Spring break week for the work-from-home mom looks something like this...
While the kids take over the house, I am earbuds-in, door closed, and working away in my bedroom home office. One thing I never anticipated when I started freelancing six years ago was the freedom that it would give me to continue to use another section of my brain if we ever had kids. In fact, at the time of taking that leap from traditional employment to self-employed, the Hubs and I were happily kid-free by choice (and had been for 12 years) with absolutely no plans on changing that. Unbeknownst to us - GOD did.
Now here I sit with Mozart cranked in my ears, attempting to focus on the writing job that I need to complete by tomorrow while our five (yes, 5!!) adopted kids are hanging out in the basement movie room (directly below my office - and no insulation) cackling over the antics of Cliff and Claire Huxtable and their 5 television children. My, how life has changed.
As I was saying, the freedom that comes from knowing that if life gets a little too crazy (or boring or mundane, "do I really need to answer the same question five times, or can you not all listen at the same time?!"), I know that I have a way of escape through the work that I do, with the bonus that this sanity saver is also putting some much needed extra change in our savings.
Because I chose to continue to work from home, I can say "yes" to the kids trying new things: taekwondo, ballet, gymnastics, summer camps. Because I use the skills that God gives me, I can model the idea to my girls that being a wife and mom - willingly or not-so-willingly - doesn't mean that they are limited to one or two roles, if God opens a door for them to use their talents in other ways. Because I set aside a few hours each week to write, edit and consult, I can view the ever-growing grocery receipt without blanching because I know God's already provided for it.
When we were about to leave to go get the kids, I took an indefinite leave of absence from the company that had been my primary bread and butter for freelance work, not knowing if I would have the time or energy to work once we had the kids, nor whether they would still have work to offer me if I did. I'd been home about a month when the woman who took me on the first time contacted me a second time and asked if I'd be willing to come back a few hours a week - as needed - in a revised role. You wouldn't believe how fast I jumped at the chance. I needed the normal. I needed the distraction from the chaos that was my life at the time. I needed to be able to zone out from everything that was making me feel completely incompetent and be able to competently contribute to a project. I needed to be someone besides "mom".
It's not always easy - like the juggling that occurs during spring and summer breaks - but I'm still grateful for the opportunity to play multiple roles - wife, mother, daughter, sister, editor, writer, consultant, co-worker. I didn't think I'd be a mom, let alone a working mom (those were rather taboo in the Christian community when I was growing up), but here I am, and I thank God daily for the way He continues to orchestrate every aspect of my story.