Every where you look there are ads for the most miraculous opportunities to make money by working from home. And the testimonials are so convincing: "I quit my day job, and in just 30 days I've replaced my income AND my husband's income." Amazing! So now they are both working from home, and I sincerely hope that it is working out for that family. Especially at this time when our economy still seems to be pretty lethargic, and finding a JOB is an elusive quest for so many.
Besides, I'm not sure how it would work out for both the husband AND the wife to work from home. I don't know. . . . I would love to spend my days in the presence of my Sweet Hubby, but I think there's the whole issue of "male" and "female" brain function, and we just might not quite see eye-to-eye on a daily schedule. But if it works for some folks, I think that is great! What I wonder about, however, is how honest and reputable some of these companies are that are encouraging unemployed people to part with their grocery money for the week for the "opportunity" to work at home.
Do any of them really work? Or is it just one of those "trickle up" theories where, if you send ME money, I'll tell you how to advertise to get other people to give YOU money, so you can tell them how to advertise to get more people to send THEM money. And there is never any REAL work, just more of the same thing over and over. The idea of working from home, and making a real income, is so appealing to women with children. Many moms really want to be at home if their child is sick and needs to be taken to the dr. Lots of us love to be at home either so we can homeschool our children, or to be at home when our children come home from school. We love to cook, and sew, and sometimes clean the house, and do the laundry, and even sweep the floors once in a while. Well, not that we actually enjoy doing all of those things, but most of us like to have them done. And there is no one else to do those chores in most of our homes.
Many of us moms are doing our best to keep up with all of that, and keep up with the kids, and talk to our husband when we can get a word in around the babbling of children. Some of us want to be able to volunteer at our children's school, or work in our church, or participate in community activities. And all of THAT makes us look for ways to generate income and still be able to have the flexibility to do the other things in life that are important to us. When I held a job away from home, I simply could not do most of the other things in life that I believe are significant in the life of my family. I would come home at night so tired I barely had the energy to fix supper and feed my kids before collapsing for the night. But what about their homework, and reading with the girls, and folding the laundry (oops! I forgot to wash the laundry before I left for work in the morning!) or pay the bills, or wash the dishes. Now, I know that there are millions of women who do this every day for years and years. And I am impressed. Seriously. Because I couldn't do it without completely giving up on the possibility of ever having any part of my life that wasn't totally out of control. And I've already admitted that I'm a "control freak," and for me that means that I don't cope well over long periods of time when the laundry is piled high, dirty dishes are oozing out of the kitchen sink, and there is this annoying crunching sound every time I walk through the living room. But that's just me.
And it is NOT because I'm getting old! ;o) I was just like this when I was 32 and had four kids running around the house. I just needed to be at HOME! So, now I am at home, and I'm trying to work and actually make some money from my writing and design projects. Most days that goes quite well. But we are now on our third snow day, with no school, and my girls have just about exhausted all of our bright ideas for creative projects. The joys of being a work-at-home-mom are such a gift! I love being able to be here when they do have a day off of school, and we can cuddle while we watch a movie together. We've been working on Valentine's Day cards, making muffins, sewing a sweet little apron and totebag, and creating decorated mail boxes for our newest adventure: The Mail Box Club. In our private little club, The MBC, we each write little notes to each other all day long and drop them in the appropriate mail box in the kitchen. Then, at bedtime, we get to open our mail box and read the sweet notes that we've written to one another.
Today we are playing house, and the furniture has been rearranged and all of the dolls and stuffed animals are out and about. While I was brushing my teeth, I was informed that I was the Grandma (of course!), and before I could object I heard: "Hey Grandma! Can you babysit? Here's the baby and the pup!" And there beside me in the bathroom was the stroller with the baby and the pup. That's what you get for being a Grandma. Great fun! But the challenging part of all of this wondrous, joyous family togetherness is that I'm buried in messes! One right on top of another, because there are two of them and only one of me. They do pretty good at cleaning up after themselves when I remind them . . . . . but unfortunately mamas sometimes need to do other things, like take a shower or answer the phone, and then WHAM!!! A fifteen minute phone call turns into a mountain of creative left-overs.
All in all, it is wonderful being able to work at home. But it is not all it's cracked up to be in those advertisements that make it sound like you'll be able to leisurely check your computer when you wake up at 10:00 a.m. and with a cup of freshly brewed steaming hot coffee in hand, you will suddenly discover that you made at least $1,000 while you were sleeping. Working at home definitely has its positives . . . . but being able to comb your hair and find your underwear isn't always one of the perks. Just something to think about.