“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
Proverbs 31: 24-27 NIV
Where do you have your office–your work station–in your house? When I started freelance writing, it was a corner in my bedroom. Eventually, I moved to a corner in the dining room where I could still watch the kids in the back yard while I interviewed and wrote articles. When we moved into our new home, my office moved to a spare bedroom. But times and family needs change, and in August, I’ll be moving my office once again to the dining room table because the boys need to have their own rooms.
Thus, it is with everything else in life. Things change, expand, and change again. As work at home moms, we need to change, expand, grow. Sometimes, we can see the changes coming, like when our oldest goes to Kindergarten. At other times, the changes comes on us unexpectantly, such as when all the kids are in school, other moms go back into the workforce, and you find yourself alone. That’s what happened to me this year.
Granted, my two boys were in school full-time for the past two years, but this year, I experienced the most growing pains. I always imagined that I’ll have more time to write and develop my niche when the kids were in school full-time. Yet, I noticed that the quiet did get to me, and my demons, such as my generalized anxiety disorder and depression, became more apparent.
However, I learned this year, that work at home moms, like all other moms, need to take a break from their work schedules and get out. Bible studies, meeting a friend for coffee, and volunteering are all a part of this growing process. Granted a lot of WAHMS will say, “I need to do this and this. I need a routine. There’s no time for volunteering because I have deadlines.”
Yes, those statements are true, and I followed them to the letter over the past two years. But I also burned out, became depressed, and realized that one of the perks of freelancing is the freedom to design my schedule according to my family and my needs.
Now, I’m not saying to throw caution to the wind and volunteer for every school activity, have lattes at 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, and all of the work will get done on its own. What I am saying is, build flexibility into your schedule–realize that you’re not working for a boss, and you work at home because you still want to be present for your kids before and after school. Otherwise, you’d be working for someone else.
The lesson I learned: Be there, enjoy the ride, and continue to blossom into the woman called you to be.