Monday, January 30, 2006

Clothes cleanout forced

Being a work-at-home mom who doesn't like housework — make that utterly detests housework and so therefore avoids it as much as possible — things around the house tend to get a little cluttery while I sit at my computer composing feature pieces or just sipping coffee and reading blogs.

The clutter that accumulates certainly includes my clothing drawers. I was rooting through a drawer for some knee-highs to wear to an interview yesterday and had just said that I needed to clean my drawers out and get rid of some stuff when the whole thing fell out, face down no less. A forced cleaning! That was probably the only way it would get done, anyway.

I threw some stuff away, put some in the donation pile, and even found some stuff, including not one but two pairs of black knee-highs! Now I just need to clean out the rest of the drawers along with my closet since I intend to go to the thrift store this week and make out with a nice haul of outfits for work.

While I'm at it I need to vaccum the floor, wash dishes, clean out the tub, start supper ...

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Wardrobe overhaul required

Since I became a work-at-home mom two years ago — two and a half if you count the six months I worked from home for the company that had employed me in the office for 15 years — my summer work wardrobe has expanded but my winter apparel has gone steadily downhill. I wore a lot of long skirts during the winter when I was in the office — business casual, my office-employee husband says its called — but it is a lot harder to slip into a skirt and flats after shedding comfy warm fleece and fuzzy slippers, my inside work uniform of late.

As a result, I've been wearing a forgiving pair of black pants and my walking shoes a lot lately when I go out in public. I've almost completely gotten out of the business casual zone but my pants are starting to look really worn and I realized the other day I really do need some new work clothes.

It just so happens that a friend of mine in town this past week wanted some other friends and I to take her to a particular thrift store that I had never been to, or at least I couldn't remember going in recent years. Boy, what I had been missing out on. The clothing was hung and shelved not only by gender but by size. I found that entirely impressive.

The quality of the garments (as in very gently used and washing-machine clean) along with the prices was astounding. I purchased three skirts, two tops and one pair of pants for myself, all of which will be great for work except one lined skirt, and two dresses for my girls, all for the paltry sum of $6.50. Unbelievable! What is more incredible is that everything, and I mean every single thing, fit perfectly and looked good on me.

Needless to say, I'm definitely going back to that thrift store within the next few days. Now I just have to collect up some clothing to donate when I go so I'll have some room in my closet and drawers for new stuff when I get back!

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Dressing the part

A change in my usual work outfit was called for one day this week. Should I say, a change in my outside-the-house work outfit, being as my normal work garb includes sweats and fuzzy slippers in the winter and a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops in the summer.

When I have to leave the house for work in the summer I put on a comfy skirt and top and sandals. My out-in-public work outfit this winter has been a pair of black slacks, a shirt topped with a zipup black hoodie sweater, and either black flats or my walking shoes. Hey, I'm all into comfort now, but at least they are black and gray. I do look a bit like someone walking to work in a big city, except I don't have a big bag with real shoes in it; I have a big bag with a first-aid kit and a Barbie doll in it.

But I couldn't really wear that outfit today, or at least I didn't want to, since I had an interview in a downtown office that's in a fancy bank building overlooking the courthouse square. Now, I'm not into dressing to impress anyone, but the thing is my black slacks are starting to look a little shabby — make that quite a bit shabby — from so much washing and wearing. They're also starting to get a little too big, which in and of itself would be a good thing, but that's the only pair of black slacks that I have that I like to wear. I get stuck on the same outfit, if you didn't get that from the first paragraph.

Feeling like I'd rejected something or someone important, I opted for a button-up sweater (one without a hood!), skirt and boots instead of the frayed pants and athletic shoes. I almost felt official, like I was kind of important. (Actually I go to the Kingdom Hall three times a week and out in the Bible ministry regularly and dress like that all the time; just not for work!) I rather wished for my running shoes when I was out footing it all over downtown snapping photos, and would probably have looked more like the small-time journalist I am had I worn them.

