Working from home while taking care of my baby has been an amazing experience. Not knowing how long all of this would last, I have tried to make even more of an effort to soak up every moment. Each day, I find myself taking photos, writing things down and taking mental pictures in hopes to remember my children exactly the way they are now.
Here are some of things I have learned while freelancing from home.
1. My reality is different, so there’s no need to fall into the comparison trap. When I first thought about life as a WAHM, I pictured myself cooking, staying on top of laundry, the house being clean, having enough time to finish all of my work, and spending lots of time with my family each day. This was far from my truth. My laundry is out of control, and if anyone comes to my door right now, I’m not answering, because I don’t want them to see how messy my house is. :) But I am doing my best, and thankfully for my family, that is more than enough.
2. Not everything is as pressing as I make it out to be. I used to stress myself out trying to get as many things done as I could. Sometimes, I still find myself doing that, but it turns out a lot of things can wait.
3. Self care isn’t just important. It’s necessary. Skipping lunch to finish a project or do some cleaning may initially seem like a good idea — at least up until you find yourself weak and irritable. Sometimes, I find myself so exhausted I can barely focus. Those are the times when I need to just close my laptop to rest my mind, take a nap, or go on a walk with my baby.
4. My happiness, and the happiness of my family, are really what’s most important. At first, I was really stressed about maintaining my freelance work and finding more, in hopes that I could be at home longer. I found myself constantly thinking about work — even when I was spending time with my baby. I’d research jobs while I held her and would write blog posts in the notes on my phone during nursing sessions. But what good was there in being at home if I never enjoyed it?
5. Finding my tribe has been my saving grace. Having friends to talk to about my freelancing fears and challenges, and friends who celebrate my successes alongside me, has been my saving grace and one of the best things about blogging.
6. Things are never that bad. When something goes wrong, it’s easy to become fixated on the idea that things just never seem to work out the way I want them to. But then, I look around and remind myself what I’m actually doing here. Things are actually quite good. After dreaming of being able to be at home with my baby, I still can’t believe it happened, and that it has lasted this long.
7. I’m still making a difference. A few weeks ago, I told a friend I used to work with that I sometimes missed the feeling of “making a difference” that came with my previous job. She reminded me that I’m still making a difference. Right now, I’m making a difference in the lives of my own children. Working at home hasn’t been the easy choice, but each time I look at my quickly growing children, I am reminded that it was the right one.
Whether you work from home full time, part time, occasionally telecommute, are on leave, or are a SAHM: What are some of the lessons you have learned while being at home with your baby?