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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Being a Work-at-Home Mom

If you have never visited Pour Your Heart Out before, see THIS post for more information- but it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


Before I start, I just want to say that I am very thankful for the opportunity to work from home. I'm not complaining about having a job nor am I saying that I have it harder than someone who has to work outside the home. If you have a need to tell me to stop my whining and realize that you have it harder than me, I ask that you please read this post first to better understand where I am coming from.

I've been a work-at-home mom now since December.  My job is pretty fabulous- I get to blog about celebrity/entertainment news, which is fun and always provides me with small talk. Like Why the Hunger Games Will Be Better Than Twilight or The Real Reason Russell Hantz Cried When Voted Off Survivor.  Fun, right?  Clarification, since some people seem confused: if you click on any of these celeb links- they are NOT on Things I Can't Say- they are on Babble.com- which is my job.

It's made my husband see this whole blogging thing as something worthwhile, where he use to just see it as a giant timesuck.  Paycheck=credibility in his eyes.

And my job is flexible.  I have a certain amount of work that I need to do each day, but that's really the only requirement. So, if I have appointments or want to go to the gym or need to do things offline, I can figure out a way to make it work.




This is still a job.  It is still work. It is still an additional demand on my time.

What I wasn't really prepared for when I became a WAHM:

*Because I work from home, it is assumed that I should still be able to keep up with the house. After all, I'm at home all day. So, why are there dirty dishes in the sink? Why is there a mountain of dirty laundry?  Why isn't dinner ready yet?

*When you work from home, you are always at work.  There is no leaving things at the office.  I love how flexible my job is.  Because yes, I could be getting work done at 1am if I need to. Drawback? I'm often up then, working.  Hubs comes home from work tired and relaxes.  My job really doesn't have a clear ending point to the day because I can always do more.

*One of my favorite parts of having a job is that for the first time in almost 6 years, I'm bringing in a paycheck!  But, it's funny how quickly this wahm paycheck goes from something extra to help out to being a total necessity. Especially when your special needs child needs to attend private school next fall.  So, it's added stress to keep bringing in that paycheck.

*My job is often not taken seriously. One, because I work from home and two, because of what I do. I get a lot of eye rolls. I assure you, this is still a job.  With work required. Yes, even though it's fun to write about why the Grey's Anatomy musical episode might not be a trainwreck afterall or the Army Wives spoilers for Sunday night, it still takes time.

*There are days when I feel like all I do is tell my boys "Not right now, Mommy is working."  Yes, I get to be home with them, but trying to find that balance is harder than you might think.  And when your kids are as young as mine, when they need your attention, they usually need it right now. Or you know, they go into Daddy's office for five minutes and do this to the walls:

Yes, that's paint. And, it's NOT washable.

But, I guess that I should have realized that this would be hard.  Being a work at home mom. So much of motherhood is hard and takes getting used to- this isn't any different.

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Blogger Alone in Holy Land said...

Oh Shell, I hear you with all my heart!
(sorry about the first comment, too many typos!)

March 23, 2011 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think it would be hard to balance everything at home.

JDaniel would have painted the walls without my having a work at home job.

March 23, 2011 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

While I do not work from home (yet), I have often wondered how this works. When I was doing Macaroni Kid, I felt like I was constantly on the computer and ignoring my kids and husband. I think if I do find a WAHM job, I will need to schedule time to get out of the house, find a babysitter, and do my work away from them. I know that costs money, but is it an option for you? Could your MIL help out with the baby a couple days of week while you work?

Good luck finding the balance!

March 23, 2011 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Lady Estrogen said...

I agree!! I also work from home - the idea that I can also keep up with the housework is ridiculous. I'm so busy some days that I don't even have time for lunch... let alone to vacuum the entire house and do 2 loads of laundry. psssfft.

March 23, 2011 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I worked from home last year and I completely understand all of your frustrations... I've felt them too!

March 23, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger BNM said...

i know it must be tough I dont work but when i bring home school work its like im sucked in the laptop for several hours and no one understands why "im playing on the computer" ugh that makes me mad lol! Anyway keep it up Shell you are doing a great job :)

March 23, 2011 at 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Making It Work Mom said...

