Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I get by with a little help from my friends

Everyone who has been reading my blog here knows that, for a few years now, I've been a stay-at-home mom and a work-from-home mom. All without daycare arrangements.

This isn't a woe-is-me-look-how-busy-my-life is kind of post. This is a thank you post. A thank you to all the people I don't say thank you enough to.

When I started this business almost three years ago, I had know idea how successful I'd be at. I had two thoughts at the time -- I want to stay home with my kids and, hey, I can write, maybe I'll freelance a bit.

And so I did. I stayed home with my kids. I played in the park, and taught them their ABCs and 123s. I sang songs and held dance parties and playdates. I watched them turn from toddlers to little people. I complained that some days I wanted to put them on the front porch with 'For Sale' signs hanging around their necks. And all the while, my business grew -- much to my amazement.

But with growth came a greater stretch on my time. Now, instead of just writing a few things for a total of a few thousand dollars as I did that first year, I was writing and editing a lot of things on a regular basis. And with a lot of work comes a lot of deadlines.

Deadlines, for the most part, I've managed to deal with for the most part on my own. That's what movie afternoons are for -- so that I can get a few hours of work in. And that's what school in the morning is for -- so I can get a few hours of work in. And that's what some late, late nights and weekends are for -- so I can get more than just a few hours of work in.

But more work also means more clients. And more clients means more meetings. And this is a lot trickier without any stable form of childcare available to you.

At first with my clients, I used to dance around the fact that I had kids at home with me. I tried to be all professional and being a stay-at-home mom wasn't all that professional. But eventually I loosened up and am honest with my clients -- existing and current -- I have kids and I have to work around that.

But, from time to time, I still have to meet with people.

And that's where this long, rambling post turns into a shout out of a thank you. Ryan works full-time and works long, long hours. He can't just stay home for me when I need to go out without the kids. At least not often. (He has, on occasion, stayed home for a few hours in the morning so that I could go to a breakfast meeting (and for that I am thankful) -- but I haven't done that in over a year.) But my friends have stepped up to the plate.

I've dropped my kids off with a friend on several different occasions so that my kids can play with her kids while I run off to a meeting. (Actually, two different friends have helped me out in this way.) Another friend has picked up my kids at school for me when I've scheduled meetings during school hours that mean cutting it close for driving back uptown. My sister, who has on-again, off-again been a freelancer over the years has taken the kids for me. And, when they can, my parents will drive down to play with their grandkids while I work. Heck, I've even paid a teenager down the street who didn't have a first period class to stay with the kids while I ran off to an early morning meeting once.

What I'm trying to say is thank you. Thank you to all of you who have helped me do what I do. Thank you for being so understanding; for adding a couple of kids to your crew for a few hours, buckling one of mine into a carseat in your car, or showing up at my house when I'm in need.

I wouldn't be able to do all of this if it weren't for all of you.


Julia Hunter said...

That is wonderful that your friends have been so supportive.

Shell said...

How wonderful that you have friends to help you! Being a wahm is HARD. When I have to take phone calls, I lock myself in my bedroom... and then go into the closet! LOL