I feel exhausted, rather knackered. And the problem is ….I’ve chosen this weariness all by myself.
I’m a work-at-home mom (WAHM). Though every mom is a working mom and can never be called non-working, but here I used work-at-home in context to my professional role along with family responsibilities. I don’t intend to fuel the famous stay-at-home versus working mom debate here, because I do both. Period.
So a work-at-home mom…a happy mom working effortlessly on a laptop with a content and joyous infant on her lap. If this image pops up in your head hearing WAHM (which most likely would) hold on for a while. Being a WAHM means my personal and work lives collide all the time, as I do everything being at the same place and under the same atmosphere. Juggling with my responsibilities, I hardly go out (except school drop and pick-up). And every time I’m seen outdoors, my contribution behind those closed doors is blatantly questioned when people ask me things like, “what do you do all day?” And those, who know that behind those closed doors I earn a living too, call it a wonderful way of killing time. Voila!
Though I love my WAHM life as I get to pursue my dreams while being at home, but it’s certainly not as easy as it sounds. I face challenges like any of you in day-to-day life. And as I get asked these questions over and again, I would like to give you a sneak peek into the life of a WAHM.
Photo Source: Fabio Bruna
Why I chose to be a WAHM
It was three years ago when I took that monumental decision to be a WAHM. To be precise, I decided to earn. As the monetary dependence makes the woman in me feel crippled.
Though I’ve always had the option to join my regular job after childbirth, but witnessing my darling son achieve those growth milestones seemed miraculous and blissful. Nothing in the world could have enticed me into staying away from something so gratifying. And the ‘back to work option’ soon turned into ‘never been an option’. In the wonderful growing years of my son, I wanted a schedule of my own, which wasn’t possible in my previous job. And hence I decided to venture into the alternate career of writing, while being at home.
Challenges crept in
As my work evolved, so did job offers and opportunities. There were times when I found it hard setting boundaries and priorities. Meanwhile DS started dropping his daytime naps too. So I either watched the opportunities pass or felt guilty about less family time or compromised on my health.
There were days when I changed nappies while being on call with clients (attempting my best to sound professional), typed emails with a frantic toddler on my lap, took notes with crayons, and struggled to find few moments of peace and sanity to concentrate. And on those days, how I wished I could seek refuge from this pandemonium in office premises.
Those seemingly tough days
Soon I learnt that this work at home gig has its own perks and simultaneous challenges too. There are days when productivity seems to soar high with my three year old happily humming through the day. Again there are other days, when nothing goes as planned. There are fits and tantrums, lagging work, empty refrigerator, laundry strewn around the house, migraines, flares and an utter chaos. There are days when I feel the burden of the world on my shoulders and a constant pull in wild directions. There are days when my best attempts to stick with the schedule turn futile and life seems to be thrown out of balance.
I love being a WAHM
So that was the hard part of it… being a WAHM. Despite all the challenges I face, a throwback at my routine day looks like this—bright smiles that lit up my world, countless hugs and kisses, laughter, tears, stolen moments of sheer joy, and putting one foot in front of other to achieve my dreams come whatsoever. Yes I’m doing it all. Because I aspire to create the life I love. I slow down when needed, reset priorities, reschedule work to achieve balance overhaul, and most importantly I make a promise to be gentle with myself every day. So next time you see a mom, whether stay-at-home, working, or working from home, kindly be little considerate and never ever ask—What do you do all day?
Being a WAHM is not easy (same like a SAHM or working mom), but I never regret having taken this plunge. I rather love it. And as today is one of those exhausting days, guess I need to take a break and answer those twenty missed calls (Yes you read it right…20) flashing on my phone.