My husband works from home. And I never expect him to do anything around the house! In fact he actually makes a big mess when he is there since for some reason he thinks the "maid" is going to pick up his lunch dishes.
I do expect him to do the majority of the school pick up and drop offs because he has flexibility and doesn't have to shower before he goes to work. And I do love that my children can come right home after school. Oh and it is great that if one of my older two have a sick day I don't have to worry about it.
I think you need to decided whether your WAH job is part time or full time and then manage the household workload accordingly.
Good Luck!

March 23, 2011 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I had a hard transition at first, but I am so thankful to be at home. I will say that the thing I miss most is just being able to walk out and have a peaceful lunch.

March 23, 2011 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Oh Shell, I get it, I really get it. I'm home for a year on maternity leave and I can't imagine if I had to get work other than the full-full time job mothering is. It is such hard, hard work. Even my husband who is pretty understanding and hands-on when it comes to housework, cooking and kids, sometimes says - must be nice to be able to stay home. I have to constantly remind him that it's work. And also, my husband is the same. Anytime I talk about writing he wants to know about the financial potential. I get it.

March 23, 2011 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger My New Normal said...

It is a rather nice shade of red. : )

March 23, 2011 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...


Do you also find that your friends think that since you work from home, you can still do playdates all the time, etc?

I hear you on not being taken seriously. I've even had people tell me that freelance blogging is not a real gig or job or whatever. Um...hello? I'm getting a paycheck...and a decent one if I might add. Doesn't that constitute having a JOB?

March 23, 2011 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger beenomom said...

Girlfriend I hear ya loud and clear!!! We bought our home 4 years ago and I immediately opened an in home family daycare. I work open from 7:15am to 5pm, but I start my "working" day much earlier and it keeps on going long after I close because I switch back into mom mode. It is hard and I know how you feel about there always being work to do around the house.

I feel like as moms sometimes we are damned if we do and damned if we dont. We also put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and can sometimes be our own worst nightmare in the guilt department.

The bottom line, we need to do what is right for our own families and as fellow moms support each other in the paths we each take. We are all trying to do the same thing!

Keep up the good work and don't sweat the small stuff!

March 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I hear ya. When I'm not traveling, I do work from home. It's hard for me, because I have Baby in day care right down the street. For my situation, babies and conference calls simply do not mix. It's definitely a balancing act, and one that requires a lot of internal negotiations. I always try to remain grateful for my situation because it IS flexible, but sometimes that flexibility can be the whole problem!

March 23, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

I hope you can learn to blow off the doubters. They aren't worth your time convincing.

Motherhood is full-time tripled. It's not the same thing as being a housewife or a working spouse (which I am not claiming are easy, just saying they are not the same). Any time you add another job (full or part time) it adds another level to the tier.

One thing I have learned a while back is, most of us still do it better than our husbands. My husband got to stay home for some time, while I continued to work third shift 50/hr a week while pregnant. He wasn't a WAHD, just a SAHD with one boy in kindergarten and a toddler. He never lift a finger when it came to dishes, laundry, cleaning bathrooms, picking up or vacuuming. He couldn't figure it out.

Needless to say, he says nothing about my less than perfect housekeeping skills. And if I won't have dinner ready, he knows how to make a hot dog or a PB&J.

March 23, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

I get it. There are a few times that I'm actually able to work at home, and let me tell you, I'd rather be at work if my kids are home. They don't let me get anything done...so most of the time, if they are sick, and I have to be with them, I just call in at work. It's not worth the struggle for me.

March 23, 2011 at 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, work is work - doesn't matter where you're doing it. A job takes time and focus. I can definitely see how working at home can make it really difficult to separate work time from just home time.
You keep on keeping on girl!

March 23, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I gotta give mom who work from home a lot of credit. You are basically doing two jobs at once. Its a lot more difficult than people realize.

March 23, 2011 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i can imagine how hard it is being a WAHM. because your having a double work at the same time...

be PROUD dearie...

March 23, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I get it, and I'm not really a WAHM, just a SAHM who is tired of all the work it takes just to be a mom.

This thing is harder than it looks.

March 23, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Mandi Miller said...

