Just a " WORK at HOME PARENT"? ... Oh No You DIDN'T Say That !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Day in my Life of as a Work at Home Mom ( WAHM) - so before I begin I want to ensure we are clear that you understand that a (WAHM or WAHD) is a parent who runs a business from their home and brings in an income !

By Definition From Wikipedia - WAHP
A work at home parent is an entrepreneur who works from home and integrates parenting into his or her business activities. They are sometimes referred to as a WAHM (work at home mom) or a WAHD (work at home dad). Entrepreneurs who run businesses from home.

6:00 AM.......
#1.... I am up at the crack of dawn - for me, coffee is a huge must to funciton, hot shower ( 10 min to self) before the day starts. Then time get the kids up and ready for school. Still includes the morning battles of ensuring clothes match, hair is neat, teeth are brushed. Dressed appropriately for the weather. Breakfast, lunches packed - the 4th time of do you have everything. The not so morning little people attitudes at times ....... 

Or the alternative,  you can stay in bed and lounge, be woken by "we missed the bus" wondering if you should be still be buying some of your tweens those  garanimal match by animal tag clothing  and wondering just who and where did those clothes come from? and is that really your hair - oh my !!  Jumping from your bed tossing on sweats and slippers to drive them to school while trying to see thru the ice patches on windsheild,  tossing cash at them for lunch then wondering if you dare show your face in the local convenience store to grab a cup of coffee- or better duck through a drive thru- god forbid you have slippers on still and realize that you put your partners on that are 2 sizes too big!!!! )

7:05 AM - Everyone is out the door for their day - Work away Parent and Kids to School... awe this is grand now the whole day for me me me .... WRONG !!!

WHY? Because in the real average daily family asking "Where is the housekeeper? " Well tag.."YOU're IT " Work from Homer You!!! ....Remember you work from home. So the expectation ( verbally said to you or implied in some sort of way with comments, is - your at home anyway - you have time to toss in the laundry, do the dishes, change  bed sheets, organize, mop, clean up cat puke, tend to over flowing garbage cans, bathroom grime, dust, etc etc -when needed. Spring Cleaning, Fall and Winter Cleaning and organizing.

Did you forget there is no housekeeper??  Answer the business calls that come in that are not yours. Plan what's for dinner,  run the errands, grocery shopping etc. And to think  that TP stock just filled it self. Or those clean cool sheets you dream a little dream in each night appeared by tinkerbelle while your work at home partner was at the spa all day with a list for the housekeeper and hired you nanny to do.

School calls and someone is sick or hurt - well its pretty natural that the " Work from Home Partner/parent" goes to - Pick said Child Up- Evaluate if doc needs visit , ER Visit Etc. Then handle it appropriately. Would be kinda stupid to call the parent that does not work at home, to have to deal with missed time, using personal sick time for a child instead of self, etc etc. You get the drift ! Good thing you got up early and cut off your sleep time,  to shower and dress - or imagine those sweats and slippers at this moment :)

Someone Home from School Sick - lets just say that - its a good thing your a work at home parent because if not someone is going to be using personal sick time or vacation time or rushing at the last minute to find someone to take said sick kid or to the doc.

Fit some work in during this because thats what I am home for right?  Work at home parent? and when I say little, I mean little - unless I can be super woman and accomplish everything I do in just a very short amount of time. I laugh because my work time is my break time for the house , family needs.

3:00/3:30 - the Bus pulls up and kids unload, the partner returns from their day at work. Everyone needs attention, its now after school snack time, check homework and ensure the few chores if any of the kids get done. We know kids, they would rather hop to the electronics and just melt away. But as a parent we have to keep the schedule going or we know what the outcomes are ! So this goes on till about 4:30 and you are the bad guy again in the day- the big basher of fun !

4:30- What's for dinner? If you were lucky you learned to use a crock pot to make life simple. But just how many creative ways can you think of. So off to start dinner , and a process that can take till about 5:30, depending on the menu. Now you can shorten it if everyone in the house does not mind a weeks supply of variety chef boy rd products or a freezer full of  Budget Brand TV Dinners ( more on that later...)

6:30 Dinner Clean Up time - the fun begins, the kids will balk and say they worked hard in school and did their 2 chores that might include stuffing their items in every open space in their room ( not cleaning it) and maybe taking out the garbage. OR the BEST - everyone is on the same bathroom schedule for the next 30-45 minutes ( ironic how that is just the perfect about of time it takes to clean up from dinner) 

So there you are - looking at the mess of dishes and so forth from dinner clean up time can go on till about 7:00 PM - because we know the realities of it - you still have the stuff to clean up no one sees. You know the stove top, counter tops, sink clean up with enough food in it that the water can't drain. Soppy wet rags tossed up behind the facet to grow a years supply of .....

7:00 PM Finally you lucky Work from Homer - the Day is Done !! .... WRONG !!!!!!!!! As your family members  takes their unspoken claimed places in recliners/sofas, etc  with feet up enjoying the home cooked meal feeling cozy with their electronics, social media catch ups , XBoxes, or favorite TV Shows - Just look at them, picture of a well taken care of happy family - you should feel proud of yourself ! Now YOU ( Work from Homer) its time after you finished that clean up from diner left for you, to prepare kids lunches for the next day- unless you really enjoy adding that to the morning routine- if so scroll to top and re-read  # 1 and just set the alarm about 15 minutes earlier- totally your option " Work From Homer"
7:30 - 8:30 PM You attempt to spend a little time talking to partner you have not seen or connected with all day to inquire about their day- they are important and you want to make sure they know it and take that time to express that to them by showing you care !!! 

