I am a freelance writer which means that I work from the comfort of my home with the Internet as my lifeline to the outside world. In addition to being a writer I am a mother with an Autistic toddler. The demands on my time are great. What’s my day like? I’ll take you through it.
The mornings begin between 6 and 8am most days. I try usually unsuccessfully to start my day with at least one cup of coffee before I begin my day. The first thing that I do each and every morning is to turn on my computer since it’s in dire need of an upgrade due to decreasing memory. By the time the coffee gets done I’ve managed to get the computer up far enough to enter my password (precautions of having a toddler) and find my clothes.
My first cup of coffee is accompanied by a cigarette as the computer loads. At least I have a laptop so I can move my work station easily. The battery has been charged so many times that it no longer charges but I resist the urge to purchase a new battery while I take care of other things. By the time I finish my first cup or half cup of coffee my three year begins to stir and she will not be ignored.
I have to get my daughter out of bed and get her breakfast. If she’s talkative the first thing she requests is a bath in the mornings when she doesn’t she just gets one before bed unless she’s managed to leak out of her pull-up onto her bed. Then she gets a bath and the bed gets stripped. I try to check my email while she eats breakfast since I don’t eat breakfast; she’s pretty good about eating her breakfast and sharing it with the cats.
I spend my day battling my toddler, cats and husband to get uninterrupted work time. When they’re all being good I manage to be rather productive. When they don’t I find myself running back and forth to keep my daughter out of things, chasing the cats off the counters and constantly repeating to my husband that I don’t get paid if I don’t write. Some days it sinks in and others it doesn’t even come close to sinking in.
The days that I can’t get much work done when the family is awake I end up staying awake until well after midnight to get something accomplished. Never mind the fact that I’m not the only one here I’m the only one allowed to do laundry. My rule, not theirs. The problem I have with men doing laundry is that I prefer the clothes to come out the same color they went in. I also have a rule of no hot water in the washing machine unless there’s something that has to dissolve and cold water doesn’t do the trick. The dryer is broken (not that I ever used it anyway) so the clothes have to be hung up and I’m a bit OCD when it comes to the way that they are hung up.
The dishes I usually find the need to rewash since hubby won’t admit he needs an eye exam or cooperate to get himself there. Then there are the hours spent attempting to find all the things that my daughter has misplaced in her desire to get into everything. Therapy for her Autism is another thing that I get to work around. I usually carry a small notebook to write down ideas as they come to me since my computer battery is in need of replacing.
Somehow even with all the interruptions I manage to get work done. I make enough (most months) to cover my expenses and have a little bit of money left over. The months that I don’t I make everyone but my toddler suffer because the rest of the house is old enough to know how to cooperate for me to be more productive.
This should give you an idea of what the work at home moms in your life are going through and hopefully help you to appreciate them more.
More from Laurie:
Managing a Home While Working From Home
Examining a Work at Home Lifestyle
How to Break Up the Day When Working from Home