

  21. Hmmm. There are some good questions here. How do you know work at home schemes are NOT scams?? A lot of companies that say you can work from home require some sort of fee to get started. Did you have to put up any money to get started??
    BTW, You are a terrific writer and can really paint a picture as to what your life is like. I LOVE to read your blog! It's awesome! I like to write too. I am honing my writing skills by blogging and such. I have even started to write a novel.

  22. I would love to work from home. I have researched jobs but they all appear to be scams. Are there any legitimate jobs, and how do you find them?

  23. What a great post! You manage a lot every day and enjoy it, that's awesome.

    I do work from home and have since 2001. I first started out in direct sales but have since left that to focus on Internet/Affiliate marketing with a website and blog (well we have quite a few websites). I also do some work at home job tasks for others as well like forum moderation, blog spam management, etc. Little side jobs I guess you could say.

    I love working from home and have a goal of one day giving hubs the option to do so as well although he really loves what he does. I want to travel a lot more and work while on the road. That's the goal anyway!

  24. I loved getting a little glimpse into your day, Stephanie! You are one amazing WAHM! I do sometimes wish I could find a profitable way to do more regular work from home, but then...all the other things that I do, volunteer & ministry stuff, would have to be cut back. So for now, I'm happy where I'm at, but open, if the Lord brought along the right opportunity.

  25. I would love to work from home. Right now, I work for IL's and take my girls to work with me -- it's about as ideal as it can be for now. If I could find a way to work from home making the same (or more) amount of money -- I'd totally do it.

  26. Well my work at home business is a very small one. Just blogger.com blog design but I am happy with it. It goes through periods of slow and super busy but it's always enjoyable. I get to feel like I'm involved in the professional world some how but still be with my kiddos!

  27. I work at home for myself. The one thing I'm seeing that needs to change about my situation is some regular childcare - some time I can count on every week to work, even if it is only 2 or 3 hours a day 2 or 3 days a week. With Hubby working third shift now I don't see it happening anytime soon - but things can always change! Maybe, we'll get an answer to our prayers and Hubby will get a first shift position soon... then life can be a little more structured for me again!

  28. I am very impressed by WAHMs. Especially the ones that seem to be not only successful at their work, but also at being a mom. I couldn't do it! As a student, I am completely unable to study with my son around. Anytime I try to do anything that requires more brain power than looking at facebook, I get distracted.

    So, I think it's wonderful that you are a successful WAHM! I would not be.

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