Working From Home: The Best & Worst of Both Worlds

When I became pregnant with Little Miss, I agonized over ways I could quit my job to stay home with her. The truth is, it wasn’t affordable. We were in debt up to our ears, and needed my income (and then some) to make sure our monthly expenses were covered. For four years I prayed nightly for the opportunity to work from home.

When I was pregnant with Little Man, I had a Divine appointment of sorts, that led me to working part-time, from home, for some friends of ours. The four years from the first utterance of my plea to stay home had given us time to significantly pay down debt, and live on less. Even though that job didn’t pan out long-term, God had already set a plan in motion. I’ve been working from home for 15 months now, and He has absolutely been faithful in all the details.

It is something I wanted. It is something I still want. It is something I thank God for everyday.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

WORKING

There are many times I, and others, have fallen prey to the “I work part time, from home. I now have a lot of extra time.” mentality. The truth is, I have no extra time at all. Working from home doesn’t allow for set times of each day to be and stay focused on work. There are meals to cook. Groceries to buy. Rooms to clean. Toilets to scrub. Laundry to wash. Dry. Fold. Put away. (Shudder) There are kids to feed. They want to be played with.To be held. To snuggle. They want to throw blocks in my face and drool on my one exposed area of skin. They want to play games and read books and wrestle and help. Lord, they want to “help” with everything.

I have friends who assume, as I probably would if I didn’t know better, that I can just uproot and meet for coffee or lunch or shopping trips. After all, if I can make time in my day for a dentist appointment, I obviously have the same flexibility for everything else everyone else wants to do. I only work part-time after all. It’s not like I’m in an office 8-5 every day.

So what’s the big deal?

I’m only working part time. But it takes me twice as long to get the work done some days. I work part of this hour, part of that hour, part of the kids’ nap times, part of my breakfast, part of the evening, part of bed time… There are a lot of parts to working part-time.

I don’t remember the last time I finished a cup of home-brewed coffee while it was still hot. Sometimes on the weekend, Hubs will get us a special latte and he’ll look at me with minor disgust when mine is sucked dry in 10 minutes. I don’t get to do the whole “savor the flavor” thing anymore. I chug my coffee. I’ve lost half my taste buds as a result.

I’ve answered conference calls while simultaneously wiping the post-nasty-duty bottom of my son. I’ve missed door buzzes from the UPS man or the FEDEx guy, because my phone is just out of arm’s reach and I can’t leave Mr. Adventure on the changing table to answer it.

I’ve run the dishwasher with seven things in it, because five of those seven were the only bottles we have, and they were all dirty at the same time. I’ve run the dishwasher twice in one day because I had that many dishes I’d allowed to pile up next to the sink.

I’ve sat in the shower and cried because it was the only thirty seconds I have to myself in a day. If I don’t have a child on me, I’m in a webinar, or a web meeting, or on a joint call. Even this extrovert needs her space once in a while.

I’ve looked at the clock and thought, “HOW IS IT ALREADY TIME FOR DINNER?!” and all of the meat is still in the freezer and no one wants tuna. Again.

Today, my beloved son has cried nearly incessantly. It doesn’t matter that I’m trying to write sales copy that was due a week ago. He wants his mama, and he hates my keyboard and the attention it requires of me.

No, it isn’t easy. Not by a long shot. It isn’t glamorous by any means. I can spend all the time in the world getting ready for my day with hair and makeup and perky business clothes. By dinner time, I’m wearing meal remnants of three people, I’ve got hair falling out or into various areas not defined by the elastic ponytail band, I’ve got Tammy Faye Baker mascara happening, either because I’m crying, or children are crying on my face.

Not every day is like this. Thank the Lord above. Working from home, however, can really be the worst of both worlds. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I have an opportunity to spend precious time with my kids, and exercise my creative side from the comfort of my home. I love my children more than anything. I also happen to love the work I’m doing more than I’ve ever loved a job before. This is exactly where I’m supposed to be, and exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. Therefore, I really have the best of both the working mom and the stay at home worlds.

Most importantly, I thank God for both. Even on my worst days, He is my best refuge.

Taking Over The World One Science Lesson At A Time

An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. The law of inertia. Even more amazing than the scientific law itself, is that I remember it at all. High school wasn’t all lost on me. What’s super cool is sometimes we don’t even realize something is in motion until we look back and see all the ripples leading back to the very first step of action.

 

In this case, it was a shortcoming of mine. For whatever reason, I didn’t make it in to the local United Way’s women’s leadership 35 Under 35 program the first time I applied. I was crushed, to say the least, and didn’t even want to apply again the next year. I didn’t have anything to offer more than what I had showcased the year prior. Buckling under the encouragement of my boss, however, I begrudgingly sent my application in again. I wound up getting the call I had been accepted. Class of 2012 counted me as a participant.

