Pour Your Heart Out: I Wonder If They Know


Being a wahm has its perks- like job portability, but....

I wonder if they know that when I say “Shhh, Mommy is working,” that I really mean it.

That though I’m sitting on the family room floor in my pajamas with the laptop on my lap, I’m not ignoring them to play games online.

They play games on the laptop… whenever they actually get a chance to get on it, which is usually only when I’m not home or if I happen to get up for a minute and they snatch it up.

So, do they think I’m playing games instead of playing with them?

I wonder if they know that I’m not playing Angry Birds on my phone while they play on the playground. That I’d much rather be pushing them on the swings or helping them catch bugs(okay, maybe not bugs- ew). But, I’m answering a work email that needs attention right now.

I wonder if they know that I’m really not hiding in the closet from them because they are making me crazy but because I’m on a conference call where the background noise of three little boys isn’t appropriate.

I wonder if they know that I do it for them.

That though I do enjoy my work, I only do it to help support our family, to be able to get them the things they need and even some of what they want.

I wonder if they know that though they often have to wait until I’m done with work to play with them, they are my priority.

I don’t have to wonder if they know that Daddy works. They see Daddy go off to work almost every day and they know where Daddy’s office is.

But I wonder if they know that Mommy works.

Being a work at home mom is where I’ve found my rhythm.

I can tell them “Mommy is working” or try to explain what I’m doing, but I wonder if they really understand.

I don’t say “one more minute” because I don’t want to spend time with them, but because I’m working.

I wonder if they know how hard I try to keep a balance between the work-at-home part and the mom part.

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a work-at-home mom, or a work-outside-the-home mom, how do you keep a balance between what you have to do and what you’d like to do?

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  1. says

    That’s such a tough one. I’d love to work from home (and I’m considering it again, if I can find the right thing) but I don’t know if I could do it and try to be a mom at the same time. I think I’d have to have separate space or time or something, which I know isn’t realistic for everyone. I’m in awe of people who manage to do what you do – I honestly think I’d lose my mind trying to balance it all. 

    I still struggle with that sometimes. I work full time out of the home, but the “work” stuff I do for blogging and freelancing definitely causes strife. I mostly try to do it when he’s in bed or not home but, again, that doesn’t always work. 
    Robin | Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Puzzling ImperfectionMy Profile

    • Shell says

      The timing is the hardest- I guess it probably depends on what you do, but I haven’t managed to find a way to just work around when my kids are here/asleep. 

  2. says

    Wow… do I often say the same things. I wonder especially if my kids know how big of a priority they are to me. However – I will take what you said one step further… because for me, doing all that I do as a volunteer and an employee, is not done necessarily to support my kids and my family as much as it is to support me – me as a person. I am a better mom when I also give myself the time to do the things that I love (work included!). Now it is just the (very unsimple!) matter of finding a good balance… Ugh.
    Kate F. @katefineske recently posted..Score two for MomMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Oh, I agree- we need something for ourselves- whether it’s working or volunteering or just some hobby. 

      It’s the balance that throws me. 

  3. says

    I’ve been a working wife, a work at home mom, and a stay at home mom.  I have always thought that trying to get work done from home is much harder than going to a job and getting work done.  But your presence, even when you can’t give them their undivided attention is what matters.  I truly believe that.  Even if you aren’t playing with them right then, or giving them the attention they think they need right then, knowing that mom is present is a reassurance and a comfort that I think is such a benefit to children.  I too am struggling to balance my outside projects (which also are for my kids, but don’t directly involve them), and my mom calling.  It’s a juggling act for sure!  My first time linking up, thanks for the opportunity!
    Xazmin recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: Kindness Begins With Me.My Profile

    • Shell says

      I try to think that way- that at least I’m here. Even if we aren’t really doing all that much together- I’m there. 

      Thanks for joining in! 

  4. says

    I was a work-at-home mom with a full time job for about 10 years. It was so nice to be with my little ones and know that they didn’t have to be in daycare, but it was also the hardest thing I’ve ever done. When you work from home it never leaves you. Most of my work got done in the middle of the night when no one was tugging at my leg trying to get my attention. It was a good thing I was young then because I could get by on very little sleep. You are a great mom to worry about how they feel! Sometimes just being there is the most important thing…even if they don’t have your complete attention.
    momof12 recently posted..Our Mini Vacation part 2My Profile

    • Shell says

      Nope- it’s never ending when you work from home! No such thing as truly being done for the day. 

