Every day this month, I will be featuring an interview with a working mom just like you. It’s called A Day in the Life of a Working Mom.
We’ll learn about what she does for work, her family life, and….her tips/tricks for getting everything done.
Tell us about your family (married, significant other, children’s ages, etc.)
I am a single mother of one son/superhero/ninja. At the time of this interview, he is 2 days away from turning 5- an age he has been counting down to for the past 4 months.
Where do you live?
We live in a small town in Central Arkansas. About an hour away from Little Rock. My son has lived here his entire life, but I moved here from the DMV (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) area during the summer of 2010. This is the longest I have lived in the same place other than when I was in college!
What do you do for a living?
I am a freelance writer and blogger. I am also working towards becoming a coach/guide for women who want to pursue and monetize their passions. I grew up wanting to be a writer, so I figure I have 3.5 years of experience with this topic that I could share with others.
How do you fit blogging into the mix (if it’s not your “day job”)?
I blog about my life as a single WAHM, so it all sort of ties in together. I have also monetized my blog, so it does generate income and income opportunities.
What is your typical day like?
Honestly, there is no such thing as a “typical” day in my home. Between parenting, my freelance business, homeschooling my son, managing my blog, and social activities, our schedule has to be pretty flexible.
I pretty much just try to make sure I do a bit of everything each day. Some days I am able to do this. Other days, I am not. I try not to beat myself up about it if I don’t get everything squeezed in every day. It keeps me sane.
What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the hardest thing?
The best thing is that I am able to be here with my son and not miss a thing yet still provide for us financially. The hardest thing, as you may imagine, is time management.
It’s so hard sometimes to compartmentalize everything. When you have a traditional job, you are able to easily clock out of work and switch into mommy mode (for the most part). When you work from home, that balance is not quite as simple.
I find that the lines between work and family are very blurry and sometimes nonexistent. It is definitely a struggle.
Do you experience guilt associated with being a working mom?
My guilt always stems from those times when I have to say no to something so that I can focus on work.
My son doesn’t always understand when I say that “mommy is working”. With the exception of maybe 9 months when he was very young, he has never had to experience me working outside of the home. So he doesn’t understand the concept of work being something that parents have to do without the kids around.
Although I know that I need to have a distraction-free zone to be truly productive, it does make me feel a bit guilty when I have to kick him out of my office. Especially when he gives me a pathetic look and says “But you’re supposed to be my mom!”
How do you handle day to day responsibilities (meals, laundry, cleaning, chauffeuring kids, Dr. appointments, school meetings, etc.)?
As a single mom, it’s pretty difficult to get everything done, but somehow I manage. I tend to focus on getting him what he needs. That includes shuttling him around town to classes, appointments, therapy, playdates, etc.
I try to do meal plans, but I typically just shop each week for staples and come up with what we will eat the night before or the day of. It’s not the most efficient method, but it works for us to just have a list of go-to meal options.
As for laundry and housekeeping…those are not my strong suits. In fact, I just remembered that I have a load of clothes in the washing machine that needs to be hung up to dry (fyi, it is currently 10:30 pm).
Honestly, my goal is to be able to hire a housekeeper to come to my home once a week or every other week to deep clean so that I can spot clean every day. That would make my life so much easier!
What are your top 3 – 5 tips for keeping everything together?
1. Try your best each day to do what needs to be done and don’t beat yourself up if you have to migrate a few items to your to-do list for the next day.
2. Prioritize what needs to be done first, delegate what you can to others so that you can focus on your priorities, and eliminate those things that aren’t truly necessary.
3. Don’t be too proud to ask for or accept help. If you need help and someone is willing to help, be thankful. Then pay it forward when you are able to.
4. Learn to walk the line between optimism and realism. In other words, hope for the best, but always have a plan of action.
I don’t feel particularly guilty about it, but I love Netflix. I also love cartoons, such as My Little Pony and Adventure Time. I feel like everyone needs a bit of entertainment, humor, and light -heartedness in their life. These provide me with all of that.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that you think would encourage other working moms?
Whether you work from home or work outside the home, take pride in the fact that you are committed to providing for your family. It may not always be easy, but it is worth it.
Where to find Tiffany online:
A lifelong lover of words, Tiffany Hathorn has wrangled her dreams of being a writer by building a freelance business. She (chaotically yet successfully) juggles life as a single WAHM and home educator.
When she is not spending time with her son, hanging out with mommy friends, or laughing and learning with fellow bloggers, she can often be found having a pretty intense affair with Netflix (shhh – don’t tell her books!). One of her driving passions is to help other women (particularly moms) to discover, pursue, and (ultimately) monetize their passions so that they can live a life of abundance.
What was helpful that you can apply to your work mom life?
Let me know in the comments below. If you have an extra moment, head over to give that working mom some love!
If YOU would like to be featured, send an email to raki at outsidetheboxmom dot com. If all of the October spots have been filled, I will feature your interview in a continued series.