Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The privileges of being a working-from-home-mom

I work from home as a full-time freelance writer, author and speaker. I am fortunate to have a skill in which I can have the luxury of working from home. This gives me the opportunity to also care for my daughter, who is a one-year-old today.

I’m convinced that this is one of the hardest jobs. I’ve worked in NYC PR and ran creative services for one of the fastest growing CBS affiliates. I was the youngest business development director for a national advertising firm. So, I’ve had high-stress, fast-paced jobs and being a work-from-home- mom takes the cake. If you also have the privilege that I do, then I’m sure that you will agree. I am using the word “privilege” because I’m ashamed to be guilty of complaining about the some day’s seemingly impossible task of juggling both being a mom and a professional.

Currently a friend of mine from college is losing her baby boy to brain cancer. Hearing their story has been a wake up for me. I know I mentioned this last week in a blog post and I don’t mean to be repetitious, but I feel that this point cannot be stressed enough to moms that work at home. Last time I spoke about this, there was hope for this precious little boy. Now, the family has been given the devastating news and is being forced to decide where they want to be when this battle reaches an end.

Working-from-home-moms have the privilege of being winners in both aspects of their lives. We can have our career and hang on to something of ourselves that doesn’t involve Gerber hanging from our shirts. But the most wonderful thing is that we can be there for every milestone, every smile and laugh and answer to the wonderful call of “Mama.”

When you are your own boss, you don’t have someone hovering over you and setting your schedule. You can set your schedule for what is best for you and your family. I typically get the most of my work done from 5-7 AM and then 8 PM on. This blog is a little late today because I had the wonderful opportunity to spend my morning with a smiling birthday girl when she chose to wake up earlier and start her special day.

As your own boss, you do not have paid vacation, personal or sick days. Therefore, it is easy to get caught up in the always-growing to-do-list and take every moment that you can to work. The publishing industry is not for the faint at heart. It takes more than great ideas to make it as an author. It takes dedication, sweat and sometimes—tears. The work will get done. It is important for anyone that works from home to sit back and recognize special days that deserve a lighter load.

Today, my priority is my daughter. I will get some work done. I even have a scheduled phone interview at 8 PM tonight, after my daughter is in bed. Today is our day to celebrate her. I’m currently reading ‘Eat That Frog!’ by Brian Tracey, which Kristen Lamb recommended in her recent book, ‘Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer’ (a must read if you haven’t.) Tracey’s book talks about doing the hardest and most important things on your to-do list first and focusing on them. This is the best way to get ahead of game and accomplish your goals. I also think that it is easy for professionals that work from home to either get overly focuses on the career or the home. For me it is the career. Really, you don’t want to see the neglected housework at times. But I urge professionals that work from home, especially moms, to make every moment and smile count with your child. To be able to work from home is a gift not just for your benefit, but for your child’s as well. Don’t lose sight of it. My friend would give anything to not be going through what her family is facing. I am lucky to have a healthy, beautiful daughter and I’m not going to lose sight of it for a moment, especially today on her birthday. So, I’ll be seeing y’all later tonight on Twitter but for now, I’m taking some personal time and being a mom.


My friend that I mentioned, Kara Sikes and her family need all the prayers and thoughts that they can get today. Her son, James’ story is heart-breaking but serves as a critical reminder for us all to make every moments count and to treasure our children and loved ones. Her blog has been getting page views from all over the world. If you can spare a moment, please think of this family in their time of need. I pray that I never have to know what they are going through.

Dog’s are not immune to unwanted medical conditions. My recent book, ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog’, helps owners learn common sense tips that can improve their dog’s quality of life and save some money. A percentage of the profits go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine.

1 comment:

  1. I have a "real" job (writing is still early on) but I work from home. I was approached by a past colleague about taking his job (not from home but for a LOT of money). Hubby and I had long conversations about how nice the $$ would be, but it's not always about that. I cited the fact that I can take my girls to school in the morning, IN MY JAMMIES, and get back in time for a 9am status meeting. That I can leave at 2pm for a school even and work 'til 8pm if I need to make up the time. I'm home when they get home. I"m here when they scrape their knees scootering. I LOVE being home for them, while also building my career and now with writing, building it even more. :)
    Great post and I will keep James in my thoughts.