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Welcome back to my Working Mom Series! Today I’m featuring a work from home mom.
Lissa and her husband both work, and sometimes they both work from home. Read up on how they manage to care for their son while juggling their sometimes hectic work schedules:
Describe your home life – how old are your kids? Does your spouse work as well? Or are you a single parent?
My husband and I have one son, James, who is 18 months old. We both work: I am an operations manager and my husband is a CPA. I am very blessed to be able to work from home so that I have a moderately flexible schedule to be able to spend time with James. However, this blessing certainly comes with its own struggles. My mom comes over most days to watch James (again, I am very very lucky!), but he still knows I’m in the house and can be quite distracting, so work sometimes gets pushed to naptime and after bedtime. Being a CPA, my husband has to work crazy hours (sometimes from home) during Tax Season and Extension Season. So, finding balance can be difficult.
What do you do? Describe your working life.
I work for my parents’ company. My mom spent 16 years running the books and wanted to retire and be grandma, so when my husband and I moved back to our hometown, I was able to take over for my mom and she came in as Grandma/Babysitter. Most of my work is now keeping up with the finances of the company, purchasing, HR, and keeping things generally organized.
And how many hours do you work in a week?
I work about 30 hours a week. Some weeks are slower at work than others and working from home allows me to be more flexible with what hours I work. (Of course, this also means I don’t ever LEAVE work.)
How soon did you return to work after having a child? And is your work life the same now (same job, or role at that job?)
I live in California so was able to take 12 weeks maternity leave. When I came back to work, I came back very slowly (started at about 20 hours/week) while I trained to take over my mom’s job. Now, a year or so later, I’ve got much more responsibility and have ramped up my hours.
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What do you do to treat yourself? Do you have something in your routine that you do just for you?
It took me awhile to find “me” time, especially with my husband working as much as he has to. However, I have finally been able to take what would essentially be my lunch hour to go to the gym, so that has become my time to just focus on me.
Touch on your most and least favourite things about being a work from home mom.
It’s very difficult to explain to a toddler that you can’t pay attention to him in the moment, so often I’m pulled away from a task to focus on his needs and that can be very frustrating. But, I love being home with James daily. I love to be able to take a few minutes for a snuggle or to read a book. I’m so glad that I was there for his first steps. I know I’ll be sending him off to school far too soon, so I’m very happy that we have this time together now.
What are your goals going forward?
We would like to have more kids, so I know there will be a knew struggle coming whenever that happens. I hope to be able to sort it all out again so that I can continue to work. To me, it’s very important to have something that I do besides being a mom. I feel like I could very easily lose myself and my identity to my kids, so I always want to have something else that I do.
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Any tips to share for balance in your life?
This is the hardest thing on earth. I struggle with it; my husband struggles with it. When you’re working, you feel guilty for not being with your kid; when you’re with your kid, you feel guilty for not working. And then, when do you cook a healthy meal and do the laundry and the dishes? And you have to make time for your marriage…when does that happen? It’s a minute-by-minute struggle for us. But, the one thing I think we do well is communicate. It’s so important that we let one another know when we need time away from the house, time to spend with friends, time to be alone, time to be with one another. It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to just talk to one another, but there can be so much guilt in asking for a break. So, my big tip would be to unapologetically ask for what you need.
My name is Lissa Booth and I am Mom to a beautiful 18-month-old boy named James. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Film & Television from Chapman University and I ran my own business as a videographer throughout most of my 20s. I shut down that business when I moved to Solvang with my now-husband, Nick. In Solvang, we got engaged, married, and had James. After having James, we decided it was time to get closer to our families, so we moved back to lovely Southern California where we currently live.
If you enjoy this series, click here to read the other ladies who’ve volunteered their stories. Then join my email list – I’d love to have you in my tribe!