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Working From the Couch and Mom Guilt

Jun 9, 2008
I became a freelance writer after deciding to work from home in order to keep my only child from having to go to after school care once she began kindergarten. I worked a program that, at the time, was still in a developmental phase. Now, Make Money From Writing, is a full course designed to help people who want to be freelance writers. It was the best decision I ever made and I am so grateful I can work from home and be wherever my daughter needs me to be. Well, most of the time.

Working from home is an experience of its own. Having worked in office environments around other people for 15 years, I was not aware of the changes I would undergo staying home on a full time basis, with only my MSN Instant Messenger to keep me social. It was a little daunting at first. It took me a good year to get into the groove and find what works best for me. Sometime I just need a mid-morning nap so I have learned to take it. There is a lot of guilt involved in working for yourself. You end up feeling guilty that you are not working when you think you should be or if you have what I call a "lazy day" when you just can't get it together. You tend to work many more hours for yourself and it is difficult to leave stuff at the office, when the office is in your home.

However, aside from the guilt surrounding working for yourself, by far the worst guilt stems from being a mother. In reality, working from home means you actually have to work. For me, my child is at school 8 hours a day so I have time to work during those hours. As a writer, I don't always feel in the right state of mind to successfully produce material. Sometimes I am not inspired until the school bus has deposited my daughter at the door. Therein lies the mom guilt.

Mom guilt by far, has to be one of the biggest challenges I face as a mompreneur. Even though I am sitting next to her in the same room, if I am working on my laptop, she will no doubt find a way to push the guilt button. She'll ask me endlessly if I am done working yet or would I like to color with her. I have tried to explain several gazillion times that "mommy has to work for a bit" but it's always the same. She gets bored - she bugs me. I get frustrated because I can't accomplish the things that earn me money. Her 5 year old brain doesn't understand that just because I am in the room doesn't mean I am free to play. It's a daily occurrence. Even when her dad does his best to entertain her as I work, just hearing them in the other room makes me feel bad that I am not in there too.

However, I have been getting better with my resolve. I patiently explain as many times as it takes that I have to work and then proceed to do just that. I work and think that it is all worth it in the end and take comfort knowing that at least we are in the same room and she is okay. She will not be a latchkey kid as I was and it inspires me to work all the more now so that she will continue to benefit from my owning my own business. While I can never let go of the guilt completely, or stop getting irritated at the people who tell me to not feel guilty, I do stick to my guns and get the job done when I need to.

The summer is fast approaching and soon I will play double roles for 2 months. I get to be super mom during the day and extremely worn out writer in the night. But, without a doubt, I wouldn't want to be anyone else.
About the Author
Tisha Kulak was the first student of the MakeMoneyFromWriting.com mentoring program. This program gives members the information they need to make money from home through freelance writing, including how to find clients and set your writing fees.
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