My next interview was at a skating rink, a place where the shabby-looking pants and athletic footwear wouldn't have seemed out of place at all, but I figured if you're going to be dressed wrong, at least be overdressed! It didn't take me long after I got home to take those confining clothes off and slip into my warm fleece, though! Now that's my kind of work outfit!

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Surveying the desk damage

It was worse than I thought, that mess on my desk. It required more of a detailed plan than the one I outlined in my previous post. Here's the revised action required.

* Two small bottles of fabric paint. I bought them with the intent of decorating a shirt for my child to wear to school but the personalizing never happened.
* Some kids' ponytail holders with those balls on them. They're cute but they pull my kids' hair and we don't even use them anymore. I've given most of them away but these apparently got past me.

Needed even more stacks for:
* Work folders and notebooks not actively in use. I put these in my file for things needed but not currently being used — a clear backpack with black piping discarded by my child when we found one with purple piping.
* Paid bills that need to be filed. Never know when you might need those.

* Earrings and jar of chigger medicine to the bathroom; play money and bottle of school glue to my kids' desk, which incidentally, looks worse than mine.

* Lip balm. I never can put my hands on any when I really need it, although there must be at least five tubes in the house and in my purse.
* Mate to an earring. I know right where the other one is. Or at least I think I do.

* A card for our eighth anniversary my sister made. We've been married 9½ years now, but it's a tri-fold that stands up and it's so pretty.
* Tiny origami turtle and bird figures my kids got from the Chinese restaurant. I thought origami was Japanese, but I've been wrong before.
*A button I got for being a guest reader at my daughter's school. Maybe the next time I clean I'll move this to the refrigerator.
* A sticky note with my sisters' phone numbers, taped at my daughter's eye level so she can call her aunties when she wants to.

Work mementos admired:
* A tiny birdhouse made entirely from materials scooped up along the river that runs in front of the maker's house.
* A piece of paper I made while interviewing a woman who knows how to make paper the old Chinese way. She doesn't use this method, but she showed me her easier way and let me try it out. It feels like a paper towel, only thicker. Unbeknownst to me, my older daughter crayoned our family in stick figures on it. I saw what she was doing just as she was putting the finishing touches on her little sister. It's now framed, of course, and hides my funny-looking answering machine.

* Frames for my kids' newest school photos.
* A flat screen monitor and an Internet-ready laptop while we're making a wish list.

Whew! That's what I call a hard night's work. We'll see how long it lasts.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Looking for my desk

The junk and clutter on my desk has reached catastrophic proportions. I am resigned to the fact that it's not going to clean itself but alas, I must clean it myself. I have a large wastebasket parked right beside it and am ready (well, as ready as I'll ever be) to start chunking stuff and organizing the rest.

Here's my plan of action: Make stacks of things and then put them somewhere, anywhere but where they are right now. I'll need to make piles of:

* Active folders and notebooks that I have to keep right handy. There's about five folders and at least that many sprial notebooks. Hey, I'm a busy woman!

* Notes and clippings that need to be filed away. These go in cardboard boxes in a spare bedroom for now. At least the year is written in marker on the sides so I can find a box if/when I need it.
* Stuff that needs to go to the post office, like clippings of features and photos to return to their rightful owners.

* My kids' school papers. If I throw these away I'll want them for sure in 20 years, so I'm trying to hang on to some of them.
* Stuff I don't use all the time (catalogs, etc.) but that I do usually refer to on a regular basis.

* Miscellaneous pile of things like lipstick (I hardly wear any; why are two tubes on my desk?), a zipper bag of seashells my daughter took to school but that belong in my treasured seashell collection (can't you tell they are really treasured), my too-small but breathtakingly beautiful wedding rings I was showing my children (I've grown as have they!), hair barrettes, and stuff like that that doesn't belong on my desk.

* And lastly, a pile of things I don't know where to put or that doesn't really go anywhere. This stack will most likely end up on top of the printer/scanner, much to my husband's chagrin.

