Being a WAHM - Live Like a Mensch
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Being a WAHM


I have a career/family dilemma.

Last week, one of the editors that I work for contacted me, asking if I'd be interested in more work from their company.

This is an educational company that is committed to making teaching fun, humorous and accessible.  As a former teacher, I really believe in the work that they do.  As a humorist (can I call myself that?), I love the opportunity to get paid to be funny.  Unfortunately, the scope of the projects that this company offers me are generally difficult for me to handle.  (As an example, I'm still working on a 10-part project that I started in February of 2011.  Yeah, I know.)

I was under the delusional impression that I had side-stepped the whole career/family dilemma thing by deciding to stay at home and work as a freelancer.  If I were still teaching, I'd expect to have some nail-chewers if I were offered a great opportunity (like teaching an advanced class) that would interfere with my family life (because I'd need to be certified and create an entirely new [to me] curriculum).  But who knew that writing a few articles could add up to having more than I can do comfortably in LO's daily 3 hour window at daycare?

Even though I probably know what the right decision is, it still feels strange to turn work away.  But I'm having a difficult time keeping on top of the commitments I've already made (see 10-part project from February 2011 above), so adding more would be impossible without the little man spending more time in daycare.  And if he's going to be spending that much time in daycare, I might as well be working a traditional job, right?

So, I'll keep slogging along at the pace I've set for myself.  Just because there's an opportunity now doesn't mean others won't show themselves further on down the road.  LO only gets to be a toddler once, while I have my whole life to write for more editors.

Now, if only someone could get to work on adding a few more hours to every day.  That would be very helpful.

Published Feb 09 2012, 04:04 PM by Emily Guy Birken
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frugal_fun said:

You think you would have side stepped the hard questions as a WAHM, wouldn't you? I've discovered, though that you end up with wrestling with far more often than a SAHM or a Mom that also works outside the home fulltime.

To a certain extent, neither one is trying to navigate the middle of the road that a WAHM is. And the middle of the road, of course, is where you get run over. :)

Anyway, with time I've come to accept that my ambitions for both my career and home life will need to be pared down to "good enough". I won't keep up with freelancers and business owners who have 80 hours in a week to attend to their business. I also won't keep up with SAHM knitting sweaters for their loved ones from hand spun wool and cooking slow cooked, 100% organic meals from their lovingly tended garden.

Our life is a series of compromises of how to best spend time. But ultimately, dodging traffic as a WAHM has kept me nimble and happy. My "free" time is spent in activities that do contribute directly to our families overall wealth and keep me readily employable. (It only takes me a week to earn a season's worth of organic veggies and nice sweaters overflow at the thrift store *grin*). And it seems the kids are pretty happy with their lives. What more could you ask for??

February 14, 2012 11:40 AM

Emily Guy Birken said:

I laughed at your insight about the middle of the road.  Let's hope I can avoid any semis!

February 15, 2012 3:49 PM

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