Since I’ve made my decision to focus on writing full-time, I have encountered many bumps on this road of WAHM life. I wonder if I’m making the right choice. I’m taking about deadlines, obstacles, and haters and how they’re all pushing and pulling me in different directions.
For the most part, I control my own deadlines. Being able to set my own dealines is great as it gives me complete control over my writing schedule. I love to plan (I’m a big planner) and having a baby means I really need to manage my time wisely and priotitize tasks.
To manage my time, I’ve given myself a work schedule. I work between 8 and 11 AM, followed by an evening work session from 10 PM to 12 or 1 AM, depending on when baby wakes for her midnight feeding.
I’m afraid of missing a deadline, or having to ask for an extension, becuase I don’t want to be seen as unreliable. I don’t want being a mom to be used against me with current and potential client.
Becasue of this fear, I’m constantly working. I work on several articles at a time. As in, I have multiple tabs open, and I literally go back and forth editing here and there. I’ll write a bit, get a pitch, scrible that pitch, and get back to typing. When I’m “in the zone” I can’t think of anything else… until reality brings me back to Earth.
Obvoiusly, a big part of WAHM life is the “mom” part. While I can always take a break from the “work” part, it’s hard to physically or otherwise, separate myself from the “mom” part.
Even if I manage to get out of the house by myself, I’m constantly checking the clock so I can get home in time for baby’s next feeding. I know I’m fortunate to be able to stay home, fortuntate to have a healthy baby, but I am still struggling with mom/self identity.
I’m always playing a balancing act with my feelings. So much that I feel like I’m going crazy at times. I feel regret when I say, “I want to be alone!” or the guilt that I get when I’m waiting for baby to go back to sleep so I can get to work. How could such a sweet baby bring out the best and worst in me? Adding to this internal struggle is the feeling that I’m just not getting any support from the one person who should behind me chering me on the most.
Which brings me to my final section…
More specifically, A hater.
To be clear, what I’m about to write isn’t something I’ve hidden from my husband. But, for the sake of fairness, and for any moms out there considering WAHM life, specifically as a writer, I want to talk about my experience.
The resistance that my husband shows genuinely surprises me. To me, it feels like he thinks I’m wasting my time, that I should just go back to teaching.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to my husband that I’m a dreamer, that I take risks. Obvously, I wouldn’t be here, living on the other side of the world, if I didn’t do those things.
On the other hand, I look at him and just think, “Who are you? When did you get to be so stuffy and conservative? What happened to wanting to live abroad, or starting your own business?” All of a sudden he’s craving secruity working full-time in a Japanese company when he swore he’d never take that path.
He counters that we both can’t be dreamers, someone needs to have a stable job. And when he says that, it hurts. We already decided that I’d stay home with the baby for a while before going back to work. Even if I decide to go back to work tomorrow, I can’t work full-time without finding daycare for the baby.
So, I’m trying to do the best that I can to contribute. I read a bit about moms taking the plunge to work from home, and I decided that it’s something that I could do, too. And, I’m trying. But, apparently, it’s not hard enough…
I don’t think he understands how tedious this process is. Starting a blog is difficult. I also didn’t know about the process of freelance writing, reaching out to potential clients, pitching ideas, and all the editing and emailing back and forth.
From my husband’s viewpoint, I’m always working on my blog, so I must be raking in ad revenue. I’m always writting something and sending it to various editors, so I must be making money from my writing, right? If not, why do I spend so much time on the computer/iPad/phone?
I do spend a lot of time in front of a computer, but I’m not just here typing or playing around. Sometimes I do research for a pitch, other times, I’m tweaking my blog layout, editing the SEO for older blog posts. Other times, I’m researching WAHM strategies, learning more about SEO. Even when I’m looking at Buzzfeed or celeb gossip, I’m looking at what titles perfom well. I want to know what’s trending.
Most recently though, I’ve been dabbling in graphic design, working on creating blog graphics and social media icons. I also spend time trying to learn more about Twitter and Pinterest and how to network on those platforms since I have a pretty good grasp on Instagram.
It’s really discouraging at times. And it’s not even about the money. I just want something to be good at, something to call my own. And, to be honest, I want my Kanye “Can’t Tell Me Nothin'” West moment:
Petty, yes, but I want to just rub it in my husband’s face.