Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Working From Home

I get a lot of questions about my job. Most people are just curious about how teaching high school online really works. I was pretty intrigued when I first started to consider doing it for a living as well. The other half that comment on my job--do so in a typical southern fashion. They are nice nasty. Nice nasty is when you say something condescending in a really nice way. I truly believe that half of the people that do this do not even realize that they are being condescending. Here are the most common comments that I get about my job:

1. "I could never do that, I wouldn't have enough to do. I'd be so bored."
2. "I would love to be like you and not have to have a real job."
3. "It must be nice to get paid to say at home with your daughter."
4. "I bet your husband loves that you are home and can do all of the (insert house chore here)."

While some of these things are more insulting in their context than others. You get the general idea of the underlying insult there. Yes, someone has actually said each and every one of the above things to me.

Let me assure you that I do like my job. I love teaching, and I am immensely grateful that I have a job that allows me to do what I love while also being able to be home with my daughter. It is the best of both worlds for me. However, there are times that I think it would be easier to teach in a traditional school. No, don't burn me at the stake just yet. I believe that my job is much harder--and much more demanding than the average teacher. Yes--I said it.

Here is why--while you are all in your classrooms teaching your students. You are focused mostly on them. Of course a mother is always thinking about how her child is, but mostly you are focused on the job at hand. You are able to put your professional hat on, and shove that mommy hat in your desk drawer. I, I am wearing both of mine every single day...all day long. Don't get me wrong. That is what I asked for and what I want to do. When I teach my class, P is usually asleep upstairs. I say usually because she is unpredictable at times. There are a lot of times that I am doing multiple things at once. I may be in a meeting, feeding P solids, and pumping all at the same time. So--if you think that I don't have enough to do, then I would like to see you do it for a week. A whole week, I dare you.

A real job...seriously? We have got to stop the mommy bashing in this culture. I have found the worst mommy bashers...are moms themselves. They say things like this because they are jealous--or because they don't understand why anyone would want to do it differently than they did it with their kids. I believe that just being a mom at home with your child or children is a REAL, honest to god, job. Even if you can't give it the "job" label--can we at least agree that it is work? Hard work at that.

 I wish that I could be a stay at home mom, but I am not. I am a work from home mom. The two things are similar in few ways and different in many others. I sacrifice a lot of quality time with my daughter because I am working. Just like those who work outside of the home. Yeah, she is sitting right next me me, but it is not quality time. I will admit that there are days,--when I am really busy--that I make it to lunch and realize that haven't spoken one word to her all day. I worry about her development. Would she be better off in a daycare where they would interact with her better? It all comes down to the idea of quality versus quantity. We spend a lot of time together, but I do sometimes feel that I have really spent it with my computer screen.

I don't get paid to stay at home with my daughter. I get paid to do a job. It just so happens that I get to be at home where my daughter is while doing it. However, it is like every other job. If my daughter interrupts my work to a point where I can not get the job done--I will be reprimanded. While my job is full of moms like me--we are all expected to perform as if we were distraction free. They are not in the business of paying women to stay at home with their kids. If anyone knows of such a job where this is really the case, then let me know. Because I would be early every day for that job. I would work it on weekends, holidays, whenever...oh wait--I already do. It's called motherhood.

My husband would laugh at the idea that because I work from home it somehow means that I keep the house clean. I wish that I was that gifted at multi-tasking. Even if I had the time--I still wouldn't clean. The truth is that any time I do have a break from working--I am not going to spend it cleaning a toilet--sorry. I am spending it looking into those little green eyes. Most days I don't have time for chores, and when I do--I don't do them. When I have free time and P is napping--the last thing I want to do is laundry. I want to get some alone time. Some me time--where I sit and watch Real Housewives of (insert various options here, I watch them all).

So, I am sorry to dispell your myths and preconceived notions about work from home moms. We certainly don't spend our days watching The Price is Right or twiddling our thumbs. We are sometimes doing more than one job at a time. And you know what--I am not complaining. I am so grateful that I do this each and every day. It allows me to bring in a living while fulfilling a dream I have always had to stay at home with my children. On a day like today, where I have taken the day off to spend QUALITY time with my daughter. I will spend it giggling, chasing, tickling, kissing, rocking, reading, singing, and loving that little girl to pieces--be jealous about that. Because you totally should be!

Cheers Ladies!