Is Being a Work At Home Mom a Thankless Job? Not if The Most Important People Notice (Your Kids)
I'm the one who stares at the previous night's messes and decides whether I can work, in good conscience, while there are Polly Pockets strewn across the house in a fashion Hansel and Gretel's would use to find their way home.
I'm a writer; yes, I probably don't need to state the obvious, as you are clearly reading my work. That said, like many WAHMs (Work At Home Moms) my hours are never set in stone. I don't punch a time clock or adhere to a set schedule. In some ways, this is lovely, brilliant, perfect. I get to attend class parties and school shows. I get to catch up with a friend for lunch if I so choose and if I'm feeling sluggish I get to take the dog for a quick run around the block to boost my energy.
I'm also the one who gets called when someone is sick and needs to be picked up. I'm the one who schleps the dog to the vet if he decides to eat a shoe and I'm the one who stares at the previous night's messes and decides whether I can work, in good conscience, while there are Polly Pockets strewn across the house in a fashion Hansel and Gretel's would use to find their way home.
While we WAHMs are toiling away, buzzers are going off that alert us to switch loads of laundry or unload dishes. While we're slogging away, we may have a visit from the cable guy or the plumber (not unannounced because that would be weird). No, we're home, so we make appointments to get things fixed and get things delivered by people who like to make us await their arrival at some time during a massive six hour window. When we're on the clock, we may also need to pick up dry cleaning, groceries, prescriptions, start dinner, fix an annoyingly squeaky hinge, or feed the baby.
Clearly, WAHMs are busy but are we unappreciated? Well, I can answer that with a conversation I had the other day with my 8-year-old daughter (as we checked out of the grocery store):
8yo: Mommy, why do you do everything? You should tell Daddy to get the groceries or do the dishes or clean the house or cook sometime while you relax.
Me: Well, Daddy works hard and when he comes home he's too tired to do those things.
8yo: But you work too, and you still do all of that! It doesn't seem fair.
Yes, it's true, WAHMs don't exactly have the normal job requirements. When I had a 9-5 job, I rarely did other people's laundry in my office, nor did I spoon-feed or breastfeed any of my colleagues (well, except for the one time), but I love what I do now. I work hard to do it all, and apparently someone important noticed.
Noticed that I'm a strong woman who is capable of accomplishing anything. Noticed that I'm efficient and reliable. Noticed that my priority is my family, even if my workload seems unfair. And what better example can a mother set for her daughter?
Which is why I thanked her for noticing all I that I do and added this sentiment:
"Listen, I know you're eight, but when we get home I'd like you to draft up a contract on a more appropriate division of labor with Daddy, and then represent me in any proceedings that may ensue thereafter at the dinner table."
Listen, it's nice when our children appreciate what we do, but it's awesome when they notice the scales tipped too far in one direction…
Jenny Isenman AKA Jenny From the Blog, is the humorist behind the award winning, The Suburban Jungle.com. An on air lifestyle expert, card carrying Gen Xer and columnist at HuffPo and TheStir, her goal is to you keep herself sane and to teach dolphins to read. She is failing at both. Join her … and the INSANITY on Facebook , Pinterest, and Twitter.