The 1950s stay-at-home mom (SAHM) supposedly looked like June Cleaver: wearing her dress, heels, and pearls to vacuum. She supposedly had matching oven mitts to pull the pan out of the oven, and the pan was always oozing delicious goodness from something homemade. She greeted her husband at the door and took his hat and briefcase before serving the entire family with a huge pearly smile.
I have no idea what it was really like back then, what I know came from television. I'm sure that era did have the formality, the nice clothes, and moms who were called housewives. Fast forward to the twenty-first century, however, and you have a whole new distinction: the work-at-home mom (WAHM). Women's lib created more opportunities to get away from the home and chances to be more equal with men. Technology helped those working women to have a more flexible environment because work can be done on the go or from various locations. No more being tied to an office file cabinet and one huge desktop computer - we have laptops! And VPN access, and call forwarding, and cell phones!
A couple months ago, I officially made the big leap to 100% virtual employment. I had been working part-time in the office (two mornings per week) with supplemental hours at home. But since Andrew is still a little guy and I do not have regular child care for him and the commute to pretty much any "office" area of the city from my suburban home is now horrendous, I decided that I would be more productive entirely from home. Now I am not wasting up to 2 hours in the car each day to get to and from the office. I can dress comfortably and make my own lunch - which saves not only time, but calories and money as well. And I can keep an eye on my baby boy plus be on time to pick Amelia up from school each day. I cram my work productivity into baby's nap times and catch up at night when needed. I am even freelance consulting now as well, which throws a whole new set of bosses and clients into the mix.
But I like it.
I really do enjoy being busy during the day. I like thinking about things that don't relate to kids or the house or the grocery store. Sure, I'll complain when the stress mounts or I'm totally fried by 5:30 - oh, and everyone is hungry. Sure, I am desperate for "real life" grown-up interaction; I even do that virtually, with a healthy dose of social media addiction.
But I am thankful.
I am able to be there for my children when they need me and have a bit of identity of my own. I wouldn't call it "the best of both worlds" like some people do because I don't have a nanny/daycare and my kids hear "just let me finish this email" a few too many times in a week. But every scenario with the word "mom" in it is difficult. (SAHMs are WAHMs, by the way! No one is sitting on the couch eating bon-bons, I assure you.) This just happens to be the scenario that works best for me, for now.
What do you like about the kind of mama life you lead? I'll be cheering you on!