Before you run away screaming at the idea of yet another post on the interwebs about WAHM vs SAHM vs WAFHM you can relax. I’m not going to walk you to the edge of an emotional cliff or ask you to know what is the best solution in the – initialism showdown.
(is there even a showdown?)
Truth be known- until very recently I thought WAHM posts were just WHAM! posts from super tired fans with fast keyboard fingers that do that thing I do when I sometimes type out teh instead of the. I breezed by them with zero interest because as much as I love George Michael (He is my Father Figure) when it comes to Brit Pop of the 80’s I am waaaaaaaaaay more into OMD. Just saying…
I am having one of those, “huh, isn’t it interesting to suddenly have an opinion on this matter” moments and since it is all so new and sparkly I figured I better chronicle everything about it now while the newness is interesting (at least to me). The newness that I am referring to, in case some of you weren’t able to view the site from work, is my quiet little announcement that I have started my own company with LJ, a friend and fellow blogger from the ALI community.
It was literally one of those peanut butter and chocolate moments where we were aware of each other having elements that would work well with each other but we both needed to get to a place of being truly ready to jump in. Because you guys, that is so what we did. We didn’t just shuffle our feet and spend eons of time daydreaming. The daydreaming had actually been happening for ages. Every time I worked on someone’s site and they had a question WAY beyond my scope I wished for a partner that had web geek brains. And I would hint (big time) to LJ that it would be so nice….
While I was at BlogHer I was empowered. Being around so many women that were heads of their own companies, running for political office, making big stuff HAPPEN- it was a heady perfume. And it was just the right note that I needed to be around to remind me that stuff doesn’t happen if you wait for it. Sure, sometimes great stuff can be random, but most of the time we make the great stuff happen. And we can’t do it alone. As soon as I got back I started planning WWTK (which is totally brand new and evolving and shape shifting- but it is going to be FUN! So please come visit us!) and I pretty much told LJ- “this is IT. We are doing it.”
It was put out into the universe. And, man I can’t even remember, but maybe it was less than 24 hours later, LJ calls me to say that if I am serious she is in. And oh, by the way…we might have our first client.
(And by the way part 2- how awesome is the name of our company?!!!)
If this is the Lifetime Movie version this is where we would cue the montage with the feelgood girl-band music because it got CRAZY busy. And that is how I suddenly was thrust into this very, very, very new territory of being a work at home mom. Which I am not so very good at. At ALL.
When I worked in Los Angeles I was one of those get up at 7am to be at work by 8am and work until sometimes 11pm types. I had next to zero social life and if my best friends weren’t my roommates I would have been a massive loser. And as much as I can describe the crazy hours and hint at some of the unusual on-call parameters of my job I sort of not so secretly THRIVED as a worker bee. Granted my job was not a typical office job and even within mundane tasks there was something exciting or unusual going on. There was a lot of scheduling, a lot or errand running (oh so glamorous!), and a lot of researching.
I don’t know which trait in my personality sings loudest for this, but when given a task, I am MOST divinely happy if I can sit down and do the task from start to finish in one block of time. I do not care if the block of time is one hour or 26 hours. The rest of the world literally goes quiet for me and my ability to multitask vanishes. I am a girl on a mission and I push forward with fierce intensity until the task is done. Then I shower, eat, and go to bed.
Well obviously this style of working doesn’t exactly mesh well with a super extreme toddler. W’s personality is fantastic! He is totally a 100% kind of person. (go figure) So trying to find moments of compromise have been interesting to nonexistent. And the fault is entirely my own. Because I am finding out that I am obnoxiously inflexible and yet I still try to actually negotiate with a toddler. Ha ha ha!
LJ’s & my first big project needed a quick turnaround and had tight deadlines. While this would have been the usual expectation when I was a worker bee, being SWIFT is not a muscle I have had to flex on a project in a long time. And not only did I need to be swift but I wanted to be perfect and wonderful and amazing and fantastic and out of the box the best designer that you ever did meet. Which, um, hi…excuse me, my son seems to screaming and throwing things at me right now. Can I call you back?
Which is where my Mother comes in. And the pure WAHM people start to throw their empty coffee mugs at me because I am SO cheating. Yes. Yes I am. W’s best friend in the whole entire universe (even more than a ceiling fan) is his Lolly. They have inside jokes, and silly routines, and morning adventures with Charlie dog…W adores his Lolly. As he should. Right now I am adored in pockets. But currently I am the lady attached to the stern word, “NO”. So what’s so awesome about that? I am also, sadly, the woman saying, “hold on just a second while I finish this one more thing…..” and then thirty minutes later look up and wonder where my son is. [it’s ok- he’s with my Mother]
Since W does so well with Mother right now, behaves like a prince, eats like a champ, naps for HOURS (which is just so offensive that he won’t do that for me) she has been taking care of W a lot. Just this past week I left him at home with her twice for pretty much the entire day. He was happy to see me when I was home, but he still wanted his Lolly to put him to bed.
Where things get complicated (or not, I haven’t decided) is that I really enjoy being away from him. I think what is complicated about that statement is that a part of me feels like I shouldn’t want to enjoy that. But I never imagined I would be a SAHM for W forever. I never really thought it through but I think I sort of stalled out in planning once Grandmother died. But it seems like the last time I imagined this era I was either still taking care of Grandmother at home and maybe had W in daycare for a few days a week and or pregnant. Ha ha ha.
I’m not so good for him/ with him 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week. I am amazed by women that are so invigorated by being stay at home Mothers and home makers. Stunned really. I feel like I would maybe be truly awesome at it once a month. Even now things fall through the cracks. W eats breakfast and then it is time for him to be put down for his morning nap. It is anyone’s guess if he will sleep for 45 minutes or two hours. Once I put him down I dive into my computer to catch up on work and if he wakes up 45 minutes later you can bet the first words out of my mouth aren’t, “yay”.
I think what I really want to get out in writing now is that I am happy. Happy with WORK. But finding a way to get the work done and still be a present and awesome Mama to W is something I am still navigating. I adore and love him, I so hope that is obvious.