This month marks one year since I walked away from my corporate desk job to be a full-time blogger and a work at home mom with three kids in tow.
I thought the change would mean no more staying up until 1:00 in the morning to write. But I still do that.
I thought it would mean no more guilt for leaving my kids to go to work every day. But now I feel guilty for working on my laptop instead of playing LEGOs.
And I thought I’d write an e-book. Instead, I wrote an e-course to help other bloggers hone their writing skills.
But above all? I thought after a few months, I’d have to go begging for my job back.
This year has been the most wonderful gift from the universe to my soul. If you have a chance to go after what feeds your soul – whether that’s making art or traveling the world or carving out a few more hours with your sweet family every week – GO FOR IT.
You won’t get this time back.
9 Surprises About the Transition to Working at Home
To reflect on where I came from and what’s happened in the last year, here are 9 things that surprised me.
If you’re thinking of making a change or you’re in the midst of one now – especially if that change involves working from home while taking care of your kiddos – this is for you.
- Money will be tight, but you won’t care. In fact, you’ll have more fun as a family now that you have less money.
- You’ll have more time, but your to-do list is longer. Which will teach you that work will always expand to fit the time you give it.
- When you lay your baby on your lap and prop your laptop behind her head so that you can make eye contact every couple minutes but still get some work done, you’ll learn that babies aren’t dummies. She knows what you’re doing, and she’s going to let you hear it.
- When you get up to change the baby’s diaper and you leave your laptop on the living room end table, you’ll come back to find that your toddler managed to delete your latest draft, tweet your grocery list, and disable your trackpad, which you didn’t even realize was a thing.
- It’s so very lovely not having to put on pants every day. But for some reason, you’ll still do it anyway. By noon at the latest.
- When you decide to blow off work one morning and take the kids to the park, it will be hard to shake the feeling that you’re doing something wrong. The whole time, you’ll look over your shoulder for co-workers who might catch you and rat you out to your boss.
- Blowing off work one morning to take the kids to the park is pretty fun, even if you are paranoid for no reason. But that work still has to get done. (See also: 1:00 in the morning.)
- You will not have time to work, wrangle the kids, clean the house, plus get dinner ready. You can pick one, maybe two if you’re lucky.
- It will be hard to get anything substantial done during the day. And some nights when you watch 1:59 flip over to 2:00 in the morning, you’ll wonder if you made the right decision. But you’ll think back through your day – to the clandestine park operation, to an email from a reader who’s going through a rough patch and wrote to tell you that your words helped, to not having to pump milk for your baby during the workday (hallelujah!), to packing PBJs to meet your husband for lunch, to pouring out your soul on command when the toddler and newborn’s naps magically line up for 20 minutes. And you’ll know. You’ll know it was 100% worth it.
And you’ll also know that not a single bit of it would be possible without the people who have invited you into their lives. They read what you write to get ideas of fun stuff to do with their kids. They read to share a laugh. They read to know they’re not alone.
Thank you for this incredible gift. I don’t know that I can ever repay you, but I damn sure am gonna try.
Looking back on the last year, a scene from one of my favorite movies of all time has been popping into my head here and there and making me smile, every time.
Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.
Charlie: What happened?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.
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Tell me what’s on your mind in a comment below.