I remember working in corporate America. I sat in my cubicle by the window and I was happy because hey, at least I had a window. My job was pretty low on the ladder but I took it because the pay was good and I had just bought a house. I was told that I was a bit overqualified for the position but that it would only be a matter of time until something better opened up. I was optimistic and ready to put in my time for the promise of something better.
Months and months went by and that job kept slipping away. I interviewed and interviewed and was even offered a new position. And then the corporation instituted a hiring freeze and my promotion froze along with it.
We decided to start our family and I chose to stay home with our baby after my maternity leave was over, always knowing that I would find my way back into the workforce, probably sooner than later. It’s been more than 7 years since I decided to stay home and while I do work, I am so thankful that I make my own schedule.
As a freelancer, there’s a lot of truth to the necessity of putting yourself “out there” and putting in the time to gain visibility, experience, and authority. Even new websites have to go through this process and it’s entirely based on an algorithm. How much does the internet trust this website? What value is being provided?
Work from Home
When you work from home, every day is spent answering these questions; to an employer, to clients, to yourself and sometimes to your family. There’s a lot of juggling going on and it takes a pretty thick skin to keep it all going. Why should you matter? What value is being provided?
I seem to have two settings: Freight Train and Sloth. There isn’t a lot of moderate speed happening over here. If I slow down, I crash. If I keep going I can really get things done. For instance, last night we got the boys to bed and I was waiting for a show to start at 8pm. I decided to sit on my bed so my phone could charge and I passed out for 40 minutes. Before 8pm! I was sure my night would be ruined but sure enough, I got up to watch The Flash, went right back to bed and slept so hard that I drooled on the pillow til morning.
On Sunday, I had the most incredible Mother’s Day. Jerry and the boys made me pancakes and coffee, brought it to me in bed and told me to stay there. My feet didn’t hit the floor until 10:30! I can’t. I honestly, can not tell you the last time I stayed in bed that long. I’m just not built for it, but it was beyond what I needed that day. Let’s just say my inner-sloth was in heaven.
We’re at the end of the school year now. Dangerously, perilously close to weeks upon weeks with no scheduled routine for my boys. Don’t get me wrong, I started planning camps for the boys in February. I spent hours trying to strike the balance between some scheduled activities and plenty of free time to enjoy summer. And still, one of Calvin’s day-camps was canceled for low participation just today. It’s the only camp I set up for June and I started to get that panic you get when things aren’t falling into place.
With nothing to do about the situation, we picked Oscar up from school, went straight to the library, picked out some books and read for an hour. I had to walk away from the laptop and clear out the cobwebs. When we got home, I did a little cleaning, folded some laundry and tried to make sense of the stress.
Fact: Life doesn’t always go the way we plan.
Work For Home
There are a lot of unknowns right now that I could focus on. They yell the loudest in my mind for sure, but what I need to do is focus on the knowns. I know that I am where I should be. I know that I am living my dream. I know that I work hard and my family loves me. I know that even if we get a flat tire (we did this week) we can figure out what comes next.
Is it too challenging to try and fit it all in? Some days I think so. But on many more days, I am certain I was made for this. I was made for this life in this way. I don’t have all the answers around every detail. But I am secure.
I made a choice 7 years ago to stay home with my family. I knew it wouldn’t be easy and I knew I would be putting in the hard work for the promise of something better than corporate America. I believe it’s happening one day, one post, one relationship at a time. The difference now is what it is I am working for. It’s not just a salary with benefits. It’s a life that I can share with my boys. Stopping at the library and reading for an hour is not a setback. It’s the reason I do this.
I’m not simply working from home. I work FOR home.
That’s something I hope I never forget.
We all need to take a step back and remember why we do what we do from time to time. Are those reasons still true in your life or do you need to shake things up and clean out the cobwebs?
A challenge can be conquered when we remember our whys.
Tomorrow is a new day.