  5. says

    I have a hard time with that balance – the work stuff I do, the volunteer stuff I do, and the fun stuff – I have found that where work and volunteer stuff is concerned, explaining what it is I’m doing has made a difference. Katarina has changed from complaining that I’m “on the computer again” to asking me what I’m working on and offering up suggestions or ideas. It is probably partly her age (not all your boys are as old as she is), but whatever triggered the change, it has helped a lot. 
    Tracie recently posted..Abbreviations Are ConfusingMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Balance is so hard, isn’t it? 

      I hope that as mine get a little older, they start to understand a little more. 

  6. says

    I have been thinking I want to try the work-at-home thing, but I’m not sure I can balance it out unless I never sleep. As it is, it’s hard enough not working but wanting to do something for me (like blogging and all that involves), with spending time with the boy (soon to be boys, eek!). 

    I know it’s hard, and I wish I had some advice, alas I don’t. I just wish you much luck with getting it all done.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..The QuiltMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Thanks, girl! I think working or not- it’s always hard to find a balance with our kids. 

  7. says

    That is one of the perks for not being at home. For me, that is harder I guess. However, I can also see your kids point of view. I struggle with hubs when he is in front of his computer all accessible to me and at the same time he is not. That is not a little confusing to me.

    Mama and the City recently posted..All About My Big Fat ToeMy Profile

  8. says

    I work from home. . .

    And it is hard to balance working with all the other ‘home’ things.

    I have also worked outside the home.  To me?  That was harder because I was always extremely exhausted when I would get home from work and wouldn’t feel like doing anything.

    At least with being a WAHM, you are there even if your attention can’t be 100% on your kids.

    And that is only my opinion.  😉
    Stasha recently posted..With HimMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It’s so interesting seeing all the comments and what people think is harder and why. All over the spectrum here. I guess it all depends on the type of work done and where. 

  9. says

    I am a working at home mom also, and when I said “I am working”, no one takes it seriously. This is when I get really frustrated. But in the end, I am happy because I can be home for my kids..

    Hang in there, it can only get better :-)
    Raw Thoughts And Feelings recently posted..Blogger New DashboardMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I may have lost it a few times and yelled I AM WORKING. B/c it’s like they forget. Hubs included. 

  10. says

    For me finding that balance is really difficult because I do go off to work every day and when I come home I work a little more on my blog and social media work for my husbands business. More often than not I try to hold off on it all until bedtime that way I don’t have to try to divide my attention or miss out more than I already have.
    There are times I just let things go and spend time with the kids because at that time that’s what’s important.
    Jackie recently posted..Wordful Wednesday ~ TodayMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I definitely have to let things go sometimes. Last week was spring break so between the kids being home and trying to get work done- blogging was what I let go then. As you can see from it taking me this long to reply to comments and I haven’t even visited all the linkers yet. But, there was no way I could do it all! Not unless I wanted the kids to have the worst spring break ever. 

  11. says

    Impossible to find balance. I work outside of the home most of the time (I have a little bit of flexibility and can work some days at home), but wonder if my children realize that the reason I work so many hours and spend so much time outside the home is for them.

    And then of course there are those weeks where i feel like I neglect my work in favor of my home life. Balance Schmalance.
    The most annoying part is that my husband works from home and for some reason my children totally respect all his boundaries and never bother him when he is working. I have no idea how he does it.

    • Shell says

      It’s like that with my husband, too. He doesn’t work from home often, but when he does, the kids totally get “daddy’s working.” 

      Though, he is also able to go shut himself away in the office… which is not a luxury I usually have. 

  12. says

    This is the heart of it, right? That challenge. I think the most important thing is to just take everything day by day. Or it gets too overwhelming.

    I’ve tried woking outside and working from home. Both have their challenges. As I’m sure not working would.

    But I do think they know. 

    • Shell says

      Each situation has its challenges, for sure. All hard.

      My 7y/o asked me last week if he could make money by using the computer, too- like playing his games. SIGH. I tried explaining to him what I do, but it’s a little beyond their comprehension. 

