Working at home part-time, aka WAHM

It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it.

I’m not sure about it, now that I’m doing it. It’s the ‘time’ factor I’m struggling with…

The ‘part-time’ word itself is loaded. It could mean so many things. For me, part-time means ‘work while both kids are out of the house’. Which theoretically is a grand idea…except my younger one is in Kindergarten and only half day and by 11:30 she is home and wants to eat and play and talk…

I eat and play and talk with her. Except when I’m not. (Like right now, I’m blogging, typing with a burnt finger because my pie exploded and I’m preoccupied about family issues. That and she’s colouring and talking to herself for a change.)

So I’m a WAHM (Work At Home Mom). I have to edit a manual. The manual’s formatting is a mess. This happens regularly when a collaborative effort is made to improve a multi-chapter technical manual. They said to me “we’re getting a third party to format all our documents, just focus on the content”.

This does not work, as I have found out today. For example, if I compare the Table of Contents to the actual headings inside the various chapters, and they don’t match each other, I have to fix it. That’s part of content. Only some of the people who wrote the manual knew how to use formatting functions that update things like headings and page numbers automatically, and others simply deleted or added sections that are now either missing or strategically out of place inside the chapter.

I cannot fix the content without dealing with the formatting.

Formatting takes time and concentration. When I have one and a half hours to deal with the type of content and formatting that is required of this project, per day, the work seems awfully slow. It feels like I’m not making much headway.

But I have to work. I can’t not do this editing, I need to focus my brain on something non-household-children related or go insane. And I need the money.

So…I chug along at the dining room table and work 90 minutes, then rush around getting lunch and snacks ready for my girlie, and hope that I can shut my brain off while she’s home with me.

My baby wants to be with me in the afternoons, so I want to be with her. And work…has to happen when I have babysitting, or after they’re in bed, or before they get up.

It works. Sort of. But for how long?

I’m a WAHM. Or a SAHM. Or both.

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2 thoughts on “Working at home part-time, aka WAHM

  1. I’m in the same boat. I have a small writing job and a small amount of web design work that I try to squeeze into the 2 1/2 hours of daily kindergarten time. I find at least one day a week, I am overrun with the feeling that I’m falling behind and I leave the kid colouring or playing on her own and sneak off to do some work. Lately I’ve been wondering if it is worth it – the guilt of working, the guilt of not working, GAH. I think I’m coming to terms with it, though – I like the work, our household needs it, and it’ll all work out in the end. I hope.

  2. It’s a hard thing to navigate. It all sound so appealing (like, on the way to the bathroom while ‘working at home’ you can throw a load in or stick something in the over. Can’t do that ‘at the office’).

    But the other distractions, and the lack of time effort….

    All I can say is in a year that girlie will be in school all day. Maybe it’ll get easier? They are only this young once…

    Yet the bills pile up….

    Sigh..

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