Reflecting: 2 years of being a WAHM.

I can hardly believe that it has been 2 years since I decided to work for myself consulting while being able to be at home with my little kiddos. I have been lucky enough to make a steady enough income that Gus got to be at home with me for 2 years before joining his sister at preschool. It hasn't been easy - but it has been an amazing, wonderful experience. I thought I'd just reflect a bit today - and look back at the ups and downs of the path we chose.


I'll start with some of the downs - so that we end on a positive note, because overall working for myself and watching the kiddos has been an amazing experience.

Husband / wife time. This is probably something that has suffered a bit because of us not wanting to put the kids into day care before 2 years old. So that I could actually find time to work, my husband took at job with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday off. So those are the days that I have to get my work done and he is with the kids. Which means every day, one of us is working. We don't get "weekends" as a family in the traditional sense. Also he heads to work really early in the morning on his work days - so his sleep schedule is a little bit skewed and we don't stay up together after the kids go to sleep. BUT this could be changing soon. Now that Gus and Lucille are both in school part time - weekends off together are in our future hopefully!

Taxes. This isn't really a "down" but the full year of me being self-employed I was not so good about paying quarterly taxes. Mostly because we had gone through some of our savings for the first few months after having Gus before I got my first client. And my first gigs were smaller and less consistent which meant I didn't really know what I was going to be making. This year, I've been better so we won't get hit with a big tax bill next year. Hopefully.

Keeping House. Because both my husband and I are either working or watching the kids - it is really hard to keep up around the house. Just like any family - we struggle in this regard. But again there is a silver lining. The kids are getting older. Lucille knows how to fold t-shirts and towels (thanks to my mom for teaching her!) and Gus is really good at helping pick up toys. And the both LOVE to help daddy vacuum. They can also play in the yard more on their own now and we are starting to be able to show our house and yard a little more love.

O.K. - now for the ups!

Flexibility. We actually get to go on family trips mid-week - if I can get my work finished early. Sometimes I can work Monday night and just power through and get most everything done (with only a few posts and of course the monitoring that need to be done from the road.) Sometimes I work all day Tuesday and we get Wednesday and Thursday. Or I just take one of those three days for a little day trip or local exploring and work the other two days.

Watching the kids grow. We got a front row seat into the first 2 years of Gus' life. Jonny or I was with him most of the time. We didn't get that with Lucille - because the first year after my maternity leave - I was back to work full time and Jonny worked full time. We pretty much just had weekends and evenings. Lucille was with my parents for almost more time then she was with us for that year. But the past two years have zipped by - and I am so proud of the little people that they are becoming.

Being able to make it on my own. This is an important one for me. When I first quit the 9-5 job - I told Jonny that the goal was that I would have enough steady clients / income so that we could go to Hawaii the following Autumn. And we were able to make that trip last year - and we are going again this year. Hoping to make it an annual thing. If I can work for amazing clients on a flexible schedule and still go on vacations with my family - I think I've been successful!

So while it is hard not having anyone to back me up and do my job when I am sick or on vacation - the overall flexibility is amazing. Who knows if I'll return to the normal workforce when the kids are in full time school or not - but I am thankful for the opportunity that I currently have and extra thankful for all the people who helped me succeed! We can do it, ladies!

Ellen Martin

I'm a west-coast mama of two little ones, 15 months apart. This is our family story with reviews and recommendations along the way. Thanks for joining our journey.

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