 

I met 34 other women who, with their unique and individual qualities and talents, propelled and inspired me to do, plan, and pursue goals I wouldn’t have otherwise. When we lost Harlynn, they rallied around me and supported me in ways I still can’t quite grasp, and will never be able to repay. So many awesome friendships came to be – and not even during the program. It was later when the buds of common interests started to bloom into the relationships they are today.

 

One of my fellow classmates, Kristin, invited me to a painting party last July. Paint and sip parties are such a trendy phenomenon right now, and I had been wanting to do one for quite a while. I was so excited to be able to go, and quickly submitted my RSVP.

 

After I arrived, the first instruction given was to choose our paint colors. I almost had a panic attack. I am super creative… when I am given exact instructions to follow. This meant I had to come up with my own color scheme, and the mere thought gave me anxiety. After avoiding hyperventilating and taking my sweet time in arranging my colors just so, I was able to relax and enjoy myself as I painted the most morbid looking flower I’ve ever seen in my life. But oh my goodness, it was so much fun.

 

 

Within a day or so, I contacted the woman who led the painting party, and asked if I could talk to her more about becoming a guide. I am no artist, but I am really good at following instructions – and all instructions for the paintings are provided. I would just have to tell people which brush to use for which part of the painting, and we would all create our own masterpieces. Along with getting me out of the house every now and again, it would give me the opportunity to do what I love most: be the center of attention. Obviously, I had to sign up. Thus birthed my hobby-career as an Independent Gallery Guide with Gallery on the Go. (And I’ve gotten a lot better with a brush since then…)

 

 

Not more than a month later, my job was waning. Eventually, I was set free and left wondering how I could provide for my family without having to leave them behind every day. We stressed and struggled for a brief while, though God so powerfully provided for us in so many ways, I’m almost ashamed for feeling stressed to begin with. He has never left us or abandoned us, yet I woke every day questioning how we were going to survive from one financial crisis to the next. We didn’t hit one crisis during that time. Not one. People followed God’s nudging in so many ways, and we were always taken care of. Thank you, God. And sorry about that whole doubting thing…

 

Maria, founder of GOTG, gave me a call one afternoon to see how I was doing with my new-found painting business. I told her I had just lost my job, and painting parties were my only source of income. Not knowing anything about my work history, she offered up information on a business owned by a friend of hers. She told me if I looked into it, she would vouch for me. Not knowing anything about my work history. She just up and offered a resource and a reference. Seriously. She’s nuts. (And I love her for it.)

 

I went to the website (priorityva.com) and filled out the application, knowing it was probably a long shot. I was in Corporate America my entire career, and this virtual stuff was surely beyond me. It didn’t hurt to apply though, and get my resume spruced up. It would be super cool, though, doing the things they built their business on…

 

I’ve been a Virtual Assistant through PVA since November. I have three clients and I earn my living doing things I’m passionate about and enjoy doing. I write. I make fun pictures. I scour the internet for words of wisdom and content ideas. I make friends. I learn something new every day. I work for people I truly adore, and can’t imagine not having as part of my life. It’s a job that’s been waiting for me since that acceptance letter was received, stating I was a participant of the 2012 35 Under 35 program.

 

 

I met Kristin at the appointed time, we developed a friendship that blossomed when we both needed each other, and she invited me to a painting party. I signed up to be a guide. I spoke to Maria. She had a friend who owned a business. The business owner, Trivinia, not only called me, but showed such a display of confidence in my abilities, I now work for PVA. That single painting party shaped my entire career. Are you understanding how out-of-this-world-awesome this is?

 

God’s plan tends to stay in motion until He carries it through to completion. It’s not so much the law of inertia as it is the substance of His love and mercy for us. There are no coincidences. There is no happenstance. When things don’t happen for a reason (like me not being in the 2011 class), it’s because things are going to happen for a different, more purposeful reason. When plans don’t go our way, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to work out HIS way. For He knows the plans He has for us. (Jer. 29:11)

 

The ripple effect. The law of inertia. Whatever it is, whatever you want to attribute it to, everything has a starting point and that point not only got you to where you are today, but will guide you to where you’ll be tomorrow. That starting point is His love and care of each of us. For you. Even for me.

 

A rejection letter. A painting party. An entire livelihood. He makes no mistakes. Dear God, help me remember you make no mistakes.

 

 
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If you know of anyone who is looking for help in their entrepreneurial venture, have them contact Trivinia. She has a God-given gift of placing clients with the VA who will help them further develop their platform, and launch their success. 

 

 
And if you want to paint, even if you’re a neurotic perfectionist like me, let’s chat