I planned on writing a tutorial about using CeCe Caldwell's Paints Metallic Wax during my coveted six hours of uninterrupted work time today, but I kept writing this post in my head so I had to share!
Please allow me two quick introductory points before I get to my three things.
1. This is not a debate over whether moms should stay at home, work at home or work outside of the home. I don't have a position on this divisive topic. Why is it divisive? Can we stop the shaming on any "side" followed by pats on the back that are intended to ease the guilt of the shaming? I don't get the drama because I just don't care.
Do what you need to do based on your values and situation.
Be confident in your choice.
2. I'm not technically a work from home mom. I work at my retail location, I work at Starbucks, I work at home, I work while waiting at the doctor's office. Sometimes (when my husband is home, of course), I take the phone into the bathroom, close the door, sit on the edge of the tub and work for 30 minutes in peace on a Sunday. But I do spend the majority of my work time at home.
Now that that's out of the way, here are my top three things that work from home moms want you to know.
1. Work at home moms actually work, like they work at a real job. I work at least 40 hours a week. I always work eight hours on Tuesday and Thursdays while Adair is at child care but other than that, I'm not sure of my hours. I work often but not at consistent times. Sometimes I work at night, sometimes I work in two hour intervals and sometimes I go almost a whole day without working expect for little blips of 15 minutes intervals all day. My job has flexible hours which is one of the reasons I love it and will continue my business when we move, but I do work a full time job with legitimate full time hours. Sometimes when Adair is at home with me, we can drop everything and go to the pool. Sometimes we can't because I need to ship out today's orders or drop off at the kiosk. Just because I'm at home doesn't mean it's a day off. I had someone tell me that "I never work anymore" because I went down to one day working at the kiosk. God give my control over my mouth, I thought as I responded with "I work every day" and left it at that.
2. Please respect my work hours.
Normally, I try hard to have two days a week that Adair goes to child care and I have "office hours" of work time by myself. I fight for those work hours yet I also must fight to not put undue pressure on myself during those work hours. When the door to my wonderful child care provider's door shuts and Adair is inside, it's go time for me. If I don't respond to personal texts, emails, Face Time calls, chatty convos outside, etc. it's not because I'm unfriendly or rude, it's because I have to work, like right now.
I have to treat this time as if I'm at a regular office job where only business related work is allowed or I won't get the essentials done and my business will fail. Thankfully I have really supportive friends and family in this area. Please text me, email me and Face time me while I'm working. Just know that if I don't get back right away, it's because I was working.
I love my current flexibility and, indeed, that's why I plan on continuing in this industry after we move to Washington (along with the fact that I love what I'm doing).
3. The work I do at home isn't "fun crafting" as someone once said, it's intense.
If I don't get my work at home done, my employees won't get paid, the IRS will come after me because I'm not communicating with my accountant to properly pay the many taxes that come with owning a small business and customers will not receive their packages (ahem, that ship out within one business day I might add). I make no excuses for myself or to my customers based on the fact that I often work from home and have a child. My customer service must be as good as it would be if I worked anywhere else and/or if I didn't have a child.
Similarly, the fact that I work at home does not equate to me being able to spend more time on housework than the average person who works the same amount of hours outside of the home. Want proof?
The bottom line is, when it comes down to getting your package out on time or deep cleaning my refrigerator, I will choose getting your package out on time, every time. I try to set up my business in a way that doesn't force me to meet unreasonable expectations but sometimes, we get slammed with orders (yay)! and the above happens. And I'm 100% okay with that. My husband and I share the burden of housework and we have successes and failures depending on our schedules. We show each other grace and apply grace to ourselves when the house looks less than spectacular.
So, do you work at home? What topics would you add to this list?
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