Blogging is slowly opening "jobs" for me too. It is really hard sometimes to be a WAHM. The worst for me is feeling guilty about being on the computer when my daughter is playing in her room. In my head I know there isn't anything wrong with that because I could be doing the dishes while she is in her room playing... no one would have a problem with that. But somehow I feel guilty about working on the computer even for just a little bit. I try to do everything I need to do before she wakes up, during nap time and after she goes to bed but sometimes I need an hour or two more during the day.
Maybe it will get easier when she goes to school?

March 23, 2011 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

FOR REAL! I teach community college online. Everyone thinks that it's SO cool because I get to work from home. I am thankful for the opportunity, but it's tough--it's work on top of other work, like housework, wifework, and mommywork (and I only have ONE kid which, btw, is the topic of my pour your heart out post today...I love these things--so glad I found your blog). Anyway, now I am in this PhD program and it's another job (actually about 15 additional jobs b/c of the insane pressure to publish, publish, publish in addition to your classwork and dissertation) on top of the other jobs. And the one that pays me, the teaching, is not much pay and doesn't compensate for the headaches/stress. Good grief! I don't know YOU do it all! Writing is TOUGH...those people who don't take you seriously can just, I don't know, kiss your foot. Ha! Best of luck--it's tough. Wouldn't it be nice to go in a work office, close the door, and have silence for a minute?! :) Have a good rest of the week!

March 23, 2011 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I'm sure it is hard working from home. Like you said, you can't step away and leave work at work.

I think sometimes we're screwed either way. If we don't work, than we should. If we do work, we need to find a balance and explain ourselves to others. Ignore the criticism and I hope you find a balance.

March 23, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Amber Page Writes said...

I'm trying hard to get to WAHM land, but I worry about the same things. As long as you're doing the best you can, you're doing it right.

March 23, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is strange how an "extra" paycheck quickly becomes a paycheck you can't live without.

I get the same kind of comments about watching Baby G. Yes - I am at home, but that doesn't mean I can have everything looking perfect by 5 pm when he doesn't leave until 4:45. I have to watch him. I can't just let him play on his own or with the boys all day. He is only 1 yr old...

March 23, 2011 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

I think this is probably the best, most honest representation of this I've read. I struggle a lot to work on days Alex is home with me.

That said, Hunger Games will TOTALLY be better than Twilight. Because the books are, to start.

March 23, 2011 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

the dilemma of being a mother. I really understand this post. I wish I am a sahm but it's not I have to work. Balancing is so hard. But it's harder being at home bec. your family thinks you're not doing anything and tey really expect that you'll be there whenever they call- MOM!

March 23, 2011 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Kay said...

I can totally relate to this post. I work part time. Because I don't work a whole 40 hours it's assumed that I am still expected to keep up with the house work.

It's funny how extra income just disappears so easily.

March 23, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hun that happens to the best of us whether we work at home or are just stay at home mom's . But it is a job, so in essence you have 2 full time jobs, you just get actual money for one.
Take a breath, exhale and let it go with the wind.

March 23, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I am sure it can be a struggle to be a working mom from home because you're right there with them, but not really. You will find a balance in it all. I think it makes it more worth it now, since you need the money to put Bear in school. It's a blessing in disguise.
And to the eye rollers, they have no idea unless they walk in your shoes. You are doing what works for YOUR family and that is what matters. Don't feel guilty. :)

March 23, 2011 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

When I was back in school, I only had Andrew and that was hard--but because I only had ONE, I was able to wait until after he went to bed to do projects and homework. I can't imagine with three!

Keep on keepin' on, friend!

March 23, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Sara @ Mom Endeavors said...

I understand this completely. I became a WAHM when I took a leave of absence from teaching this year. In addition to the blog, I am a curriculum writer. I had grandiose expectations that so much more would get done. I'm still working on figuring out balance. Sometimes I do well and well, sometimes not.AT.ALL!
Thanks for sharing this!

March 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Go Mommy said...

I finally got a moment to comment (I have been reading, you know I luv ya' I just haven't had a chance to comment to you)
Balancing life is hard, no matter what you do. I think if I worked from home I would drink too much! (that sounds so bad)

March 23, 2011 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger John said...

