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.