Lorelei came down with bronchitis, our extended family faced an unforeseen and heartbreaking tragedy and we all got a dose of the stomach virus.
In the midst of it all, I had Valentine’s Day and wedding Etsy orders to ship, five custom birthday invitations to design and two huge newsletters on tight deadlines for agriculture clients.
Its times like this that make me question being a “work at home mom.”
Times when I’m running on fumes and barely have time to eat, let alone work or sleep.
Times when meeting deadline means working until 2 a.m. and dosing off in the recliner during 7 a.m. episodes of The Cat in the Hat.
Being a work at home mom (WAHM) is hard. Very hard.
If anyone tells you otherwise they’re lying to you and themselves.
Being a WAHM means choosing between blow drying your hair or using that extra 15 minutes of nap time to work.
It means becoming best friends with your crockpot and keeping frozen pizzas on hand for days when a client has a crisis.
Its learning to type while holding a sleeping baby and wearing out the springs on your desk chair from using it as a rocker.
While other moms enjoy a glass of wine after their kids are in bed, I’m brewing a fresh pot of coffee so I can go back to work.
Its responding to emails from your phone while waiting on your stubborn toddler to finish eating her peas.
Being a mom is a huge lesson in patience. Being a WAHM takes it to a new level.
Before she could even crawl, Lorelei started emptying and “reorganizing” my desk drawers.
A month ago she grabbed my sketchbook and scribbled all over a sketch I was going to send a client that evening.
I still have to make sure that sticky notes stay out of her reach or she’ll peel them off of my desk and hide them in her toy boxes.
So often I find myself whispering “this is her house just as much as its your office” and summoning every ounce of patience I posses to keep from overreacting.
It usually works. When it doesn’t, there’s the overwhelming and all too familiar feeling of “mom guilt.”
You see, “mom guilt” and I are on a first name basis.
When things are stressful, the “mom guilt” kicks in and I feel like I’m not giving enough of my attention to my daughter or my husband (let alone housework!)
Then “small business owner guilt” kicks in and I feel like I’m not giving enough to my clients. (Yes, “small business owner guilt” is a thing, ask anyone who owns their own business!)
Next thing I know, I’ve eaten half a sleeve of Thin Mints and I’ve beaten myself up so much that I wonder if its even worth it.
So this post is for me, and every other WAHM asking herself the same question.
This is your reminder: Yes, it is worth it.
It might not always feel like its worth it.
It might not always look like its worth it.
It will be hard and exhausting and your friends probably won’t understand but it WILL be worth it.
Because at the end of the day, being a WAHM is making me the best mom I can be.
Being a WAHM means I can clear my work schedule to spend an entire day with our family.
It means that my daughter won’t see a stereotype of what a “working mom” looks like. She’ll watch me curl my hair and slide on my heels for a client event one day and then see me crank out a huge design project in my t-shirt and yoga pants the next.
She sees me make the most of every spare moment. Whether that means squeezing in reading a book while photo files copy or having a mini-dance party while exporting videos.
She is watching her father and I work as a team in every possible way, from folding laundry to managing a business.
I’m teaching my daughter that if you have two dreams, they are both worth fighting for.
I’m showing her that being a woman and a mother doesn’t make you any less of an entrepreneur.
Maybe most importantly of all, I’m teaching her to be her own kind of mom.
There will always be “mom guilt.”
There will always be generations that don’t understand your choices and friends who lead completely different lives.
There’s no right answer. No perfect formula. What works for one mom won’t work for another.
This is the kind of mom I was meant to be. Its time I start reminding myself of that.