Working at Home With a Baby...There are Easier Things
I've been making books and papercrafts under the name Papercraft Miracles as my fun creative outlet for over 10 years. Three years ago I officially made it a business with a tax ID and all that jazz and as of January 2016, I have become a full-time artist and work-at-home-mom...and it's way harder than I thought it would be. I have been working with another company to rebrand my business to get my logo and style consistent and to create an actual shopable website (made my current site on Angelfire in 2004....Ugh! Outdated much?). So the first few weeks of working for myself have been emailing about logo ideas and feeling like I'm crouching in the blocks at the starting line of a really long race against no one...they fire the starting gun and I just sit there. I'm staring at all the hurdles and projects and goals of my future, thinking of all the training and trials I've been through to get to this point and I'm just stuck at the starting line. I know that I'm doing the right thing for my business by revamping my brand but I sure am realizing how impatient I am for it to be done. I can't wait to list my products, start marketing, get my stuff on consignment in local stores...but all of it is on hold til the new brand is ready. I've never been one to be great at starting hype...doing a countdown to a big announcement....planning a surprise...I'm a really open person when it comes to my plans. So instead of actually getting down to business making more product and really developing new products, I've been trying to figure out how work-at-home-moms get ANYTHING done. By the time I get myself and the baby up, dressed and fed...it's almost noon and I'm still tired. I stare at giant baskets of clean laundry (hey, at least it's clean) wondering how much I can fold before my 8 month old boy throws the nice neat folded piles to the ground....so I walk away from the baskets and into the kitchen. There I see a dishwasher (thank god for the dishwasher) that needs emptying...so I start on that and then the baby climbs up into the open door and starts drooling on all the clean silverware. Abandon that plan halfway through when I realize how many Cheerios are on my kitchen rug and I decide to vacuum. I drag the thing out, get it plugged in, turn it on and the baby starts screaming, trying to get to me and climb my legs while trying to get away from the vacuum, he's shaking with fear, tears streaming down his face...I turn the machine off and pick him up, he buries his face in my chest...it's nursing and nap time already and I've got nothing done. I grab my coffee that is perpetually cold by the time I get to drink it and go sit on the couch to nurse the baby to sleep. I flip on Netflix and get comfortable, baby falls asleep in 10 mins but if I unlatch him or move, he wakes up...so I've watched an extraordinary amount of TV shows I probably never would have watched while the baby "slnurses" (sleep nurses). Two episodes later he's awake, needing a diaper change, I see the laundry again, dump it all out on the bed and fold 1/2 a basket before he's bored with sitting by my feet and I finally get into my office and it's quarter to 3, all have nothing checked off my list yet. I put him in his jumper, sit down at my computer to update my expenses in my inventory program and I realize I have to pay bills. Get out the check book, put on Raffi for the baby to jump to, and get to work paying the house bills, balancing the checkbook, checking my email and Facebook and I look at the clock --how is it possible that it's 4:15 already? Baby is fussy, done with jumping and now he's digging in the trash can. ..again. I bail on the expenses and decide to make "lunch" (or whatever I call that 2nd meal of the day that I wolf down before my husband comes home from work. Feed myself, feed the baby, unload the rest of the dishes while the baby's in the high chair and load up the dirty ones (finally! Check dishes off the list....happy, til I remember it's on the list every day ). Baby is getting hyper...."slnursing" time again. ..back to the couch. Baby's asleep on me, hubby comes home and we watch some crap on Netflix til the baby wakes up again and by then it's almost time for dinner. I sneak away to try to make some dinner while the baby is occupied by his dad...get it made, clean up the kitchen, and go back in the living room to eat it....get sucked into the "showhole" and blammo! It's 10:30, baby's so overtired and hyper active, hubby and I are both exhausted when I realize the laundry is still all over the bed, some of it is folded so I don't just want shove it back in the baskets. ..and I get to work folding it. Finally get it all folded and put away and it's 11:30, the baby is screaming and my poor overworked husband is trying to put our very active baby in pajamas so we all can get to bed. We finally get the baby to nurse and to sleep in our bed and I turn out the light. ..it's 1am and all I got done was dishes, paying bills, folding the laundry and 2 seasons of New Girl. Granted...this is a good day...3 things checked off the list. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I LOVE that I have the privilege of staying home to raise my beautiful healthy baby, that I have a wonderful hard-working man who brings home the bacon so I can stay home with our son, that I have a dishwasher and laundry on the same floor. We are so very, very fortunate and I'm at a place in my life I never thought I'd ever be. But as each day goes by faster and faster, and I keep the house together but don't get much else done, I wonder how other WAHM (work-at-home-moms) do it without sacrificing their diet, their exercise routine or their marriage? I guess every onesie folded is a small victory and eventually they will add up to a full basket of success. A girl can dream, right? Let's see how many checkmarks I can make tomorrow. I'll aim for more than today.