As a "work at the office" dad with a laptop, I feel your pain. My job has a very liberal "work from home" plan, and I have the option of working from home whenever it might be convenient for me to do so. I never, ever chose to.

If I work from home, it means the kids & dogs see me, and want to play with me, and since I'd rather be playing with them....

Then there comes food . . . I love food, and I love good food, which requires at least a little preparation, but I can't work in anything but a spotless kitchen, so to simply make myself some hummus, I need to do all of the dishes, wipe all of the countertops, take out the trash & recycling, and...what was I going to make? Oh, is that 13 emails that I've missed?

Working at home is truly incredible (and, to work at home as a writer, for fun topics? Ma'am, my hat is off to you), but that "work" part really has to come first.

March 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger diane rene said...

I get it.

it took me YEARS to enjoy being a SAHM, I loved my job, and in all honesty, I felt my family helped me more when I was out working. now I am a sometimes WAHM ... I have certain jobs that are annual, and other jobs that pop up here and there.

those annual jobs require HOURS of redesign and correcting other peoples errors, and usually the deadline is totally unreasonable, but it's necessary, and a challenge, and it makes me miss my real job (of being a mommy, that is)

March 23, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Sheesh, Mama. I'm NOT working, I'm doing volunteer stuff at home and I feel the same way. OFTEN. I linked up before I read your post and was like, hmmn, similar mindsets re: the disasters waiting to happen. So I hear you. I'm excited for you for your job, and that is wonderful that you have the opportunity, but all that comes with it, I can only imagine how that impacts you.

And on a side note, I totally ordered the Harry/Sally DVD yesterday. Thanks. :P

March 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Valerie said...

Oh, how I can totally understand where you're coming from. I run a very, very business from home and my husband is a part of it as well. After 4 years, our friends and family are finally realizing that yes, we do work and yes, when you come over unannounced, you're taking away from that work time, which means I'll just have to work later into the night. Now that we have a child, he actually goes to daycare 3 days a week just so we can have kid free time to work early in the week and then we just feel guilty later in the week when he's watched twice as much television as we intended. So I totally understand where you're coming from and don't feel like you're complaining because the bottom line is that people just don't get it. I thought I was going to have more "me" time and I actually ended up selling my horse a year into the business because I felt like I was neglecting him.

March 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

I think that you having that job is awesome! I didn't realize how much more it would be on you but now that you wrote it out and I thought about it of course it would be. Have you talked to hubs about helping around the house a little more? Because you ARE working and you ARE busy, he should understand that to make your paycheck you do have to do work and there aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with three little boys, a husband, a house, a job and everything else.

March 23, 2011 at 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Heidi Smith Luedtke -- LeadingMama said...

I agree with every one of your observations about working from home. I wish I had an office in a shed in the backyard so that there was some physical distance between my work and my life. Just because we can work at all hours doesn't mean we *should*. I feel lousy when I tell my kids "not now, mommy's working" and that happens A LOT. But then if I holed up in a shed in the yard, I might end up writing a manifesto instead of a book proposal. That wouldn't be good.

March 23, 2011 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Macey said...

I don't think I could do it. I don't have enough attention span!

March 23, 2011 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

I hear ya. While I am not really bringing in enough money from my blog to consider it a "paycheck," I DO spend my days working...blogging, networking, writing, designing, etc. etc. And I have a toddler son, so it's not always consistent working time. Frustrating to hear people say that what we do isn't a "real" job. It's work nonetheless, and it's an ALL DAY thing. As is motherhood. :)

March 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Di said...

Before I had Jellybean I loved working from home because I could get so much done. Now that he is here I rarely have time to check email let alone do anything around the house. I totally understand now the people who work from home yet have a nanny or housekeeper too!

March 23, 2011 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger mypixieblog said...

I think it's awesome you were able to find something that you love doing (or maybe, that you were able to get paid doing something you love doing would be a better way of describing it). And I totally understand that it's a lot of work. I would never underestimate what you do simply because you work from home; but I applaud you for being able to find a balance with everything.

March 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sending hugs your way! I would definitley be struggling with all of the above! Even without a paying job to be done from home, I still don't get to it all. I feel all of the same frustrations as a homeschooling mom. Because, quite franly it is a job! The time I would normally out into housework gets sucked up with school. Let's just say my house isn't as clean as it used to be! Sigh...