After everything is off of my desk, then I have to move the phone and other things around and wipe off the surface. I also have to move pictures and books around on the top shelf and dust. I like to use a homemade Very Vinegar Cleaner or Shaklee's Basic H Cleaner. Can't go wrong with either one of those two, and the surfaces are guaranteed to look clean for 24 hours or whenever I junk everything up again, whichever comes first.

The agony has been prolonged and drawn out long enough; now I must get the job done!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Help, I can't find my desk!

The work-at-home mom's desk is supposed to be a little cluttered, since she's obviously doing two jobs at once, but the situation on my desk has gotten completely out of hand.

The cubbyholes and shelves aren't in too bad a shape, although they do need some organizing. The problem is the flat desk surface itself. Along with my plethora of notebooks, folders, pens and pencils and my planner, I have batteries, cough drops, play money, bottles of nail polish, tea tree oil, and hand sanitizer, stacks of school photos and coupons, kids' hair clips, and a kids' keyring guide to American Sign Language.

Oh yeah, there's a CD released by the child musician I'm writing about today along with stacks of info about him, a calculator, my daughter's school papers, and for some strange reason there is a wooden clothespin. We don't even use clothespins.

It's obviously gotten quite out of hand. The bad thing is I clean this desk off every few days. I mean moving the pictures up on the top around to dust and everything. Well, that's only because the top of it is black and I HAVE to dust it regularly.

When I clean this thing off today I'll think of some easy ways to maintain it and will report back. Or at least I'll find somone who knows how to keep her desk clean and I'll let you know what she says!

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Stay off of Momma's desk!

We've had a desk with a computer set up in the front of the house, oh say four or five years, and I've been working from home going on three. So having an off-limits desk should be familiar ground for the kids, now 6 and 4, right? One would think so. Sadly, it doesn't always work out that way.

The basic rule is Stay off of Momma's desk. Pretty simple, pared down from the former Always ask before you get something from Momma's desk. Easy enough to understand, but that simple rule can't always overcome the temptation to make yourself at home at Momma's desk, especially since she has so many cool things — pens, pencils, paper, stamps, glue, hand sanitizer, and the list goes on and on — right in plain sight of the entire family with apparently no order to how things go. (I'll address the placement and organization of Momma's desk later on.)

Of course getting something off of Momma's desk isn't as simple as that, since kids can't get one thing and leave it at that. They see two or three more things they must have, and leave a trail of misplaced items in their wake. I got up this morning to find things in disarray on my desk. Now this desk might not look too orderly to the untrained eye, but I did just leave it a few hours ago to go to bed and I remember clearly the order of the chaos.

"Who's been on my desk?" I inquired pleasantly enough for someone who hadn't had any coffee. The six-year-old piped up that it had been her. She had wanted to send her daddy a letter. "Okay," I replied, reiterating the rule. "Stay off of my desk." I replaced the box of envelopes, a DVD of "The Pelican Brief," CD recordings of Bible stories, and an old picture of my best friend and I taken half a lifetime ago, and turned around to make a pot of coffee.

A few minutes later I was heading into the laundry room when I spied a letter-size envelope placed near the door on the kids' computer desk. (Yes, they have their own, but the computer is an old Mac that no one but the baby can work, and we can all imagine why she was the only one who could get it to do anything. It's on it's way to the garbage, by the way.) Neatly penciled in childish letters were my husband's name and our address, correctly placed on the envelope.

My heart swelled with pride that my daughter was sweet enough to write a letter to her father and place it in an envelope and that she was able to (mostly) spell everything correctly and put it in the right spot on the envelope. But alas! There was a 37 cent stamp affixed — in the upper right hand corner, mind you — to this envelope. That means a trip to the post office for a 2 cent stamp to put on an envelope that will come right back to this house.

