Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sometimes I Get Caught Off Guard And I Don't Know What To Say

Just recently, Lisa and I were having a conversation with some friends. The topic of work and how busy everyone is surfaced. It's that time of year when busy turns into crazy busy. Towards the end of the conversation, one of our friends said, "I wish I could stay home with my dogs and make craft items." Silence. I was caught off guard. I wasn't expecting that sort of comment from her. I replied with something like, "It's not easy being a Work at Home Dog Mom..." Lisa could tell I had to pick myself up from that comment and dust myself off. She changed the subject.

I've written blog columns about this topic in the past. Several times. Although I have thick skin, when comments are made that minimalize what I do as a Work at Home Dog Mom, it always throws me off. What adds insult to injury is when these comments are made after the person goes on about how busy their days are. As if being a Work at Home Dog Mom is easy and carefree or that I have an abundance of free time.

None of that is true.

For starters, on average, I get about 3-4 hours of sleep a day. If that. And, I use the word "sleep" lightly. It's never solid sleep. And most times, that 3-4 hours is broken up into 2 "naps."

Despite the few extra hours I do have in a day's time because I don't sleep the typical 7-10 hours, I'm still struggling to get everything done.

The work I do that requires me to focus with very few distractions has to be done at certain hours during the day. For the most part, that always changes. If the neighborhood kids have a half day, day off, or are on vacation, I don't get that quiet time. This is why I stay awake on and utilize the overnight hours.

Housework is neverending. Vacuuming. Dishes. Laundry. Sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor. Bathroom. Etc. With 4 kids and 2 adults in our household, it has to be done every day.

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Meal prep. For the kids. For Lisa and myself. That includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I also make homemade dog treats for our kids and snacks for Lisa's work lunches.

I have deadlines for work. I'm in the middle of working on another 6-week project for a client. I have deadlines throughout the week and on the weekend. I'll have a week off from that project the last week of December. Then, I start another 6-week project.

Writing and publishing blog posts require a lot of time. Working on social media takes a lot of time as well. I need to spend more time on both. I have a lengthy to-do list for both this blog and the social media stuff.

Creating new, homemade dog treat recipes is time-consuming. I'll be revving that back up after the first of the year.

Making DIY Dog Mom Projects is no easy feat. Nor is it "just a craft project." It's a lot of hard work. There is a lot of planning that goes into each piece. Once Lisa cuts the wood down to size and sands the pieces, she hands it over to me for completion.

Lisa's work schedule is also a daily consideration. Since her promotion in the Spring, my schedule has changed considerably. Sometimes she has to go in early and that requires her to get up at 3 a.m. I always make her a hot breakfast, have her coffee waiting, and her lunch packed. Most nights, she gets home late. She used to get home between 2-3 p.m. I had help in the afternoon if I was in the middle of something or wasn't able to get this or that done.

I don't have time off or vacations. In addition to being a Dog Mom 24/7, I contend with all of the above. Work. Meal prep. Housework. DIY Dog Mom Projects. Baking biscuits. Packaging up orders. Tending to social media stuff. Etc. I do work every single day. Lots of it.

The list goes on...

In no way, shape, or form am I complaining about any of it. I love being a Work at Home Dog Mom. I love our life. Our kids. Our home. This is the life that Lisa and I chose and we don't have a single regret.

It just bothers me when people minimalize it. When they think I have it easy. When they assume being a Work at Home Dog Mom would be a relaxing vacation from their beyond-busy life.

When they say, "I wish I could stay home with my dogs and make craft items." 

It makes me wonder if they'd say that to a stay-at-home or work-at-home Mom of human kids...

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