Working from Home

I’ve been home with my kids from the time Laylee was born eight years ago. For the most part I’ve loved it. As with any occupation, it has its rough moments, but overall I couldn’t have asked for a better gig.

The thing about mothering is, it’s more of a calling than a job so being free to pursue it full time is kind of a joyful thing, even at the worst of times. Loving and nurturing another person is a pretty sweet way to spend your days, even if the person is sticky and periodically obnoxious. I’m sticky and obnoxious sometimes too.

But the Thompsons are slowing down (or stopping) in our child production and the kids are getting older. I’ve been taking on more writing work, most notably my new job writing the Mom Congress education blog over at My novel’s actually still coming along too. I can’t wait for you to read it.

Today I was typing a post about technology in the classroom while sitting on my front porch while Wanda napped and Magoo rode his bike up and down our long driveway. I would periodically pause to chat with him about form or speed or his need for goggles or a light for when he’s riding on the street at night, which is SOOOOOO likely to happen in this lifetime. Then I’d go back to writing.

Sometimes I write with Wanda on my lap, inserting creative punctuation and closing windows while I’m reading them. I stop to drive a carpool, change laundry loads, pick up from the bus or snuggle on the couch and read a board book over and over and over again.

Right now I have so much to learn about education that I’m spending hours every day just reading articles. Hopefully when I’m a little more experienced, I’ll be able to cut that down.

Probably the hardest part about working from home is knowing when to cut myself off and just be at home. Since home and work are the same place, the line is blurry. There are times when I’m working on the novel and Dan goes to bed without me or I’m reading a particularly dense article and I snap when the kids need my help with something.

I’ll figure it out. Even with things as they are, I’m feeling pretty blessed. I’m doing what I love while being with the people I love and I’m getting paid to do some of it. This is a good situation.

Are any of you working from home? Tell me about it.

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12 Responses to Working from Home

  1. Mrs Lemon says:

    I’m the church secretary, and yes, I bring my work home. I’ve just finished a huge project that has practically consumed every intelligent brain cell for the last six months, and I am relieved to not have to pound out flow charts every time the kids bring it down to a dull roar. At this season in my life with two toddlers and a teen who may as well be a toddler I can not imagine working outside the home on an actual scheduled basis. It is pretty great. 🙂

  2. Mrs Lemon says:

    PS – just exactly HOW do I get an avatar on the comment crazy-haired lady on the left side of my name? Is there a comment site I’m not logged into? (Not that my actual picture will be any less crazy-haired)

  3. Donna says:

    Hi there – I’m also a stay-at-home, work-at-home type, with four kids of my own. I write when I can, or work on freelance editing for various businesses. Mostly I like it, but I can’t possibly fit lots of work hours into any given day. When the kids are bigger and the daycare costs are less, I’ll try to leap back into the working world on a more reliable level.

  4. Emily G says:

    I teach one college class, one night a week during the school year. (Okay this semester it is to, but I consider that an aberration that will NEVER happen again.) All preparation and grading is done at home. I try very hard to make sure that my work doesn’t negatively affect my kids. They are ages 2 and 4 and so not quite to as independent a stage as yours. I think most of the time I do well, although this week with 54 papers to grade promise some distraction.

    I think kids know when they are the priority overall in life, even if they might not be the focus at the moment.

  5. Erin says:

    I’m a violin teacher, and I teach 7 students in my home. I also work as the executive assistant for a music foundation that sponsors an annual piano competition, so I so process all the applications, schedule the auditions, and return phone calls. This work is very seasonal, but February, March, and April is when it picks up. I love working from home, and I love being my own boss.

  6. Emily G says:

    Yes I teach college and yes I spelled two, to. It happens.

  7. I do freelance writing from home–mostly for the local newspapers (I used to be a full-time reporter, before I started the SAHM gig). My experience sounds pretty much like yours–I write when I have a moment, here and there. But the difference is I also have to do interviews, which means either finding a friend to watch the kids, or putting them in the living room with a DVD and shutting the office door while I make my phone calls and try to keep it brief. Soon, though, my youngest will be in preschool, and I would really love to find ways to get more jobs as that happens. I don’t really want to go back to an office job, because blurry as that work-at-home line is, I love doing it this way. I just want to do more of it.

  8. oinorton says:

    Hey. I’ve been meaning to write you about your new blog about education. I’m not working from home, I am getting my masters from home! I just started a masters in Teacher-Librarianship and lest you think that job is gone the way of the world, we are trying to rekindle the need for TLs in hopes that they can lead the way to moving teachers to a level where they can teach their 21 century students. There are SO many exciting things that I am learning. Check out Joyce Valenza’s Blog when you get a chance. She is TL of the world!

    Can’t wait to read your blog posts and hopefully contribute!

  9. Caroline Dawes says:

    I work full-time, but only go into the office on my son’s school days, which leaves about 15 hours of work for me to do at various times throughout the week while being mom and wife. It took me two years to feel really lucky that my hours are so flexible, instead of just trying to tell myself that. Balance is very hard, and we feel so guilty when we do not give our kids all of the attention all of the time. One thought that helps me is that when women did not work (professionally) they didn’t just sit around all day with crafts, stimulating books and scheduled educational outings for their kids. Most of them grew what they ate, made what they wore, and or at the least cooked dinner from scratch every evening. Now those things are easier, but many of us must do different work (like writing on laptops). I would offer that I think this can affect marriage sometimes more than motherhood. I often didn’t get done what I planned in a day because kids are unpredictable and don’t understand “but I have to get this done” as well as husbands do. So, I do try to limit myself to 3 nights a week when Jon knows I have some work to get done. We kind of plan it out week by week, and then he doesn’t spend the whole night piddling around waiting for me, he finds his own project. When you figure it all out, blog us the answers!

  10. korinthe says:

    I have been WFH since my son was born two years ago (ok, since the maternity leave ran out, anyway). Still working for my old boss, although on a different project that was suitable for solo work. I write software. I started at about 8 hours a week and increased to about 12 after I got the hang of it. (Sometimes more, but I can’t do more than 16 hours a week on average, under my part-time agreement.)

    I’ve decided to quit this summer (we’re having another baby in the fall) and have mixed feelings about it… OTOH I have enjoyed the technical challenges, not to mention the cushy margin it adds to our budget. OTO it has brought some purely bureaucratic headaches and it’s harder to carve out the time now that my son is giving up his nap. I’ve been disconnected from the office social scene for two years already, so won’t be missing much there. My gut feeling is that it’s soon time to be “just be at home”. When the kids are in school, I’ll look for another part-time job. If it’s at home, even better.

  11. Andrea says:

    I did work from home for 3 years. Loved it yet hated it. My kids watched way more tv than I would have liked. I never had evenings or weekends or holidays off. Now I drive a school bus. Still not my ideal gig, but I get evenings and weekends off, school holidays off (I’m really looking forward to the summer!), and the kids come with me. They love it. mostly. It is hard getting them up early, and I still feel guilt. Being a mom is a full time job on it’s own, so it’s hard when work is also added. The guilt kills me. And my house is a mess.

  12. I have been mulling over the same question for awhile now. How does this all fit? Am I missing moments?

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