March 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Grand Pooba said...

Right when you said "work from home" I knew exactly what you were going to say.

You're always at work!!

When I worked from home I felt the same way. I never got a break from work! You need to seperate the two for sure but how right??

March 23, 2011 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger shortmama said...

I imagine it would be very hard because its hard to separate "work" time from "non work" time.

The closest thing I can relate to do is doing homeschooling with my girls. I am still with the girls obviously but during school I am "teacher mom" and sometimes thats hard to separate from "regular mom". The mom in me has to remember that there are times when I just need to be a teacher and not switch into mom mode

March 23, 2011 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've been working from home for about 6 years now. Working from home sounds so wonderful, but it can be very difficult when you have children. You have to always stop what you are doing to check on them, or they are constantly bugging you, or they get into things when they know you are not paying attention. I tell people to just imagine taking 3 kids to the office with them and try to get your work done! It's like the same thing. I think some days it's more stressful to work at home instead of in a nice quiet office, or somewhere with just a bunch of adults! ... I also feel guilty, as if I don't spend enough time with my kids. Working from home isn't a 9-5 job. You can't just clock out and forget about it until the next day!

March 23, 2011 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

I do both...and the only time the wahm stuff gets done is either when the kids are in bed, or daddy is home and they are doing something. I just can't do it when I'm the one in charge.

But, it does result in those super late nights and being exhausted.

March 23, 2011 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

I've been working from home for almost 2 years now and it is a lot harder than most people think it is. I'm right there with you. It's fantastic to have the flexibility to work and be with your kids, but it's hard when your kids need your attention and you have work to finish or after a long day of hanging out with the kids, you stay up and work until 11 or 12 o'clock at night...because it has to be done. And the kids don't care when they wake up early the next morning that you were up working until midnight.

March 23, 2011 at 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...

Yes, yes and yes! Since losing my job in September, along with the birth of our youngest that same month, I've been trying my hand at a few WAH things. You always think "Piece of cake!" until you have to actually DO it.

I still have the customer service aspect of it, even from home, and it's hard to do everything at once. The kids/baby always seem to need something the second I'm eyeball deep in graphics and trying to concentrate.

And my house? Is a disaster. Thank God SO comes home and entertains kids/does laundry/helps with dinner or dishes/does whatever else may need to be done in order to help me out!

March 23, 2011 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger Stephanie in Suburbia said...

I TOTALLY relate to this post! I almost wrote one of my own, but it'd be more like an AMEN from yours. I actually did my job at a desk in a cube for 2 years before I got transferred to work at home. And yet, the fact that I don't get dressed and get Starbucks and walk around in heels in an office means it's less legit. Or that's how I feel. And I def. feel people expect me to be available more so than my co-workers who are still in an office.

Great post! I totally feel you!

March 23, 2011 at 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you nailed it when you talked about "balance". When you work from home, that balance gets thrown off, even if it's unintentional. I've worked from home also and it's tricky!

When I go to work, it's almost like a small break from home. I get to go to a place where I can pee with the door closed, where I can eat a meal without someone eating half of it and I can listen to what I want on the radio!

March 23, 2011 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I feel you, even though I'm not a SAHM or a WAHM, being unemployed, trying to search for a job, keep the male in my house happy and keeping my sanity didn't always work out. But I took/take each day as it comes and just do what I can :) You're allowed those few days, don't worry!

March 23, 2011 at 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Ameena said...

As someone who started working from home recently I can absolutely relate to what you write here...I'm still expected to keep on top of the dishes, the laundry, and have dinner ready, in addition to working all day long. It's nuts!

March 23, 2011 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Cyndy Bush said...

I do a little bit of work from home for a little bit of pay....and I agree with you. It's not cake! I know of people who work at home and still have nannies or take their child to day care/preschool. Just because you're at home, doesn't mean it's not work!

March 23, 2011 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Being a mom is hard enough. As a mom working full-time from home?? Hard doesn't even begin to cover it. I work more hours than I have ever done at a physical job, and then I try to have a blog and some side projects as well. Meeting the demands of your family, your marriage, your kids... then your job, your focus, your writing..