  13. says

    Great post, Shell.  And you are really working so I’m sure they do somewhat understand.  I found myself “pretending” to be working.  I think I got caught up in blogging, and building my portfolio that I started to become a non-paid “workaholic”.  I don’t make a living with my blog to put in the time I was doing so I cut back on the posting.  I didn’t have time yesterday to upload a post to link up with you today so I just let it be.  It felt strange to put that on the back burner, but it now feels good. When your youngest gets in school, it will be easier for you, but it is definitely hard to work when the kids are around, and I got a glimpse of what summer will be like last week so I went ahead and made my decision to cut back this week.  I used to work at home some under contract when my son was little, and I hired a sitter for a few hours a week so I could work, and it was really beneficial.  He was played with, and I had a chunk of time that I really could devote to working. 
    Leigh Powell Hines (@Hinessightblog) recently posted..Southern Porch EntertainingMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I’m thinking about getting some help for the summer. Not a lot, but a few hours a couple times a week. The kids being home last week for Spring Break showed me that I need to do something during the summer or I might lose my mind.

      I had to put my own blogging on the backburner last week as well. I’m just now returning comments and I haven’t visited all the linkers yet. Sometimes, we have to make different decisions depending on what is going on. 

  14. Carol says

    Being a mom is a best job in the world but we have to be practical and have some work to earn money. so being a work-at-home-mom is very great help to all moms out there.
    Carol recently posted..movers BristolMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Ours changes daily. Summer is sort of scaring me. Balance is always a struggle for me. 

    • Shell says

      My oldest asked me if he could get paid for playing games on my computer- you know, since mommy makes money by being on the computer. SIGH.

  15. says

    Oh, this is so very important Shell.

    And I cringe as I wonder the same so very often.

    I want them to see me work hard, follow my passions, and so on.

    But I want them to know that they come first, too.

    Le sigh.

    This stuff is hard.
    Galit Breen recently posted..First Day, Last DayMy Profile

    • Shell says

      That’s so true- I want them to see that I do things, too. That mom works… but finding that balance is such a struggle. 

  16. says

    My girls are older so they understand it more. I used to work so much out of the home that I was hardly ever here and when I was, I was on my computer or phone. When we made the decision that working out of the home was just too much for our family to take (we were seriously falling apart), my husband and I explained that eventually I would like to find something that I could do from home. I am still doing some consulting work and I try to talk to them about it so they understand if I have a deadline that I may not be able to play kickball that evening but I will another very soon. I know your boys are younger but if you talk about work a bit sometimes, you will soon hear them saying, “My mommy works from home and it is awesome!” like I do from my girls from time to time now. It makes me know I am doing the best for our family. YOU ARE TOO and your boys know that even though you may be on your phone or laptop it is out of necessity not by choice…they are just young. Keep up the good work, Shell. They learn more from watching you work hard than you know. xo!
    Kristen recently posted..It’s Not Easy Being The OldestMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I’ll have to try that more. I try with them some, but they just don’t get it. They just see me on the computer and don’t understand that’s work. It’s probably more confusing b/c sometimes I am on here for fun. Like right now- replying to comments. :) 

  17. says

    You know, or maybe you don’t, that this is something I’m often struggling with in my own family.  While I don’t work at home, I often get the “Why do you have to go to work today? I just want you to stay home with me.” from the boys…and it’s HARD.

    Last night though, Buster asked me, “Mom, are you a boss?” Apparently he had learned about “bosses” at daycare and why people work, etc.  For the first time ever, I felt like he might just understand a little about why I work.
    Kmama recently posted..Identity: A Different PerceptionMy Profile

  18. says

    Ooh Shell, you hit my heart with this one. I’ve been wondering much the same thing myself lately. I feel guilty every time I have to say “one more minute” or “mommy has to work right now” because I don’t think my 4 year old understands. He just sees mommy at home with him so I should be playing with him. It hurts my heart that he might think I’m ignoring him.
    Delilah recently posted..My Toddler Needs an ExorcistMy Profile

    • Shell says

      And yet- we can’t really give them attention every second, can we? I guess it’s finding a balance in what is the right amount of time. 

  19. Ducky says

    That balance is SO difficult! When you work from home there really isn’t ever “off” time. I have both a full time job away from home and part time that I work from home with. I always feel behind. 
    Ducky recently posted..At Arms LengthMy Profile

  20. says

    I’m a working mom of 2, and I have no idea how to keep “balanced”. I feel like I’m always multi-tasking, that I’m never enjoying the “moment”. When I go up for bathtime, I’m also putting away laundry, grabbing new laundry, changing sheets, picking out clothes for tomorrow for all family members, running down to check on dinner and changing for my late-night workout. I’m never just doing one thing. It’s hard. I hope they know why I leave them at daycare everyday is for them. We try to tell T that mommy and daddy work so we can give he and B everything. I hope he knows…it’s all for them.

    • Shell says

      Those lines are practically non-existent when you work from home, aren’t they? So hard. 