Something had to be said. I praised her for her spelling, penmanship and correct usage of an envelope but scolded her for getting it — AND the stamp! — off of my desk. I pointed out how mailing the letter will require me going to the post office for another stamp when the letter will just come right back here. What is more, I will be the only one at home when it is delivered. Stay off of my desk, I repeated the familiar command.

She smiled and said, "Yes, ma'am," but she was bursting with pride in herself and I'm sure we'll have to go through this again later on today.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Advantages of working from home

It seems that I'm not the only one that revels in the ability to work when and if I want and to be able to be there for my kids.

I read a great article by Shannon Miller, work-at-home mother of five — count 'em: five! — children. She probably has to work a little harder than I do just to maintain a semblance of order in her home, but she sure hits the nail on the head when talking about the advantages of working from home.

The advantages of being a work-at-home mom
By Shannon Miller

I could not ask for a more rewarding job than the one I have right now. I don’t have to get all dressed up for it. I don’t have to waste money on gas to get back and forth. The money that I save in eating out for lunch and daycare is a bundle in itself. My job is being a work at home mom. Getting to stay at home with my children is one of the most rewarding feelings that I have experienced. I love having the being able to be here for my children and I am also able to help support my family. Being at home for my older children is important to them. I can be here when they arrive home from school and they can immediately get started on their homework or any projects and if there is something they do not understand then we can work on it together. If one of them were to get sick at school I can easily go and pick up my children without having to get permission form anyone.

I don’t have to worry about making appointments around anyone’s schedule I only have to worry about what works for me. Working at home allows me to be able to work my hours around my kids not the other way around work my children in somehow to my work schedule. I am at liberty to take a day off and not have to worry about am I going to get fired from my job. I don’t have to feel like I have to get someone’s permission about my own children. When there is something that needs to be done I can do it without any consequences. I don’t have to answer to a supervisor. I am my own supervisor. If I had an outside job I would have to get off from work and at most places they would get rid of you for getting off from work. There are so many advantages to being a work at home mom. My list could go on and on. If you are thinking about being a stay at home, these are just a few good reasons why you should. If you decide to stay at home it will be the best decision that you and your family could ever make.

Article by: Shannon Miller is the mom of 5 children and the owner of

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Schedule change

My workday schedule, such as it is, just got changed. Here's the thing: both of my kids catch the bus to their respective schools about 7:25 a.m. or so right around the corner. They go to different schools but their buses almost always come within 30 to 60 seconds of each other. I put them both on their buses, walk back to the house by 7:30 a.m., and put on a pot of coffee to get my day started.

The deal is that the head start kid's bus is going to start coming a little closer to 8 a.m. now that they have other kids to pick up. I did let them know that I really enjoyed both of them loading up for school at the same time, but alas, rules are rules. Or something like that.

Now this might not sound like much of change at all, but those 30 minutes are precious to me. I can sit with my cup of coffee and goof off until 8 a.m. and not feel guilty about it. Any time spent on nonessential matters after that seems like wasting good working time for some reason.

Not that I get to work at 8 a.m. by any means — I never went to work at 8 a.m. when I was in an office, for crying out loud — but that time is generally regarded as the start of the workday.

With the new bus time I may have to revert back to my office workday start time, which was closer to 10 a.m. and most certainly not before 9 a.m.! Perhaps a change in routine might not be such a bad thing after all.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

A full day with the kids around

An increase in productivity doesn't seem to happen when my children are at school, rather I seem to get on the ball better with them around. The kids are both home from school today sick, but no one is violently ill and it certainly seems that they've put me to work.

Here I am before 10 a.m. sitting down at my desk to work with motherly chores already behind me — breakfast has been served and cleared away, the dishwasher has been loaded, and the washer and dryer are hard at it. Leftover stew that I fixed in the slow cooker yesterday is on the menu for either lunch or supper, and I'll pull something out of the pantry for the other meal.

Given my track record of late I doubt all of that would have been done by this time had they both gone to school!