It's a challenge. One I know will lighten as my kids get older, but at 5 and 2? It's freakin hard.

You know I feel for ya!

March 23, 2011 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Your a great mom and I bet you do things better than you think you do. As for the paint...hmmm, that happens with kiddos whether you are working or not!

They are making Hunger Games into a movie?? Saweet! :)

March 23, 2011 at 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Galit Breen said...

I get this! I really, really get this.

You wrote about it beautifully and transparently and I respect you for that!

March 23, 2011 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Poor you. That sucks, that feeling your job has no set hours. Kinda like motherhood, right?

p.s. DO NOT get your kids the colored bubbles from Crayola. You will thank me for this.

March 23, 2011 at 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Mindy said...

As a fellow WAHM, I absolutely, without a doubt, 100% could not agree with you more. Every single word is exactly how I feel on a day to day basis. I've learned to just kinda roll with it - and tell my family that they'll just have to deal. And they do!

March 23, 2011 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

No matter if you stay at home, work outside of the home or in it-that good balance is just so hard to find. My husband would love if I made money blogging :)

March 23, 2011 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

I'm hoping it's just the adjustment that's brutal. Probably the adjustment to the house not being very clean!

March 23, 2011 at 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I hear ya - I used to work at home (before becoming a mama) and it was hard for EXACTLY the reasons you posted. There is no escape since you live & work under the same roof! *empathy hug*
P.S. I thought that was blood ... glad it was just paint! ;)

March 23, 2011 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Karen M. Peterson said...

It's kind of funny how we don't think about those things unless we're there. It's easy to assume someone has the very best possible situation because we're comparing their public life to our private thoughts.

Thanks for sharing this. And anyone who finds any reason to be offended by it should give it a shot first.

March 23, 2011 at 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I am currently off of work due to my chronic pain and other "my body hates me" issues and I don't know how you do it. Really I give a standing ovation to SAHM and WAHM...you all are amazing and yes you have every right to complain.

March 23, 2011 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I don't doubt that it's both very difficult and not quite taken as seriously as it should be.

It is work, and most people would not have to contend with parenting while doing their work.

It must be very hard to balance both work and the kids. Most people couldn't and you should be proud!

March 23, 2011 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

work is work, Shell, whether it's done at home or not, whether it's taking care of kids, or working outside the home, or doing it all. I think you are fabulous, you bring up very valid points (as I knew you would before I ever read this post), and I think you have such a terrific job! OMG! I did not know you blogged professionally. This is so cool! I just read your post about that one movie being better than Twilight. I'm the comment that says: Twilight forever!!! Notice how I'm such a Twilight fan that I didn't even bother to remember the name of the other movie...pffffttt...
I still adore you!

March 24, 2011 at 12:05 AM  
Blogger Belle's Books said...

Work is work no matter where you do it! It's a blessing to be able to do what you love and do it from home!

March 24, 2011 at 12:47 AM  
Blogger Tracie Nall said...

Oh no! Not paint! what a mess :(

You are doing a fabulous job being a mom and a worker....and you will eventually find that balance, I'm sure.

March 24, 2011 at 2:24 AM  
Blogger SharleneT said...

I have always worked out of my home (except for one two-year period) and it's a JOB. The hardest thing to get across to your friends and family is that you are WORKING, just as they do when they go to an outside office. The difference is the time it takes to drive back and forth. What I did not do was wear pajamas or running suits. My job was one that would require going to business offices, not only for my clients but for others in the same line who needed someone to fill in -- and it just made sense to wear nice sportswear (or, what they call casual dress in offices, today.)

My children were 2-1/2 and 4-1/2 when I started and I was completed disorganized in the first few months because even I couldn't take my job seriously (because I wasn't dressing up and going to a job). I finally created my own little office out of a very small closet in my 6x8 sewing room. Made it look very professional and, guess what? I became professional.

The next step was to set hours that were for business only and children do work with you on this. I spent many nights catching up on work, when they were small, but as time passed and they were both in school, life took on a very good rhythm.