  21. says

    I struggle with this also, and say those exact same comments to my kids. It is a little easier when they are in school because I can try to do my stuff while they are gone. My goal is to spend a little bit of time with each child alone every day. Even if it is just playing a game for 5 minutes and then tucking them in at night, I hope that is what they remember.
    Created In His Image recently posted..Help, I’m DrowningMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It is a lot easier when they are in school. Though my youngest is only is school for 8 hours total each week- I definitely make the most of that time. And then try not to work as much from when I pick up my oldest two til when they go to bed- but it’s hard. 

      Love the one on one idea. 

  22. says

    I soo know what you mean. I do most of my work while they are in school but even when they are home, the work still needs to get done. I think they understand now that I’m trying to work and earn $$$ but there are times when my 8 yr old whines because he wants to sit on my lap but my laptop is there instead of his butt.  Once they get old enough, they will understand.
    Deanna recently posted..PYHO: Depression Is Taking OverMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I try during school hours, too- but definitely have to work other times, too. 

      Mine notice b/c THEY want the laptop, not my lap. LOL

  23. Kim says

    I know you work hard. I am glad you have found your rhythm at home. Starting my business has been a little tricky with a house full of littles. I am lucky enough that most of it can be done at night when they are on bed.
    Kim recently posted..Easter Baskets for Far Away FamilyMy Profile

    • Shell says

      That definitely helps! I end up being pretty useless by the time the kids’ bedtime rolls around! 

  24. says

    They know your love. They absolutely do. This is hard, though. I am JUST starting to do some work that actually brings in money and sometimes means I have to sit at the computer for a while in the middle of the day. I feel guilty all the time :) But I feel guilty about everything, so there’s that…
    angela recently posted..Sick Days and Mommy GuiltMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I hear ya. There’s guilt that goes along with almost everything, isn’t there?

      Maybe we need to cut ourselves a break! 

  25. says

    Since your kids are still young, this is definitely a harder balancing act but, it will get better as they grow and understand this is your job. Some parents leave the house to ‘work’. Others, leave the room. Either way, it’s ‘work’. Thinking of you Shell.
    Cindi recently posted..The Golden RuleMy Profile

  26. says

    I think kids are capable of understanding their Mama works (at home too).  I think it’s easier if you have a schedule.  Better yet, if you have scheduled time for them.
    Oka recently posted..PYHO: Go CelticsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I do try to have scheduled time for them. It’s a little harder to schedule work- just depends on the projects I’m working on. 

  27. says

    I don’t work from home. I do blog…which I guess is work. I tell him that I’m working. I’m still trying to find balance. I allot time to do my blogging which is mostly during his nap time or when he’s asleep at night. But I guess that’s kind of different from actually working
    Kimberly recently posted..DifferentMy Profile

  28. says

    I normally don’t like to post what I do for a a living, but I work for a HUGE advertising company and some of my days are spent “working from home” because I’m given a laptop and I am able to do my work outside of the office. Someone commented above that working from home is much harder than working in an office – I can 100% agree with this. There are so much more distractions when you work from home. My baby is only 6 months and it’s quite a distraction when I’m trying to reply to clients and or/ be on a conference call. I’ve managed my conference calls around her naps and I know what toys/rockers keep her happy for when I am on my computer replying to customers.

    I know technically I’m not spending the quality time I want with her when I am doing this, but I find it better than working in an office Mon-Friday 8-5 and her not seeing my face at all during those hours.
    I often wonder how I am going to do this when my baby girl is older and I bring a second child into the equation. Like a mothers instinct though, I am sure I will figure it out!

    • Shell says

      The lines are blurred when working from home. I try to tell myself that at least I’m there. We just have to figure things out as we go, for sure! 

  29. says

    Truly. Such a real feeling. We always want more. But sometimes, there is a functional balance, even if it feels like we spend a lot of time discussing it.

    They will end up finding out that there are kids who spend time with 4 and 5 adults in the course of the day; none of whom are their parent. When they find that out, any lingering confusion should be blown away.
    Maggie S. recently posted..Come On In! Don’t Look at the Mess.My Profile

    • Shell says

      My older two are starting to understand a little- especially when they see the kids who get picked up from school by various daycare vans instead of heading home when the school day is over. 

      But then they forget again when they want me to put the computer down when I can’t. 