We have lots planned for the day — reading together, homework, and taking in some fresh air when it warms up this afternoon — so I'm going to set a couple of appointments and whip up a short story now and get that out of the way.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

An increase in productivity?

The kids are both in school now and that gives me some definite time each day work hard and get everything done, right? Wrong. It's beautiful quiet time when I can sit and drink a couple of cups of coffee undisturbed. I can read the newspaper, post on message boards, and write in my blog with no one whining that they are hungry, no one yelling because someone took their stuff, and absolutely no one smarting off at me. If you don't count the cat, that is.

I had big dreams of doing all this work while the kids were gone to school. Since I have several hours a day in which to be quite productive, one would think I would take advantage of it and really crank out some work. Or do something beneficial.

Actually, now that the girls are in school the options are wide open. I could go back to school! Get a real job! Oh wait no, not that, definitely not that. I have too much fun with the coffee-drinking at 10:30 a.m. and would probably get an attitude if I were to be told I couldn't run out to the school whenever I wanted. That would never do. I don't think I'll go to college now and I'm definitely not going to get a job, so I guess I'd better start getting some work done here!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

How about working today?

The list of advantages for working at home just goes on and on. One of them is being able to pretty much control how much work you do. I have to keep something going on pretty much part-time hours to contribute to the family finances but I still have a lot of say-so in how much I work.

My work has slacked off the past few weeks but I didn't let it rattle me. Now the utilities, which I take care of — among other things, including groceries — with my earnings are due and where is the money to pay them? Not in my pocket. That's okay, I'll just ask for some more work.

The saying is, Be careful what you ask for since you just might get it. That held true for me. I've got a whole long list of assignments since I spoke up yesterday. One has to be thankful for not only work but for the ability to say how much of it she wants. Now I have that to do plus the grocery-shopping!

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Monday, January 16, 2006

An example ...

A great example of the beauty of working from home that we're talking about here — not having to leave if you don't want to — is the fact that I just left the house this evening for the first time since Friday.

Most of that is due to the fact that I was sick all weekend, but it's still neat that the last time I left the house was to volunteer at my daughter's school and I've been working every day except one since then. I went out to get some orders of Chinese fried rice for supper since I hadn't taken the time or energy to come up with a decent meal today.

The leftovers will make a great lunch tomorrow, but alas! I must leave the house anyway since we are out of groceries!

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Staying in to work on a cold day

One of the huge perks of working from home is not having to leave the house at all some days. I sit at my desk, coffee cup in hand, clad in comfy fleece at noon or later, typing away on the next 700-word masterpiece. Or maybe I'm taking a break, checking to see what my fellow work-at-home-mothers have been talking about on one of the many message boards I frequent.

Either way I have control of my time. What's not to love about that? Well, except for piddling away the hours and a facing an ever-looming deadline!

On cold days like today, I don't have to get out there and warm up my car and drive down to the office. I can stay in the house and be just as productive — if not more so — than I would have been had I been in an office.

It's not quite noon yet and I've already done an interview, have sent off some story queries, and am getting ready to write a short piece. Oh yeah, and fix lunch for my kids who are out of school for a holiday. I better get that PB&J out.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Working sick on the weekend

My uniform a pair of sweatpants and a gray sweater, my computer an outdated laptop with no battery power and no Internet access, my mousepad "Dr. Seuss's ABC," and my lunch a super-sweet cup of coffee, I sit on the bed in my sick-stupored state this Sunday afternoon getting ready to churn out a couple of pieces that were due last week. There is hope that I can make headway on one before my kids come back home and start bouncing on the bed.

One of the downsides of working for yourself when you don't follow a good schedule -- like I didn't last week -- is working on weekends or when you are sick. For me right now, it's both!

There are no complaints though, since last week I didn't do much other than spend time at school with my kids. That was a treat and one of the main reasons I still freelance even though both of them are in school now. If I were to go back to work, there'd be none of that running out to the school for lunch or reading time, and those are things I have grown to treasure.

