It's working for Leah Klein, Freelance Writer/Blogger, Leah’s Life: Pearls & Oysters
"Returning to work, my support group is definitely my peers. In blogging, it is an odd mix of very different people at different stages of life. Some are parents and some are not, but we all support one another."
I just had no idea what I was about to experience. I wish I knew how tired I would be and how alone I would feel. When my kids were really little, my husband still traveled quite a bit. I was lucky to have friends nearby but as my kids got older and I still stayed home and eventually began working from home it can be quite isolating. Not in the way you think though. It’s less about having no one around and more about feeling a bit like an outcast for not having a traditional career.
I was a teacher and my daughter was born after school ended. I chose not to apply to teach the following year, knowing that I wanted to stay home with my daughter. I also knew that my private school teacher salary would essentially be used to cover the cost of childcare. I had always wanted to be home with my kids so that was an easy decision.
I was home or out and about and I felt comfortable breastfeeding wherever I was. I think I would have had a lot of trouble pumping at work if that was what I had to do. I am in awe of moms who make it work.
I didn’t take any leave since the timing worked and I was done teaching. I started “working” odd jobs when my daughter was around 2 I think. I would teach dance class in an after school. When my son was around 2, is when I started my new path of freelance writing and blogging.
My children were lucky enough to go to a fabulous family day care across the street from our house. Even though I was home, I sent them two days a week to childcare for everyone’s sanity and also to prepare them for school later on.
The new normal changes every few months even though my kids are older now. It is almost more time and energy consuming now that the kids are older. Their schedules are busy and there is a lot of parenting that goes on around social-emotional, academic, and general life skills.
Because I do not have a traditional career, I’m still a “stay at home mom”. I think taking time to work feels selfish sometimes even though in my mind I know it isn’t. Sometimes the chores take a back seat to a deadline and I get frustrated that I can’t do it all but feel like I should be able to.
Returning to work, my support group is definitely my peers. In blogging, it is an odd mix of very different people at different stages of life. Some are parents and some are not, but we all support one another. My biggest pregnancy indulgence was a nap. Near the end of my pregnancy, I would come home and nap during lunch and then go back to teaching. It was a life-saver for me. I was lucky that my schedule allowed it.
As a working parent, I never expected that managing my time (because that used to be my strength) would be so hard and networking (not my forte at all) would be so much easier!
As a working parent, a bad day is when my to-do list is way too long for me to get through even 1/3 of it and a good day is when I have checked off everything I set out to do.