Thirteen years ago, I left college for the “working world.”
After working in newspaper-industry for four years (college), I had an idea of what my life MAY be like down the road … long hours, deadlines and demanding editors.
And for about a year, that was true. Granted, not to the extent I was prepared for – the hours were long on days I had to cover council meetings. And the deadlines were, and still are, demanding at times.
But the demanding editors are far less demanding then my children.
Yet in a way, I guess the world of journalism prepared me for the world of (stay at home) M.O.M.
The hours are long. The deadlines loom daily – bus pickup, school drop-off, school pick-up, bus drop-off, soccer drop-off, soccer pick-up.
The “editors” are now my children, who are demanding little creatures.
Someone I know recently posted on their Facebook page that parents need to basically stop what they are doing and concentrate solely on their children’s needs at every single moment in life. (I want a popsicle! I want to go to the park! I want to color! … )
If I were “that type of parent,” I would have been in a loony bin a long time ago. And, for the record, I do take my kids to the park. I do color with them. I do craft with them (last week I painted an owl!). But from the moment they wake up until they go to bed, they are required to be independent preschoolers too.
As it is now, I work from home. For the rest of this blog, let’s refer to me, and others like me as WFHM (Work From Home Mom).
As a WFHM, my children have had to learn this life lesson:
MOM HAS TO WORK A FEW HOURS A DAY. WE NEED TO OCCUPY OURSELVES. IF WE DO NOT LET MOM WORK FROM HOME, SHE WILL TOSS US INTO DAYCARE, THAT WE CAN’T REALLY AFFORD, AND WE WILL BECOME POOR.
That’s it in a nutshell – with a slight exaggeration.
Ethan finally understands this concept … but it wasn’t until he was able to recognize my name in a byline that he really seems to comprehend what I do during the day.
Last weekend, before I went to work in the office (remember, this is my vacation time during the week), Derek asked me, “Mom, what do you DO at work?”
I found it a bit hard to explain to him what I actually DO at work. A 5-year-old doesn’t grasp the concept of “I interview people who are doing newsworthy activities and then I go back to the office and type like a maniac so I don’t delay deadline.” So I said the next best thing, “I am going to see people carrying Jesus’ cross while they pray. Then I am going to find zombies doing a walk in Amherst. And then, at night, I am going to watch people walk on fire.”
And then he gave me this look, “WTF? Are you crazy?”
So, instead, I find it best to just show him my picture that is on every Friday copy of the newspaper that employs me.
I may not be the most “fun” mom on Mondays and Tuesdays (prime working days for me), but the rest of the week, I do my best to make sure they don’t kill each other, and that we explore places and play games, etc.
And as Ethan knows, having mom spend a couple hours a day “working” sure bets spending time at a babysitter’s house AFTER being home with mom for three years. (We put Ethan in daycare in 2006 and it was the worst two days of his entire life – he was only 3 years old and he still remembers the babysitter and her evil ways – but that is for a new blog!)