So I plug away on the weekend, sick with some kind of vicious virus, remembering the good times of last week and vowing to stick to my schedule this week!

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Working mom out sick

A beautiful thing about freelancing, working a home business, or whatever it is you do that makes you a work-at-home-mom, is that you control when and how much you work. This is one of the best things about working for yourself — that is, until it backfires on you like it has me!

My work goes mostly by the week, with certain standing deadlines in place and others set as stories are assigned. Lately my work has decreased, and so since I didn't have that much work to do this past week I didn't really follow my schedule. On top of that it was a really blah week for me and I figured I needed a break. I got some of what was due last week in and saved the rest for this weekend.

Turns out there was a reason for me feeling out of sorts this past week. A big bug smacked me upside the head Saturday morning and I couldn't even get up to take any medicine, let alone do any work! I finally took something last night and got some sleep, and today the pain in my head has dissipated to my entire body. I'm now doped up on ibuprofen and muscle rub, and through this fog I've got to produce a masterpiece or two.

That's what I get for abusing the advantage of making my own schedule. Maybe it will be a lesson well learned, but then again, maybe not!

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Friday, January 13, 2006

A working mom can volunteer

As a freelance writer and mom working from home, I have the freedom to come and go pretty much as I please. I enjoy volunteering at my daughters' schools and do so on a weekly basis. It's scheduled in just like my interviews, due dates, and deadlines.

The better portion of the last couple of days has been spent not on working on a big story but on something that might be an even bigger undertaking — volunteering at my daughters' schools. I haven't gotten much work done these past two days but I have worked up a pretty big headache from all the childish clamoring!

My weekly school activities consist pretty much of reading to the kids and eating lunch with them. At my younger daughter's head start, the reading is mainly to keep the volume at a low roar during transitional activities like going from lunchtime to naptime or from naptime to the bus for home.

In my first grader's class, two children at a time come and read to me, or try to read to me as the case may be. A few weeks ago I got a little aggravated at the struggling — they're only six and seven but my daughter whizzes through books like a grown person and I guess I'm used to that — so I decided I'd read to them. Whew, much better! We read Leo Leonni's captivating stories for a few weeks, and that was a real treat.

Lunchtime follows the reading and I now have a waiting list a month long for who I will be sitting by during the noon meal. It's nice to be so popular! Now I need to get to work so I can also be popular with my editors.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The best job

It's been two years this month that I got my start as a freelance writer, and I have to say it is the best job I've ever had. Although I loved the office job I had and my children were always with me, this is by far a better arrangement for us. That is, other than the times when I'm on the phone with Mayor So-and-so and an ear-piercing scream lets loose from the back of the house or the kids decide to hold their heated squabble right behind my head.

When the only job I'd ever had ended unceremoniously, freelancing was the only option for me. I had to continue contributing to the family income and the kids weren't going to daycare or a babysitter, so there you have it. I had to work from home since I figured not too many offices would take kindly to me announcing that I'd like a job there and oh yeah, there are two little kids who come with the package.

There are lots of home businesses out there and jobs that can be done from home or for yourself, and believe me, I looked into a lot of them. It really boiled down to one thing: there was one thing I knew how to do and do well — writing. It was only natural to look for work in that field. Thankfully I found some. Two years later I wonder why in the world I didn't embark on this career when my first child was born six years ago!

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Getting it all going

It took a while to get enough freelance writing work so after I became a work-at-home-mom, I supplemented that with some contract work, a little Internet selling, and a couple of food service jobs. We weren't trying to replace a big income but looking for enough to cover the utilities, groceries and incidentals and to help with other necessary stuff like the mortgage and insurance.

Several months into the freelancing and all those other sidelines, I landed what turned out to be the best thing yet. I saw an ad in the state paper for a freelance automotive feature writer and hustled to apply for it. They ended up going with someone else but referred me to another department that produces three zoned editions every week. Along with my other two weekly/regular assignments, this one was to be quite regular, as in one to two pieces up to four or five a week.

