My husband will quickly inform anyone who asks about
his wife's employment status that "she stays
home with the kids".
My twelve year old only knows that Mom is on the computer
every time he wants to play Mech Warriors. "Again?"
My three year old understands that during Blues Clues,
Mama can be found buried under the pile of papers
she is always yelling at him not to draw on.
They are all correct, yet there is so much more to
this story. Two years ago, when my husband began his
speech, I brought up the idea of working from home.
Why not, I asked him. I am talented, organized and
hardworking. I have a computer and a fax. I can be
all that I can be (to borrow from the Army). I was
confident that I could make a load of cash - and quick!
Two years and many credit card bills later, I am still
at home; still working hard; and still waiting for
that quick load of cash. And I am happy. Is it the
satisfaction I get from writing my thoughts down on
paper and having it read by others? Is it the pride
I have when someone tells me how much they loved my
article? Or maybe it is the fact that I can work in
my pajamas and not conform to any regular work schedule.
Surprisingly, it is none of the above.
I love working at home for one reason and one reason
only: my kids. I am there with my three year old when
he needs a boo boo kissed. I am able to take "time
off" (without any bosses frowning) when my oldest
receives an award during a school assembly. I never
have to worry about showing up late to daycare or
rushing the kids off to a baby-sitter in the morning
so I can arrive at work on time. I spend my lunch
hour at the park with my little one. I "take
meetings" with my twelve year old after school
to discuss how his day went and what's happening in
Yes, there are job related hazards. While correcting
a printer jam, I discovered a Rugrats toothbrush stuck
in the paper tray. I have waited hours for an important
fax to come in, only to find that someone had taken
the phone off the hook. I have printed and reprinted
articles, still finding peanut butter fingerprints
smudged all over them. And more than once I have typed
e-mails with one hand (the other hand swiftly pushing
buttons on the remote control, desperately searching
for "Sesame Street").
As with any job, there are pros and cons. And maybe
someday I will have to go back out into the "working
world". But if I never do, that will be fine
with me. This is where I want to be; kissing boo boos,
sharing after school snacks, spending as much time
as I possibly can with my kids. It's the best job
I ever had!
Christine Clark is a freelance writer and work at
home Mom. She is also Editor of The
Work-At-Home Wire, a monthly online magazine for