You want me to do what? Sure, I’m just sitting around…WORKING…
Photo credit: Dreamstime.com © Dmitriy Melnikov
I’m such an instigator. I’m about to heat up the Mommy Wars. Or rather, I’m probably just going to start a war in my family, in which I am the Mommy.
Let’s be clear. I do not believe in MomFails, or that there is a right or wrong way to conduct oneself or use one’s time as a mother (although, obviously, the way that I personally do everything is the best and you should ask for my wise counsel wherever possible.) What I do object to is how others view the day-to-day work of mothers.
I admire all moms. I know a lot of them. I believe there are all kinds of ways for mothers to work, and make things happen, whether they’re a stay-at-home mom, a work-outside-of-the home mom, a work-from-home mom, or any combination of any of the above. I believe in choice or necessity, or whatever works for each mother and each family.
I don’t think that women should feel guilt (or be made to feel guilty) for their choices, or how they decide to live their lives. No kind of mother is better than the other, but rather, each one is merely right-er. I think no matter what kind of woman’s work you do, whether you get paid for that work in money or kisses, everyone is being the best mom that they can be (although, as I mentioned before…well..my kids have turned out pretty well…so.. I’m just sayin’.)
What I don’t admire is the outward perception of us Work-at-Home Moms. I’d like to debunk the myth that what we do all day is wait around, in between our little bits of work, manicures, and delicious bonbons, to do favours for people who have other, obviously much more pressing things to do like sit in traffic for 2 hours. I’d like to separate the Work from the Mom, and instead, create a new acronym WAHP (Work at Home Person).
I’ll break it down.
Work: V. Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result. To practise one’s occupation in or at (a particular place).
Home: N. The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
Work From Home: Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result, to practice one’s occupation from the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
Note the key phrase, ‘practice one’s occupation from the place where one lives permanently‘. My occupation is Social media Consultant and Community Manager, blogger, and Editor of BrazenWoman.com. I practice this occupation from my home, where I live permanently, often in my designated uniform of pyjamas or for dressy days, yoga pants.
My job is not 9-5 and the fact that I don’t have to get dressed or commute also means I seem to work more hours, sometimes at weird times. Since I love what I do, I would work even more hours if I could. But I adore sleeping almost as much as I love tweeting.
The nature of my workplace seems to open me up to questions like, What do you do all day? Can you take me to the ________. Why can’t you take the whole day to _________ with me? What’s for snack/dinner/lunch/breakfast? And, the ultimate treasure, ‘Why can’t you help me out? You just play on your computer?‘ My husband has worked from home before. Nobody asked him to take them for their colonoscopy. (I’m no feminist, and he’s also nice like me..so how do you explain it?)
I’ve got news for all of you people who are trying to distract me (you know I’m easily distractable, and you’re taking advantage). When I’m at home, or at Starbucks, or wherever else I may be plying my trade, I’m working.
I’m not ignoring you, I’m working. I’m not playing, I’m working. I’m not surfing the Internet, talking to a friend, shooting the shit, or laying on my bed in my pyjamas (well maybe that last one), I’m working.
Now, please, don’t think I’m being a total bitch. I still believe in the Cult of Nice, and if you need me, truly need me, I will be there. I adore helping people. It makes me feel good. I don’t mind bringing you your notebook that one time you left it at home. I’m just trying to clarify that, just in case you were confused that I was waiting, bored, for you to text me, I’ve got my own thing going on.
Note: I did try to make a Venn Diagram to display all of this using pictures instead of words, but then I started to cry. It was too much like math.
My Actual Job Description:
- Email, writing blog posts and fabulous yet somehow never completed novels, attending events, networking, reading, cooking things, testing and reviewing products, talking, laughing, collaborating, communicating, taking pictures, and making phone calls.
- Exploring the virtual world so I seem smart (Googling/Surfing/Playing on the Internet for interesting things to see, say, and report on ).
- Using all manner of social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google +, Pinterest, or whatever else is the flavour of the day, on any of my tools, such as macbook, iphone, tablet. (This category also may include attending or leading Facebook/Twitter parties or chats, generally past 8 pm. No, I’m not ignoring you, addicted to my phone or trying to ruin our marriage.)
- Other duties as required since there is nobody else do to them (but that do not include anything in the below Not Job Description.
My Not Job Description:
- Math of any kind. Diagrams, charts, formulas, or complicated statistics (this one is unrelated, but in case you’re a potential client, I just wanted to put that out there).
- Waiting with bated breath for you to ask me to do all kinds of random things for you ‘because you’re at the office’.
- Re-scheduling my meetings to ‘keep you company‘ at your appointment.
- Picking you up from wherever you are and dropping you (or your forgotten lunch) off at school or wherever you want to go.
- Delivering / picking up your package (it’s never ‘on my way’, unless it’s in my laundry room).
- Running your errands or taking care of things that you should be taking care of but you can’t because ‘you’re too busy‘.
- Doing all the housework, laundry, cooking, and other assorted duties because ‘I‘m at home all day’ (unless they are things that if you did them, would poison children or endanger someone’s life. I do have ethics.)
- Picking up your slack, doing things you should be doing, or otherwise taking care of duties that are not specified that do not have to do with my job.
- Cleaning of any kind (I’m legitimately allergic).
In summary, I’m very lucky to work from home. It offers me the incredible opportunity to have no commute, be at home when my kids get home, have some level of flexibility in my day, and move things around so that I can be there for family with a little less stress. It also suits my nature, which thrives less on structure and more on the freedom to get things done on my own schedule. But, it doesn’t mean that I am your flunkie.
My name is Mara, and I’m a Mom. I’m also a Work From Home Person.
Now, what time did you say you need to be at your proctology appointment?