Oh goody! This was just what I needed to let all the side jobs go! I had long since quit the terrible three-week-long waitressing gig so the 11-month night-and-weekend sandwich-making post was next to go. I backed off the selling and contract work but still do a little of both from time to time. You never know when something like that might come in handy.

So now it's just me, my writing, and my two kids in the working equation!

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

A big change

A life-changing experience began unraveling when I became a mother working for myself a couple of years ago. The loss of the job I had held for nearly 16 years was a tremendous blow, but there were far more important issues at hand. The income, meager as it was, had to be immediately replaced. What was more, it had to be something that could be done with our two little kids underfoot as we remained hard and fast to our decision to raise our children ourselves.

After a couple of weeks of applying for all the benefits I thought we might now qualify for and whining at my sisters for help with a resume — you'd think a writer could easily whip up her own resume but I was at a complete loss — I left the kids with their grandmother and a friend or two and hit the pavement.

I personally took resumes to every newspaper within a 45-minute driving radius and handed them to the editors themselves, and was pleased to know that my work and reputation preceded me. My very first stop yielded me a weekly feature assignment, and that did worlds to boost my flagging self-esteem. A few days later I got some more regular work, and I started interviewing and writing. Other than those initial visits to hand-deliver resumes at the newspaper offices, those kids of mine were right with me just like they had always been.

Several months and a couple of food service jobs later, I landed a third regular gig with the state paper, and that was just what I needed to let everything but the writing go.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Leaving the office

Quite a change was in store for me when I started working from home for the newspaper that had employed me for 15 years.

Ever since the birth of my daughter Rose four years previously, people had been astounded that I took my children to work every day and had asked, "How do you get anything done?" I had just smiled and replied that I managed just fine. After starting to work from home I figured out why that was so puzzling and began asking myself the same question of my office-mommy years: Exactly how HAD I gotten anything done?

Oh yeah, cable TV and personal entertainers, that's how. There was none of that at home, only a mommy with her face to the computer and cabinets and drawers to explore.

There was a tremendous upside to working from home even still employed by a company. It did come with a decrease in pay but also with fewer hours and much less responsibility. A mammoth weight was lifted off my shoulders. I literally felt revived and energized, no longer collapsing into bed at the first chance every evening. There was a rebirth going on inside me, and with it came the desire to be both a good mother and a good newspaperwoman. I even kept the house cleaner!

My website
My writing blog
My mom life blog

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Becoming a working mother

It's fairly simple to become a working mother, or at least it was for me. You're working, you have a baby, you have to continue contributing to the family income and presto! A working mother is born. It's a lot easier to become one than it is to be one, that's for sure.

I had an interesting circumstance my first four years of being a working mother. I took my children to the office with me. When I was there, which was around 30 or so hours a week, they were there. I didn't get a whole lot done for the first few months with my first daughter as it seemed the nursing breaks were just as frequent and lengthy as the working spells. Eventually though, things smoothed out and got easier.

I eased my way back into working, coming only three days a week and then up to four after I used all my vacation time. After I was promoted to editor of the small newspaper when my older daughter was still crawling around, I decided it would be a good idea to come to work every day.

A couple of years and another child later, things changed again as I began working for the company from home. That eventually led to my work as a freelance writer, one of the best ways there is to be a working mom!

My website
My writing blog
My mom life blog

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Working and mothering

There wasn't enough for me to do with trying to raise a couple of little kids, taking a stab at keeping house and oh yeah! working as a freelance writer, so I figured I'd let you in on my life as a working mother here!

In the days and weeks to come I want to talk about how I got started working from home, some things to make work easier that I wish I could do, and some ways to keep kids occupied that my kids try for 36 seconds each.

Take a look at what I do for work at my website. I write about what I write at my writing blog. I chronicle the challenges of motherhood (and the joys that come along with it at my mommy blog, which is also here at Blogger.

See you around!