So, I’ve decided that while I love being a graphic designer, I have to take a break. I do this every year…and I always get back to work, but this time I really need it. I’m super stressed and I keep getting sick…one time with a major kidney infection that took me down for about 3 weeks. It’s time to take a breather. I think people (including myself, at first) think that being a Work at Home Mom is easy…and I’m here to say Heck to the No on that myth…and a few others:
It’s true that you can work around your schedule…like if you need to take your kids to the doctor, you don’t have to take time off or worry about not getting paid for that day. What you do have to worry about?? Working until 3 in the morning because you were stuck in a doctor’s office all day and you have to get an order shipped in the am postage. It will be in your own time, but get ready for some all-nighters.
Unless your kid doesn’t want to nap. Then you have to worry about getting fruit snacks every 5 minutes just so you can get one thing done in 2 hours…that should have taken you 5 minutes. Kids will really put a damper on your productivity.
You don’t feel guilty about leaving them…but you will feel guilty about not being able to read a book to them when you have a pressing deadline. It may seem easy to just stop and take a breather, but some days you just can’t. I’m not always stressed and I don’t always have a pressing deadline…but when I do…that makes for one cranky mommy…and a snappy mommy that later leads to an even more guilty mommy. Stressed, yet? Because there’s more…
Ha….ha ha ha….HA! Okay, I’m done. I make pretty good money and I don’t have the overhead like some house-based businesses (okay, except I might have a slight addiction to buying fonts…moving on…), but I’m FAAARRRR from being rich. In fact, I think that the government might laugh at my tax forms. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that I’m not the bread winner. I make enough to do the fun stuff, like buy TVs and maybe go on vacation once in a while (and it took 3 years to even get to that point)…but I could never live off my income. Some people can and will, but be aware that it takes a lot of time to learn how to make a profitable business.
I lived in a 1200 sq ft house for two years and had one child for 1 of those years…and cleaning wasn’t too bad. I loved my little house…and even when Max came along, it still wasn’t too hard. Now I have a 3 year old, an 18 month old and a bigger house with TONS of tile and triple the amount of toys and my house is pretty much a disaster everyday. I really try to have a clean house, and when I have a smaller workflow, it looks pretty good by the time my husband comes home. When I have a lot of clients, I just can’t keep up with it. If there’s one thing that suffers, it’s my house work. When I finish a blog or logo, I’m tired. Sure, it’s not manual labor…but it’s a lot of work and this sounds cheesy, but create thinking takes a lot out of you…especially when that 5 minute juice run comes in.
And laundry??? Forget about it. My kids rarely wear pants because at the end of the day I can’t face up to doing laundry for every spill/accident/poop stain that comes my way.
Same thing goes for cooking, exercising, showering (don’t judge…), and HECK…having regular bowel movements. Don’t worry…this post isn’t all doom and gloom. Here are some tips to keep you going:
I’d say this goes for moms who work outside the home, too. If you don’t love it…don’t do it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE graphic design…always will…but the schedule of working for someone doing a custom design…it’s tiring. I make more money doing custom work than I do selling pre-made and selling my printables…so that’s what I do. I love the way it feels when I get something perfect for a client and I love the way it feels when someone’s business becomes a reality, and that’s what keeps me going. There will be good and bad for every job…and anything you do that you’re successful at will be hard work…just make sure whatever you’re doing is worth it.
This is a hard one to keep up on…but I can tell a HUGE difference when I take care of my body. You will be more energized and you’ll be able to get a lot more done in the long run!
Sherri has a great article on working out with kids that is a MUST READ for WAHM’s…and any moms!
I’ve learned this over the years. I’m going to take a break from graphic design…and I’ll be back…but I know when enough is enough. Also, take a vacation. WAHM’s should get vacation days, too 🙂
Like I said…you don’t want to feel guilty. Make sure your kids have everything they need…including attention. If you one day realize you’re missing things, take that break I told you about. My career is important to me, but there is NOTHING more important than my family. In the end, it’s more important to me that I have a healthy, happy family (and SELF), than if I make extra cash for the month. And actually saying it that way really puts it into perspective for me. Something will suffer when you are trying to do everything…don’t let it be your family. I had to learn that the hard way…but at least I learned it in time!
Also, if you’re feeling guilty…read this article by Candace…it helped me when I needed it!
If anything, it’s just nice to know that someone is going through the same thing you are. The great thing about my business is that I get to work with a lot of women that are starting their at-home business. We all have the same complaints. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had emails from moms with apologies for not getting back sooner because their kids kept them up all night…and those emails went both ways. We have a kinship…and it’s great to nourish that kinship.