  30. says

    This is something I am currently struggling with now that I started a website, and I am working on the computer a ton. My kids are used to my undivided attention, which may not be good either, but it is has been difficult striking a balance for sure. I know they are only little once, and I want to be with them as much as I can while they actually want me around!
    I want to make myself proud, and in turn my family proud…so one day I hope they can see my hard work pay off!!

    • Shell says

      I think it’s good for them not to have our undivided attention- wouldn’t want them thinking that’s how the world always is.But it’s striking that balance where they still see themselves as my priority 

  31. says

    This is a great post, Shell. As I try to grow as a blogger, I hope I’m able to claim the WAHM title soon. I love blogging, and would love to turn that into an income. Right now, just trying to grow takes time away from them. I can’t imagine what it will be like when I’m not just a wannabe WAHM, but I am actually working. It’s hard to balance everything. Hard! 
    Adrienne recently posted..Will they remember when I’m nice?My Profile

    • Shell says

      I’m beginning to think there’s no such thing as balance, after reading all these comments! 

  32. says

    There are days when Nathaniel will walk over and take away my phone or close my computer and say ‘play with me momma’ and I realize that I’ve neglected him too much that day.  It’s hard to explain to a 2.5 year old that I’m not just, like you said, playing games or something and this isn’t even a ‘real’ job for me in the same way it is for you.  Finding balance between everything is so hard for women!
    stephanie @ babe’s rockin’ mami recently posted..Hate & AngerMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Mine have done that, too. Makes me feel so guilty. But, it’s why I wasn’t blogging last week- and am just now replying to comments- the kids were all home for spring break, so they had to be front and center- and then work- and then the blog- so there wasn’t much time for that! 

  33. says

    Haha! You have no idea how grateeful I was that I could participate in that meeting for the Rock Your Blog thing last week without turning on sound. Because I was feeding them dinner, running back and forth to the computer, bribing them to keep the noise level down so I could hear…. oh yeah. I struggle with it.
    Jester Queen recently posted..GossipMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I keep waiting for one of my kids to burst in and start screaming during one of those sessions! 

  34. says

    Just found you via I am not the maid. Love your site!

    I don’t know that we ever really, truly understand what our parents do and did for us until we are grown and have the advantage of hindsight. Knowing that still didn’t stop us from doing our best to explain to our daughters how we spent our work time. I guess we believed that it would seep into their subconscious to bubble up later when they were older. To a certain degree it did, just as our parents words came to us as we aged.
    Kim recently posted..Moms-Take five for a dateMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I hope mine can understand a little before then. I hate to think that they think I am ignoring them. 

  35. says

    I think that growing up, seeing a Mom who works so hard and wears so many hats, will be super beneficial for them.  They’re probably too young now to understand what’s really going on (I know I was when my Dad worked like a dog throughout my childhood) but as they grow they’ll get it.  You’re a rockstar!
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  36. says

    That was such a hard one for me until I finally realized I couldn’t do it. I taught piano lessons while my kids were really young. I thought it was such a perfect job for a mom who wanted to stay home with her kids, but then they got old enough to start school. As soon as they got home and wanted to tell me all about their day and needed help with homework, I had to shoo them into the next room and tell them to leave me alone while I was teaching. It ended up being exactly the opposite of the job I needed. So I started doing medical transcription from home while the kids were at school and the little ones were taking naps. But the company kept changing the way I got paid and I had to work longer and longer hours to make any money. It ended up being the same story where as soon as the kids got home, I had to shoo them away. Eventually my husband and I decided it was more important for me to be with them, so for now I’m not working for anyone who pays — just a lot of cute kids who demand all of my time and effort and pay in kisses and hugs. When I don’t have any little ones left at home during the day, I’ll try it again during school hours. Kudos to you for finding the balance I could never quite find.
    Melanie recently posted..New Easter TraditionMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Oh, I definitely haven’t found the balance yet. I try every day, but I know I fail. 

    • Shell says

      He does finally get that I’m working- but he still thinks it’s just something fun like playing games. LOL 

  37. says

    Oh gosh, I wish I had the answer to that question!  My kids use my laptop all the time to play games so I honestly think they think I’m playing games too.  I’ve been on calls too where I want to come across as professional and then cringe when my kids start fighting in the background, calling each other vulgar names.  
    I’m not sure our kids will every truly understand…well, until they’re a little older and they’ll be able to appreciate it (esp if they are ever work-at-home parents themselves!)

    Your view from the porch of the ocean is incredible!!!
    Helene recently posted..My sincere, heartfelt thanks….My Profile

    • Shell says

      I have started locking my bedroom door and then going into the closet and locking that door too when I am on a call. LOL

      That pic is from a short trip Hubs and I took last month for our anniversary, not from our house. Unfortunately. 

