Monday, June 3, 2013

Woes of a Work at Home Mama or Working Moms Link-up

So, I'm only three months late to the party, but one of my favorite bloggers, Colleen has a cool link-up for Working Moms   that I'm finally getting around to posting on.  But hey...since she has her link-up open for like 2-years...I figure 3-months late isn't too bad. 

So, Colleen so conveniently has a bunch of questions for us to answer...which should make for super easy blog post...right?

1) What do you do for work and why do you work?

Well, that is not a super easy question to answer...but I'll try.  I basically have several different work at home jobs I do...none of which make very much money.  And, doing a bunch of different work at home things makes filing taxes barrels of fun..but hey, you do what you have to do.

So, to start, way back in 2002 when Heidi was only 7 months old, I was a new mom and pretty naive and was looking for ways to make money at home, and signed up for information from something called The MOM Team....which is basically just an online way of network marketing for Melaleuca.   So, I worked that pretty hard for about 2 years...and did fairly well, but then I stopped working it and dropped back down, but the upshot is that I get enough each month in residual income to pay for my products (natural cleaning supplies, vitamins, body care, etc.) that I've stuck with it.   But, I haven't actually worked this in years...but since they still send me a (small) check every month...and I still have to report it on my taxes, I'm mentioning it here. 

Generally, I'm not a fan of network marketing type companies and won't ever sign up for something like that again...since it's basically selling things and that's just not my thing. 

So, the next thing I got into was mystery shopping....which I do more for the fun factor and free stuff, than I do for the money.  For example, I was once able to get our cat's vaccinations and yearly check-up for free..which was super cool.  However, I haven't done much of that since the birth of Miss Elsa, since most of the time you can't take kids with you, and leaving her is difficult. 

The most interesting thing I do, is that three years ago, I started my own website with Site Build It..   This is an awesome program which gives you tons of tools to build your own website for profit or hobby. 
I combined my love of natural medicine with my love of research and writing and researched, built and wrote my own website...which I frequently refer to for my own use.  

I only make a little bit of money off it, mostly because I don't work on it nearly as much as I should.  But, I've learned a ton from writing it and really enjoyed it..and it's always there...waiting for me to come back and work some more.   And, through that, I've gotten into writing a few articles for also makes me a little bit of money.  Although, I haven't been doing that nearly as much as I should.

The last work at home "thing" I do, is the only one that is an actual job...where I work for someone else.  I do online work for the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop., which is a great source for Catholic items...rosaries, pendants, books, scapulars, medals, custom-printed prayer cards, etc.  I generally do things like add products, work on building a database of inventory, etc.

2) Did your mother work? mother is a writer and she started her first book when I was in middle/high school, so I guess technically she was a work at home mom.   She has since written many more books, but most were written after her children were all grown (or mostly grown). 

3) Describe a typical work day.

There is no typical work day for me.  I basically just cram work in, whenever I can.  Because, I also homeschool...weekends are usually when I get the most done and it's really hard to fit work in around homeschooling and other stuff.   I've been reading the other blogs posted...especially those from other work at home moms, because what I do is basically just randomly work whenever I have a few moments...which is not the best or most productive.

4) What's the best part about having a job?

The money...and really, it's sorta fun as well (sometimes) and I feel like it keeps my brain busy and engaged and learning new things. 

5) What's your least favorite part?

The fact that I always feel guilty, I always feel like I should be working more and doing more and using my time more wisely and getting more done.  

6) What would make your life easier?

Childcare..for sure.  That is is the hardest part about working at having to work with my kids all around...and because I homeschool...they are ALWAYS around.  My husband helps some...but he is busy with his own work (and his work will hopefully make a lot more money, so he needs to focus on that). 

7) How do your children handle their mom's career?

Well, I don't really have a career....I mostly just stuff.  And, my kids are really independent and good about doing things for themselves, so that helps.   Really, most of what I do is on the they don't really know if I'm working or blogging or facebooking. 

8) Do you feel supported in what you do?

For the most part..yes, I do feel supported. 

9) What are your future goals when it comes to work/motherhood?

Hmm...well there are lots of things I think about, but ultimately, when my children are older I would love to get my IBCLC credential and work as a lactation consultant.  I realize that has nothing to do with what I'm doing at home now, but it is something I plan to pursue later on.   . 

10) What are some tips that help you balance it all?

The key for me, is having a schedule or routine and STICKING TO IT (which is hard).  I try to plan things so I am planning to work during x hours or homeschool during y hours or cook dinner during z hours.  For me, having that time marked out for x activity really, really helps....but because of our schedule..every day tends to be a bit different.  So, it can get a bit crazy, and I'm not very good at sticking to it.  

Really, I find working at home to be fairly challenging along with homeschooling and general motherhood.  But, the little bit of money I make is extremely helpful to our family right now..and when all is said and done, I DO enjoy the challenge and brain stimulation working provides. 

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  1. Thanks for linking up Amelia! I think working at home AND homeschooling must be the hardest. You never have any time to yourself! But seriously, good for you because your kids will probably be much better off than my school-attending hooligans ;)

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