I am a work at home mother.
When people hear that phrase, I often hear how lucky I am to be able to stay at home and spend time with my children. Most of the time I smile and nod. Inside I am seething and want to slap the stupid out of the person talking to me. Seriously, spend time with my kids? Who in their right mind wants to do that?!
You’re probably wondering what is wrong with me. All mothers are supposed to adore their cuddly little love monsters. Key word there- monsters. As I told a good friend of mine, (who also is a darn fine writer right here on Jobacle), I harbor absolutely no illusions about my children.
You see, I have 5 children with a 6th due December 2010. While the oldest no longer lives at home, the rest are all here. Under my feet. On the walls. Jumping from the furniture. Chewing on my shirt or snotting up my best blouse while I work. Add 3 cats and a dog into the mix and you can begin to imagine the joy I feel at being a work at home mom.
Uh huh. Every slimy bit of happiness that comes from watching my almost two year old share a lollipop with the dog. Mm, tasty.
Some people ask me how I do it. How do I meet deadlines, keep house, maintain a marriage, and avoid bodily harm from flying toys? It’s simple, really. I’m insane. Most parents have some form of mental illness that can be traced back to their children. I’m one of them. Anyone that has more than one child and decides to pursue a career from home has to be nutters.
For all of you parents that are working out of your home office, here are a few tips to keeping your sanity:
1. Save all of your documents every 30 seconds. Do not leave your computer without saving and closing a document for any reason. I don’t care if you really need to go – if you value your files, save and hide them.
2. Buy as many kid DVDs as you can. Children go into a trance when exposed to puppets, cartoons, and talking animals. Invest in a home theater that can hold 5 or more discs. Have the children teach you how to use it.
3. Unless you already have them, do not buy a pet. Don’t believe me? Want to get your child a companion? Yeah, you’ll change your mind when the older one comes to tell you how your dog is eating ‘cat cookies’. Trust me, it isn’t as cute as it sounds.
4. Always keep a supply of wine on hand. Also, birth control. Never use one without the other. If not, your (or your SO’s) midwife will get a great laugh when you call your SO from the exam table asking if you were intimate on a certain day, then add in, “Was I drunk?”
Working for yourself can be fulfilling. Using your children as fodder for articles, blog posts, and even stand up comedy? Priceless. I’m living the dream, baby, and one day I’ll be the mother that can show my kids more than naked baby bathtub pictures in front of their SO. A legacy of laughter, crayon murals, and cat cookies.
Now excuse me, I need to upload some incriminating photos.
Guest Bio: Julie Fletcher is a slightly off-kilter mother of 5 and has been writing professionally since 2005. Somehow she still manages to write, usually one-handed with a kid or 3 balanced on her knee. You can find Julie at her new website, www.parentsglobal.com.