I've had friends ask me to do something because they had 'part time' jobs and didn't have the time, but since I was at home...
You have to set hours. I refused to talk on the phone in the mornings and let my answering machine take the calls. All my clients knew that they could leave a message or request and I would return ALL business calls between 3:00 and 5:00 pm. If they let me know what they wanted, it would be ready at the time.

The biggest hurdle is hubby assuming it's your job to take care of the house blah blah blah. First of all, your home is an investment for BOTH of you. If he doesn't help maintain it, you get all the equity at sale. (I thought your generation had husbands that did everything half and half. What happened?) Let him know that, if he's going to enjoy the benefits of your paycheck, he has to do his share of taking care of the house, too -- or, get over the idea that spring cleaning is a daily job.

You can't do it all by yourself and he doesn't get to sit in a chair saying his work day is over when he walks through the door. You're both on this journey and housework isn't your job -- it's both of yours. You'll get your rhythm and you will discover that it's totally worth it. You're around your kids (who have learned that they must be bleeding from a main artery to get your attention!) and will totally forget what rush hour traffic is all about. Good luck.

Come visit when you can.

March 24, 2011 at 6:01 AM  
Blogger McKenna said...

I have seen a wall or two look like that in my house. I don't know how you do it. I have thought about trying to work from home but at this point I just can't manage HAVING to get something done for someone else because my time to sit at the computer to work is never predictable.
I think you are doing a great job juggling everything and I want to be you when my kids grow up a bit!

March 24, 2011 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Joy@TPMG said...

I admire WAHMs because I can't imagine how difficult it is to work at home and watch the kids and still be expected do everything else. Having support from friends and family is so important. I hope it gets easier for you!

March 24, 2011 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

I totally get it. I'm freelancing right now and if dinner isn't cooked and the house isn't picked up, it's like, what'd you do all day?

March 24, 2011 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger natalee said...

Shell.. my friend I sooooo get it...ps I felt like it was my house when I saw the red paint.... hugs...

March 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Leighann said...

I'm on mat leave right now. For the first 7 months I found it wonderful.
And then?
She started moving.
It's hard.
I have much respect for any mom who can balance both.
I'm excited to go back to work.

March 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I know how hard it can be to work at home... I did it for a little while after my son was born and I'd do anything to be able to do it again.

I hate leaving my kid all day with someone else to raise him.

March 24, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I feel like even the small scale blogging that I do is a job. I feel so guilty telling my children hold on, let mommy finish what I'm working on. But if I had to work, I guess, I'd rather to it at home. I totally understand where you are coming from, even my job as a SAHM never ends.

March 24, 2011 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

It is hard to blog at home for fun. I imagine it would be even harder when you have to write actual quality stuff to get paid.

Duct tape?

March 24, 2011 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Mommy Shorts said...

I've worked full-time and I've worked from home and without a question working at home is harder. At work, you can take it easy for a day. You can take a break for lunch. If you don't have help at home, there is no taking it easy.

And now I am off to see why Grey's musical event isn't going to be a disaster because I can't imagine that it could be anything less.

March 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

I know, I know...and I have tears in my eyes as I read this.

I try to do so much from home, so that I"m with them.

but DAMN it's hard.

March 24, 2011 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Elena Wollborg said...

I honestly don't get how WAHM's do it. I'm home from work today and I thought I could get a few things done...and no. (of course, it could be that I've read blogs all nap time!). I didn't think you were complaining at all. I remember when my husband used to work out of the house he had the same feelings you said in bullet point #2 - he never left his job. When I would get home he was so antsy to get out, where I just wanted to chill in the house. I keep meaning to tell you this...but I think your job is awesome and I try to read most of your celeb post links. Honestly, my hubs teases me how much I pay attention to celebrity stuff and I would love to be able to justify it with a paycheck. ;)

March 24, 2011 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Pamela Fagan Hutchins said...

OK, so now I had to come stalk you :)
Funny post.
I am a partial WAHM and have been off and on for 15 years. You nailed it, sister! My 2 fave WAH stories
1. 18 mo old daughter bored w/my ph call, turned my computer on and off 100 billion times until...it just never came on again. nice.
2. my 13 yo son rang doorbell for 5 min straight while i was on multiparty (all of us billing by the hour to the client who was on the call) conf call until i finally apologized to the gropu, admitted it was at my house, and let him in.
I LOVE wah!
Great post.

