what it’s like to be a work-at-home mom.

The mommy wars have me thinking about what it’s like to be a work-at-home mom (WAHM), an awesomely tiring combo of being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) and working mom (is there a mommmy blogger abbreviation for that?).

Before getting into this, I feel like I have to say that I give a giant standing ovation to all moms who love their kids and parent to the best of their abilities. I’m still learning that being a mom is beyond-words wonderful and difficult all at the same time, and I know that every family is different. OK, so no judging here.

At different times in my life, I’ll probably experience being a full-on stay-at-home mom and a work-in-an-office mom. Right now, on this day, in this moment, you could/can call me a work-at-home mom.

But what is a work-at-home mom?

That’s a good question.

Most conversations with acquaintances usually tend to follow one of two formats:

Conversation 1

Person: So, how do you like being a stay-at-home mom?

Me: Well, I actually work from home, too. It’s stressful but great!

Conversation 2

Person: Hi, Kayla! Good to see you!

Me: Hi, person!

Person: So, what are you doing?

Me, to myself: Well, this morning I was planning a content schedule, grocery shopping, writing an e-newsletter, visiting the pediatrician, wiping my son’s nose…

Me, to person: I work remotely and stay home with Joseph.

Honestly, neither of these conversations bother me. Unless you have experience being a parent and freelancing/working from home, it wouldn’t be fair to expect folks to understand.

I’m a weird mix of both, but it works. I get to experience life with my son, and I’m thankful to have a gig with a flexible schedule that I can do remotely.

Sometimes, I’m stressed. Really stressed. Sometimes I feel really guilty for being on my computer and plopping my son in front of Curious George. Sometimes I feel really guilty for taking my son to the park and not working on that newsletter. It’s a balance that is new every day.

I will now be slightly self-indulgent and let you know what being a work-from-home mom currently looks like for me:

What I do: Edit magazine print content for Web, plan and write e-newsletters, and tackle story assignments for various media outlets as they pop up. (I don’t know if this sounds fun to you, but it is! Now you know I’m a nerd.)

How often I do it: I work about 20 hours per week (give or take).

When I do it: My laptop is never far from me. I work during naptime, in the evening, and on weekends. Friends & fam fill in and watch the little one during in-office meetings. Sometimes I have conference calls while simultaneously cooking chicken nuggets and serving mac + cheese.

Working from home means that your office looks like this:

And you need lots of this:

And your afternoons get to look like this:

And it’s all worth it.

planning a trip, philadelphia style.

We’ll be spending Memorial Day weekend 2012 in Philadelphia!

Can’t you just hear the Rocky theme? Adrian!

On top of the cheesesteaks we’ll be chowing and the patriotic sites we’ll be perusing (‘MERICA!), I’m most excited to see some of our besties who moved to Pennsylvania last year.

Yay for friends!

You may be thinking, you guys aren’t ballers, how will you pay for said trip?

You may also remember that in 2011, we traveled to Nigeria twice…and we now have enough miles to visit our friends for free! Woohoo! Budget-friendly fun is totes how we roll.

Since I’m slightly neurotic, I’ve started a Google doc with must-stop visits (Liberty Bell, Geno’s Steaks, museum steps a-la Rocky, etc). I’ve also checked out the design*sponge Philadelphia guide, (picture above is from the guide!) but it’s slightly dated and while super hipster, probably not super toddler-friendly.

Here’s my question: As Philly newbies, where should we visit? Any need-to-try eateries? Stores we must stop by? (I do know that the Anthropologie flagship store is in Philly bursting with three stories of goodness. Holla!)

We’ll have 2 days in the city and two days a little further west in Pennsylvania. We’re throwing around the idea visiting Hershey Park (COASTER CITY!), but that could be tough to navigate with the under-2 set. (And between us + our buddies, we’ll have two under two.) We’ve thought about Sesame Place, but I’m not sure Joseph is really old enough to get it, and it could be enough to make us want to ban Elmo for good.

We’re thinking about staying in a boutique hotel near Christ Church in the Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood. It seems like a good mix of location, charm, and affordability.

Have you been to Philadelphia?

Help me plan our party in PA!

five happy things.

So, question: Have you ever gone through some rough stuff? Like punches in the stomach type of stuff that make you crawl under the covers, leaving your pillow streaked with mascara? Yeah, me neither…

Regardless of circumstances, today I woke up determined to find at least one happy thing. And I thought of five. Victory!

So, here’s a list of five happy things.

1. This bag.

It’s the Fossil Key-Per Retro Utility. It’s huge and pretty and has approximately one billion pockets, including a place for the almighty laptop. I got the bag in the mail last week and I love it. (Annnnd it’s going to turn into the perfet diaper bag someday! Which is why I actually bought it.)

2. This guy.

I am so beyond lucky and blessed to be married to this crazy fool. He is just the tops in every way. I’m so thankful we have that kind of sparkling love that poems, movies and songs can only dream about.

3. This movie.

It’s a little raunchy. It’s a lot ridiculous. It’s Kristen Wiig at her best. I saw Bridesmaids this weekend with some awesome friends after having a really fun dinner. And even though we were late and we had to sit in the front row, we LOLed a lot. It was worth the neck cramp. I also realized that I have more weird + quirky Kristen Wiig mannerisms than I thought. I’m going to take that as a good thing.

4. These shoes.

Yes. Just yes. Say what you will, but sometimes a new pair of shoes is just…needed. I had been dreaming about these beauties for a while, and when a Target sale happens, well, it’s meant. to. be.

5. This art.

Some really awesome friends who are really more like family surprised us with this awesome art, which is now hanging above the couch. They took the tree from our ‘Rooted in Love’ fundraiser shirts and comissioned an artist, who designed it in vinyl between two panes of glass. The artist is also a woodworker, and he made the custom frame. It’s just so awesome and thoughtful. (His other stuff is amazing, too. Go check out his work.)