  38. says

    I know what you mean.  I’m in school, and I have homework to do.  It involves a lot of reading (books are FUN!), “playing” on the computer, and reciting “Mommy is working” and “one more minute please,” over and over again.

    For me, the end is near.  Maybe.  I don’t know what I’ll be doing after graduation.

    But at least they seem to forgive me for prioritizing things-I-do-for-them over *them* on a regular basis.
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    • Shell says

      School would be hard, too. Anything that means they aren’t the center of the universe requires such balance. 

  39. says

    Kids are very strong and while they might not think things are always fair I do believe they understand. It is definitely easier for the dads who go off to work for kids to understand. I try and set time aside for doing my “work” and then just really be there when I am done- it works better for all of us.
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  40. says

    I have no idea. All I know is that too often, I drive home with my son in the back seat thinking about work and come to work thinking about him and whatever stress or sweetness the morning held. It’s definitely a struggle.
    KeAnne recently posted..More on Working and FriendsMy Profile

  41. says

    oh Shell. :( honestly this post is why i couldn’t ever do the WAHM thing. well, that, and the fact that i would suck really hard at it. 😉

    while i hate being away from my girl all day, every Mon-Fri, i do make it an absolute point to leave work at work. so when i clock out at 315 to go pick her up at 330, my time from 330 till she goes to bed at 730 is hers.
    christina recently posted..WW: bike ride, a videoMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It’s so nice that you can have that time set aside for her! I think that’s why I hesitate so much to go back to teaching- not only would I be gone during the day, but I’d be bringing things home, too. 

  42. says

    I have no idea what to tell you. I find it hard to balance hobbies and kids–without TV becoming their ‘babysitter.’ I’m sure they understand, and if they don’t now, they will soon. No matter what choice we make there is always something to feel guilty about or something we can/should do better, so there is no way to make the ‘mommy guilt’ go away…I don’t think. If you find out how please let me know!
    Lynsey recently posted..DisgustedMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Mommy guilt- we all have it over something, don’t we?

      Maybe we should come up with the solution to that and then we’d never have to work again b/c we’d be rich! 

  43. says

    I could have written Adrienne’s comment. I have tremendous guilt because I don’t get paid to blog but am trying to get there or anywhere that I get paid to write. No one here takes it seriously and the 2 year old doesn’t get it. I don’t want to miss anything with her because she is my last so it is really tough to balance which is why I live in chaos. :) I think they know you want to be with them because you are with them and even if you are working, if they fall down, you are the one to kiss the boo boo. If they are wanting to show you something, you are there to see it. They know.
    AnnMarie recently posted..Happy 14th Birthday, Nico!My Profile

    • Shell says

      My blog is not my job either, so sometimes it has to get pushed down on my to-do list- like with Spring Break last week. Yet, it’s still something I want to spend time doing. Finding a balance is so hard! 

  44. says

    My hat’s off to you — I can’t concentrate well enough on either work or the kids when I’m trying to do both, so keeping them separate is better for me. My kids hate it when I so much as reply to an email, but I remind them that sometimes other things come first and that patience is a good skill to learn. If only I had more of it, though…
    IASoupMama recently posted..I’m DoneMy Profile

  45. says

    It may not sound like a loving mother to say admit this……but I have no problem telling my children that while I certainly love them and enjoy being with them and doing stuff with them — mommy also deserves to have some time to do things for herself.
    Whether it be work that must be done, or something that I simply enjoy. I don’t expect them to fully understand blogging, and this need mommy has to write; to explore continually that creative side of herself, but I will keep trying.
    Personally, I think it is good for our children to see us in various roles. To see us enjoying things in life not associated with “the mom” role. As whole people. I think it will help them to become well-rounded individuals as well. You can scrimp on the “time” factor some days…..but as long as you never scrimp on the Love; I think it will all work out in the end.
    RoryBore recently posted..WW: A Special DayMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I do agree with you- I think my kids need to see that I do things other than just take care of them. My struggle has been when the balance is tipped way too far- and they are getting ignored all day. 

  46. says

    I’m struggling with this one. I’m looking for a job but keep glossing over the idea of freelancing or working from home to get myself started because I don’t know how to do it. I can’t count on the time to be productive with the kids around and I can’t survive on any less sleep than I’m doing. I wish I could watch some of your homes and see how you do it.

