In today’s world, few things are more prized than financial success. Stay-at-home moms (SAHM) know this well. People pay lip service to the tremendous contributions of SAHMs: we’re doing the most important job in the world, we’re shaping the future, yada yada yada. But I don’t believe they’re being sincere.
Every single person I meet brushes aside my mothering job and asks me what I do or “used to do.” And I feel like I have no good answer. If I tell them I’m a writer, I don’t think I’m being completely truthful because I’m really a blogger (with some forays into writing for print publications).
But if I say I’m a blogger, then they think it’s just a hobby if they even know what blogging is. Just today, my fellow b5media blogging friend Krissy warned me about becoming addicted to the Internet. She noticed how much I was posting and how (emotionally) invested I am in my blogs.
Where’s the line between being addicted and doing my job?
If I had a “real” job, no one would question spending ten hours a day in the office then bringing work home to do late at night or on the weekends. After all, I’d be getting paid big bucks (I’d hope!) so it’s expected.
When it comes to blogging, even Marv was surprised to hear that I’m trying to make a career out of it. It’s not as if I’m receiving a salary and what little money I make from ads is barely enough for a cup of coffee a day.
The early stages of professional blogging remind me of what Jennifer Niesslein and Stephanie Wilkson, editors of Brain, Child, faced when they first started their magazine.
From an interview in Literary Mama:
Stacey Greenberg, Interviewer: How do you balance work and motherhood? What does a typical workweek look like for you?
JN: When we came up with the idea for Brain, Child, my son was five months old, and I fit everything in during naps and evenings and weekends. You know, the classic part-time worker cobbling together of time. I’ll tell you, it’s a lot easier now that my son is in kindergarten. I work 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. My husband pulls his parenting weight around here, so if I have to catch up on things over the weekend or in the evenings, I do. The workweek varies depending where we are in the production schedule. It gets more intense the closer we are to finishing an issue. So, in a nice, calm period like now, I’m working only on the weekdays while he’s in school; in a month, I’ll be heading up to the attic after dinner for another shift.
SW: It has become vastly easier for me now that a) we’ve moved the business office out of my house and b) both my children are in school from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every day. In the old days, my schedule was a lot more chaotic and a lot more had to be done at night and on weekends. Now I work from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. a few days a week and 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. a few days, depending on whose turn it is to pick up the kids, mine or my husband’s. I really value that structure. Yet at the same time, I think the best thing about owning your own business is having the flexibility to work when and how you want. My family spends six weeks in the spring in England each year with my husband’s family and I work from there. There’s never a need to ask anyone for time off to volunteer at our kids’ schools or to just bum around with them. That’s a great, great thing.
Is problogging any less legitimate than starting my own magazine or any other venture that doesn’t reap immediate financial rewards?
I may never make a six-figure income from blogging. Yet, I will continue to do my best.
I work hard and hope my efforts will be recognized. My passion and commitment depend on more than just financial reward. Because if it were otherwise, I would never have become a mother (or a blogger).
ETA: If I gave the impression that Krissy wasn’t being supportive, I’m sorry. She was just looking out for my sanity during one of my snowball sessions.
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