March 24, 2011 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Tina L. Hook said...

First of all, congrats on that cool writing job. Love it.

Second, I write from home all day and I can relate to many of these points, most especially the part where the work day never ends. It. really. doesn't.

March 24, 2011 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

What an interesting job you have, although it doesn't sound easy by any stretch of the imagination. I think to be a work from home mom must be exhausting and also frustrating when people make light of it or don't see the value in what you do.

You are doing such a great job though. Praying for lots of patience and strength for you. You are one strong woman! I admire what you are doing for your family.

March 24, 2011 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Heather H said...

That is a tough situation...even though I often bring work home, I can't imagine never getting away from it. I try to be respectful of those who work from home (my mom semi-does, and my dad works swing shift so he sleeps during the day) but this is a great reminder that I can do better!

March 24, 2011 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

I give you so much credit!!!

March 24, 2011 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger MommyLovesStilettos said...

I can sort of relate. I work full time outside of the home, and then at night I work at home on Mac Kid (which is like a full time job at this point. LOL). It is incredibly hard to keep up with everything and still keep my house clean and laundry done. I've found myself slacking lately. Cause when I finally close my laptop at 2 am, I'm beat. And getting less than 4 hours of sleep isn't an option! LOL

March 24, 2011 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I have a dislike for people who think writing and blogging are not work I think anything you dedicate time too and get money for is work

March 24, 2011 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger Liz Mays said...

I can't pretend to know how to do the balance because I never had to. I didn't do anything online until they left for college. I don't know how blogging moms pull it off. It amazes me.

March 24, 2011 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

Its so hard working from home! And I agree no one takes it seriously, which drives me crazy! I feel like saying, "I'm making money to support my household too, I just NEVER leave the house." It super hard to juggle a job and kids.

March 24, 2011 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger Katie Hurley, LCSW said...

Shell, I don't know HOW you do it. I can't even keep up with this unpaid blog that no one reads....but you're everywhere! You are hard working, supportive, and truly amazing. Yes, it's real work. And so is your other full time (underpaid) job: Motherhood.

March 25, 2011 at 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Yuliya said...

It kind of bums me out that you even felt the need to put a disclaimer on this post!
I honestly can't imagine how you do it, how you add one more thing on top of the already full plate of motherhood. As for the dishes? Time to put those kids to work!

March 26, 2011 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

I love how you are so honest about how difficult it is to find the balance...but my hat is also off to you. It seems like you are doing a pretty awesome job of keeping all the balls in the air!! xx

March 26, 2011 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Shell - OMG - I am SO making Jason read this because this is ME!!!

And I'm also including in next Sat in my Monster Likes post because yeah, I'm relating to it a little too much.

March 27, 2011 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger kc said...

hugs and prayers being sent your way!!! I may work outside of the home most of the time, but when I do work from home it is way hard to set my ending hours....I think it is important to try and do that - make sure you don't keep on going and going until you lose yourself in it :)

I did love this post -- I hope it speaks to those that think working at home is less of a real job.

March 27, 2011 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Heligirl said...

Hi Shell. I've been out of the loop since about December because I lost my job and was thrust into SAHM life, with the intention of figuring out how to make it WAHM life. I so hear you. I'm more frustrated with this existence than the working out of the home part time life I had. You're trying to do both - work and be at home. It's two jobs, takes time, and discipline. Hang in there. I've been bitching about the same thing over at Heligirl.

March 28, 2011 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger jayayceeblog said...

I worked at home when my kids were in high school and, let me tell you, they're just as needy at that age as your little ones. Plus, everyone thinks that since you're home they can call or pop by to visit or ask you to let in their repairman or whatever. It's so not cool. But good for you for doing something fun, earning a paycheck and being able to watch your kids grow up, even if they're doing it while hanging on your leg as you're typing! =D

March 28, 2011 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You hit every nail on the head. Fortunately for my job, I teach English in the home, which requires that I keep it clean (at least the upstairs). Otherwise, who knows when I'd be appearing on Hoarders.

I'm so happy for you that you got a great job.

March 29, 2011 at 8:37 AM  

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