    • Shell says

      It’s definitely a struggle. I do really feel like this is the best solution for my family- but the how-to party is a constant juggling act. 

  47. says

    Being a full-time working mother, the only thing that helps me keep balance is keeping work at work. 9:00 work mode… Come 5:00 I’m on familiy mode. I honestly don’t know how I would balance working from home, that’s got to be tough. They may not understand now but they will, one day.
    Erika recently posted..Things I’d Rather Be Doing…My Profile

    • Shell says

      It’s hard when work doesn’t have an ending hour. I’ve thought the same about going back to teaching- knowing I’d be bringing so much home with me. 

  48. says

    I have the same thoughts almost daily. Sometimes I think they don’t get it — and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they honstly think that while i’m answering an e-mail on my phone, I’m ignoring them. And I am I guess, but I do it because I need to work AND be with them. Like right now, I’m sitting on my front deck working on my laptop while they’re riding their bikes in front of the house. (Ok, I’ve been outted now, time to stop reading blogs and get back to work!)

  49. Angie says

    They probably don’t “get” it unfortunately. I know my kids wouldn’t. They think if I am here I am theirs. So hard to balance work and mom-dom

    • Shell says

      Mine don’t even understand that if I’m SLEEPING, I don’t have their full attention. LOL

  50. says

    Balance… what’s balance. I just think that you have to make the most of the time that you have with the thing that you are doing in the moment whether that be parenting or working or both. :-)
    Jen recently posted..Hello, My Name Is…My Profile

  51. says

    This reminds me of David and I pre-kids. We had the best dog in the entire world. He would look so sad sitting on the porch every morning when we would leave for work. I told David, “I bet he thinks we are going to the lake or park or some place fun and leaving him here all alone.” With kids you know that one day they will understand even if they don’t really get it now. You could try to include them in what you are doing or show them that you aren’t playing a game, but sending an email. I think they’ll understand before you even realize they do.

    • Shell says

      I’ve tried show them- or at least, my oldest. He doesn’t get it. Though neither does my mil. LOL

  52. says

    I’m terrible at getting done what I need to while my son is awake, I always try to put it off till he’s sleeping. Which really isn’t the best way to go but I’m terrible at juggling things.
    Julia recently posted..They Don’t KnowMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Waiting til bedtime is hard for me- I have to get things done during the day for work. And I’m tired at the end of the night! 

  53. says

    I feel this so much right now. Both my hubs and I work from home except that lately, I’ve been the one who has been slammed with work to the point where my kids don’t expect me to have time to play. That hurts my heart. I think that sometimes they get it – that Mommy and Daddy have to work while we’re home and we want them to know that work is something that we have to do, but I often wonder too, if they think otherwise.
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    • Shell says

      Hope so. My oldest thinks he can play a game on my laptop and somehow get money since mommy makes money on the computer. 

  54. says

    Such a heartfelt post, Shell. Whether or not they grasp fully what it is you do for them now, rest assured there will come a time when they will thank you in their own way for all the sacrifices you made to provide for them. Xoxo
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  55. says

    I’ve done all three and all three are hard in different ways… I think it was hardest to find the balance when I was a Stay At Home Mom, not working at all, because I gave everything, literally everything to my children and couldn’t step away. Working from home was hardest for my kids to understand, but working out of the home requires the most scheduling and organization, but is easier to find a balance…work is work and home is home, although I do have a job that requires lots of work to be done at home, my kids seem to ‘get it”…but then they are older, so who knows?
    Sorta Southern Single Mom recently posted..Wordful Wednesday: Retirement RV Park LivingMy Profile

    • Shell says

      They really all are hard in their own ways. I’ve done them all, too- and each had its challenges. 

  56. says

    I think this is the biggest challenge for so many of us. Though I don’t “work” from home or outside the home, the list of my to-dos to keep things running around here is endless and I often find myself having to push the kids aside to get things done. Sometimes I can postpone my have-to-do’s, but often that’s just not an option. I like to think that the time I give them is quality and that by seeing me work hard they are getting a good example of how to approach their own future to-do’s.

