Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Being a WAHM

I used to be (in my pre-children days) a hotel manager and I enjoyed it.  The shifts didnt bother me, working weekends didnt bother me, just meant my weekend was when everyone else was working!  I met my husband through work and so our schedules ran in parallel. 

But when I had Sophie, some 5 years ago, before she was born I did want to go back and knew it would be difficult with both of us in the same 'unsocial' industry.  But being in a managerial position I hoped I could make it more stable hours and be able to do both.  At first I started to look for a childminder, as I wanted her to be cared for in a 'family environment' and it was flexible to my job.  Not surprisingly when I looked for a flexible hours childminder, I think there was two.  So I went to visit both, one was completely unsuitable and the other was a possibility but I wasnt thrilled with her.  But looking back now, (considering I had been a mother for all of 5 mins, not literally) I was CRAZY to think I could do both.  I think I was still holding onto the idea of what motherhood and working 'would' be like, rather than what it 'really' was.  Also a factor into this crazy thinking was, my boss would not agree to stable or flexi-hours (something I later found out came from 'above'), I would still have to continue the 'as necessary' shift work.  So I ummed and arred and stressed for a while.  Until I finally woke up and realised it was just not possible to do the job I did before, trying to work childcare around those crazy 'unsociable' hours just wasnt going to do it.  So we decided I wouldnt go back and would work part-time instead, which actually benefitted us financially more.  Once, I made that decision there was a wave of relief over me and I was relaxed as I went to give my notice, and I knew it was the right deicision.  As much as I didnt want to give up or delay my career, this was the best thing.

From then, through various sources I started reading about Work at Home Mums and people who were doing their own thing whilst being there for their family.  That was what I wanted to do, but didnt know how. I tried a few things with ebay and surveys etc but it never went anywhere and was all more effort than it was worth.  I was working part-time and so got to spend the afternoons and weekends with my daughter, which was half way there.  Then I got made redundant and my husband got offered a better job here in Portugal, so off we went.  At this time I was thinking of trying to go back into 'regular' work in Portugal but nothing to rush as we were financially ok with me at home.  Finding a job in Portugal is not easy, sorry bloody hard and learning the language even harder, not to forget the now terrible financial crisis we are in.  Then we had our second daughter and so even more I wanted to be a WAHM, doing my own thing. 

Late last year, I got the opportunity to start working with Tots to Travel and the wonderful, Wendy Shand, inspirational Mumpreneur.  So now I feel I am on my way, but Im not there yet.

But being a WAHM is not perfect (for me at least), it is hard work, you must be self-motivated and that is not very easy with little people running round the house, calling mummy, mummy, mummy or chasing you round when you are trying to talk on the phone.  There is a certain amount of guilt I feel for not being able to give them my undivided attention, even though we are here together, but I havent been doing this very long and so need to learn some more skills to balance things better.  And sometimes I honestly do wonder if working for someone else would be easier, yes probably it would be easier, but then I would lose something more important - time with my children.  And a chance to work on 'my terms'.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Just found your blog, I am a mum with two children working from home part-time, from the Silver coast.
    It's hard, but as you say, when I have those testing days, i remind myself... That it could be a lot worse. My kids could be in full-time care, while I had to commute and only see them for breakfast and bedtime...
    Now I get to enjoy afternoons on the beach with them instead.