( You are now the Downer of Fun again person in the family- you are interrupting their fun relax time or social media time - how can they possibly talk to you and others online at the same time or read their news feeds and comment)  Around 8:00 PM, its Reminder Call Out to those in need of evening showers for the ones who just need the extra reminding to keep on schedule..Check for backpacks packed or school items needed. 

Or perhaps if you're a blended family and some go see another parent that weekend after school on friday - don't forget we need to pack your weekend bag and have that ready. We would not want the other parent to have to drive an extra 5 miles to pick that up because it was never ready...  

Now I ask you - just how much work did that work from home parent actually get done. I will be frank.. not much , fit in a little here and there etc. So what is a work from home parent to do ? Well this is what I have to do.

Approximately 9:00 PM - 2:30 AM  - Everyone is snug in their clean sheets in dream land. For me its work time and this goes on till about 2:30/3:00 AM- Answering business emails, creating ads for sponsors, social media shout outs and schedules. If I were at an office I would get those  6 hours a day , interrupted by lunch and business calls in a normal office setting working the normal 8 hour days!

2:30 AM - Crawl into bed

Imagine the perks of doing this 5 days a week and functioning on 17 ½  hours  of sleep only. So the next time you look at that Partner that Works From Home, Supplements and Income to the daily household expenses.

I also wanted to add this tid-bit in - these great kids are actually not my biological kids, that live with Dad FULL time.  I hate the word step-kids , so I really refrain from using it at all costs.  I do it because I love them all, including their daddy.... no other reason needed... ps ( we're not even married either  !! )

This past week - some things that made me stand up and take a good long look at things…..and ask myself “ Why do I do what I do for my family”?

And I will be the first to admit ( yes I am human and not a robot , believe it or not) and say I have had thoughts of how life could be easier. I could be back working a 9-5 job in my medical field. Collecting a great income with perks and benefits that allowed me all the time for myself to come and go as I please without questions. Social Engagements with friends and relaxing glasses of wine with friends just conversing. Not budgeting to the penny some months or days..... But at the end of the day …..I know who are most important in my life and why I do what I do and for all of them “ My Family near and far” ....

I can not ever imagine to put family last or make someone feel that they were never good enough, or just toss someone away like they were garbage. No matter all they gave- because what they gave was a part of themselves and they gave what they had to give to you at the moment ( big or small) and maybe they even gave more of them self than you will ever realize ....

I’ve been there before -  It takes me back to 1983, just 17 years old and having to make the hardest decision of my life….the feeling of not being secure, wanted or good enough, damaged goods ( those were the words that would ring in my head and I would carry all these years, sadly from my own mother) . Like it was a bag of garbage that needed to go to the dump I vowed from that moment on. That I would always be a person to smile at someone, be kind full of laughter, kindness, be gentle and compassionate. You never know, someone could be having a really bad day and just your smile or gesture could change a person’s outlook and bring a little joy.

30 years later , Someone said to me “ no one gets left behind”. That was the most comforting, precious  thing a person could have ever told me. For the first time in my life, I felt safe, secure, loved and protected.. I had and will always have the most respect for that. There is not a ruby in the world that could ever take the place of that gift.....

Lets face it - friends are nice- but family will always be there for you. And I do not think I would want a friend who would tell me their family came last, or showed it in their actions ….I would have to question that type of character in a person.

Being a Work at Home Parent - is not so easy, and adding it other dynamics such as a blended family.  It takes a lot of sacrifice, organizing and juggling to make it all work. And the one thing you do give up is time for yourself. So maybe this article will help shed a different light for those that might be feeling how grand your partners life is “Working From home” ..VS..”You're working outside the home”.

All the little things you do not have to do so you have time for yourself, your friends , your weekly social friends nights out alone, etc.If you're lucky  Someone has your back and is making that possible for you to have the time to do it… How much of that free time would you have if you were doing it alone to give your kids the sense of stability and a real home life, feeling like they are put first. Kids are smart and know the difference and in the end when its all said and done , and they are adults. They carry that with them as memories and it  makes up the character and compassion for others.

And I am not referring to shuffling your kids off to the grandparents, family,  etc to do the job of what a parent should do and/or the sacrifices of being a parent. 

Its easy to do it when someone else is raising your kids for you, ensuring they have all their emotional needs and clothing met VS just wait for someone else to do it , no matter how long that takes, or who it is.....again that's always an option for some people, reminds me of some non-custodial mothers way of doing things ( you know the NON-Custodial Parent, the one parent the judge says " your not fit to be a parent") .... and funny thing about kids - they sure are smart and know who they can trust and who they can't and who is there for them, and who is not.

So if you have a partner in your life that does all this for you and your children- your lucky. 

And even luckier if that person is not even your kids biological parent and stepped in full force with all they had to give and bring to, and all the love they could give to create a family unit and repair what damages that were created by others , no matter how big that dark cloud has been, then God blessed you with you a precious gift , he saw what you needed and heard your prayer, he delivered it to you when the time was right.....

Sometimes we all get lost in this world - and sometimes it take a little love, patience and compassion to bring us back to full circle... be kind, smile, laugh , love.

Life is uncertain… and those that you cherish and love can be taken from you in an instant.... .