    It still feels wrong sometimes though. :)
    The Mommy Therapy recently posted..I Feel Like I Could Write A Rap Song About These 23 Days, But Don’t Worry, I Didn’tMy Profile

  57. says

    That is a tough one. I think if I worked from home I would have to make it more a visual thing, so I would have to use my desk while I’m on my computer and not sit at the kitchen table or the counter top like I do when blogging or emailing. I would need them to be able to differentiate between the two.
    For myself, explaining to my two would not get the results I expect. And then “Mean Mommy” would have to come out. :(
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  58. says

    Even though I’m a work outside the home mom, I identified with everything you said. Because I also sometimes have to do some work at home since I don’t want to stay at my work for crazy hours and never see my family. And I know that it sometimes bothers them. And then there are the times when my work schedule prevents me from being at something at school and they get upset. I do try to make sure I take the time to truly focus on them when I can – and sometimes I really have to remind myself to do this because it’s easy to do something else on my phone or computer and half listen. And I’ve made it clear at my work that my family is a priority, so I’m not going to stay late or miss any major activities of my kids unless it’s absolutely necessary – because it usually isn’t. And it’s not more important than my family.
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  59. says

    Wow – that’s amazing you’ve found a way to work from home with 3 little ones. I tried for a while but was constantly frustrated and stressed out when my son was younger. Maybe it’s easier when kids are a little older…I think even just being a SAHM is a constant struggle to find balance between everything you need to do, want to do and feel like you should do. I don’t think a perfect balance exists but I also think it’s ok for you to make time for yourself when needed and for the kids to know, there are times when you are just not 100% available as long as they are not being neglected. Later on, they will understand and may even be marveled at how you were able to do it all!
    Anna recently posted..Still A PadawanMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Well, two of mine are in school full day and my youngest is almost 4, so that does make it easier. I don’t think I could have done it back when I had a newborn, 2y/o and 3y/o. 

  60. says

    Not only do then know (some part of them does, or will) they will be so proud.
    You are setting the most fabulous example to them of hard work and love and balance.

    None of us is perfect. I’m sure there are times when you feel you haven’t quite struck the right chord. But there is NO WAY that the person I have come to know through these words here is anything but a mother whose kids know how much she adores them.

    Kids NEVER know all that we do for them; that’s part of our job – to not let them know how burdensome parenting is. Because it IS burdensome. But it’s also a joy. And so very hard. And back and forth and in and out and up and down and all that.

    You’re doing it. You are.

    (Truthfully, I worry sometimes that my husband doesn’t realize how hard I’m working at being a writer. He’s supportive, he is proud, he loves me. But. Does he REALLY know what I do all day? That I never leave the computer and every minute is full of words in one way or another? I don’t get paid. Yet. So I wonder. But perhaps I should just write a post about it instead of blogging in your comments. Sorry. I get caught up in Pour Your Heart Out, Shell. :-)
    julie gardner recently posted..Today call me goneMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Parenting really is burdensome, isn’t it? I don’t want to weigh my kids down with it, but I want them to know I love them and that nothing is really more important than them. 

      My husband didn’t really understand anything I did online until I started getting paychecks. LOL 

    • Shell says

      I try talking to them- but they are too young to get it, I guess. Hopefully they’ll understand at some point. 

  61. says

    I think moms who work, no matter where their job’s location might be, will always struggle for balance, will never stop feeling guilty. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best mother in the world, (ahem, I’m looking at you sister), there is this gravitational pull towards our children that whispers to us, that makes us feel like we’re never doing enough. Even though we are. And we are. 

    I had a wise friend tell me a few years ago, that children benefit from seeing their mothers involved in other things besides them. That giving our children a sense of the universe around them instead of them considering themselves the sole center of that universe makes them better human beings in the long run.  

    My kids finally understand what Mommy is trying to do with that laptop that seems permanently entrenched on her lap. But, it’s been a tough road to get here. And even tougher? The people in my life who think because I’m at home, I’m not doing anything. My husband says he’s going to build me a studio with a Do Not Disturb sign for all the people in my life who just don’t get it. I say, please. build me that studio. I’ll let you know when it’s done. you can borrow it anytime. 
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    • Shell says

      Your friend had great advice. 

      I hope your husband builds you that studio. Between that and your wine cellar, I may never leave after I come visit! 

  62. says

    Well if I had the answer to that none of would have to work would we??? I try to write and answer emails etc at work..yes even for the blog, I work and I write and I walk a very fine line so that when I get home I can spend a few hours with them. Those times that I must write and publish on the weekends or in the evening I find myself doing the things you described..”mommy needs to do this”, “I just need a few minutes to finsih this”, Li can’t play right now I need to write” and honestly it breaks my heart…I have so little time with them that those hours at night are sacred and I do my best to WORK and “work” during the day. Whew no wonder I’m exhausted right?? LOL…so not true you would much harder than I do! Xoxoxo
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