Mom-guilt and working from home

My name is Kim. I’m a wife, and a mom of two beautiful kids. I’m an introvert and I work from home.

It would seem, from the outset, that this is the perfect set-up–not just for an introvert but for a mom of two kids below the age of 5. I get to stay home with my kids and see them grow, while I toil away at the comfort of my home. Plus, I have a full-time nanny! I get to have a career and be a full-time parent. If anything, the guilt should stem from being able to have my cake and eat it to. Best of both worlds, right?

Well, not exactly.

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It’s called micro-sourcing.

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It’s what I am part of. Everyday, I log on to the Internet and work. I write. I research. I edit. I tweet. I design. I troubleshoot. I plan. I strategize. I am everyone’s little helper–the story of my life.

For 40 hours a week.

There are no boring routines. The work hours are flexible. There are no bosses–just clients.

I am my own boss.

It makes the world appear so small–and everyone so accessible. On a daily basis, you can burn the Skype lines talking to somebody in the US or Australia–even France or the Middle East. You receive email at the oddest hours–perfect when you’re suffering from insomnia.

It takes internal motivation. There’s more freedom than people know what to do with. It takes passion–love for what you’re doing. Because sometimes, you need to really dig deep to see a project through.

That there are external motivating factors don’t hurt either.

It takes discipline–and knowing that your word means a lot. If you say you can do it, by all means–accomplish it. Don’t dilly dally. Understand that time is money. Understand that your reputation–that thing that determines how many projects you’ll get offered and how much money you’ll make–is everything.

When you’re working for yourself, you cannot afford to make preventable mistakes. Ask questions. Learn to say no. Be reasonable and firm. Exceed expectations. Communicate often and communicate well.

The last thing you want is to be the cause of the project’s delay. You cannot cause the delay–anybody else but you. Because your reputation–your future–is on the line.

You work hard. You suck it up and learn to do the dirty work.

But it will pay off. It really does.

How was your day?

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I’d like to think that I do not have a typical day. I do, however, follow some semblance of a routine:

Wake up before 6.
Give my email and Facebook a passing glance.
Gear up for my morning run.
Eat breakfast.
Buckle down for work.

Sometimes, I pull 14-hour workdays. Some days, I work for only an hour, sometimes even less.

Today, I worked 8 hours. I had a good day; I was able to achieve a lot. I worked on a client’s social media campaign (translation: spend a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook, trying to make friends). I also perused blogs on social media, hoping to learn more and successfully apply them.

Sometimes, I’m awed by what my Mac and I can do in my little corner office. I’ve never felt so productive.

It’s a charmed life, but it isn’t without challenges. Freelancing can make my days unpredictable. There are days when I second guess myself and ask, “Do I really know how to do this?” At times, the question becomes “What did I get myself into?!” But I love it. My best friend once said that I have a high tolerance for uncertainty. I agree with her; I think I do.

I’m made for this. Owning my time offers me a lot of fulfillment. Battling procrastination makes me feel very accomplished.

How about you, how was your day?

I work from home.

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I’ve always dreamed of working in a corner office with a great view. While I never thought that that corner office was going to be my room in the house, there’s not much to complain about.

It is, after all, a corner room with a great view of the outdoors. There’s a cute yellow house right in front of my room. Lush greens shade me from the afternoon sun. Of course, there’s the occasional crowing of the rooster from next door that my clients from the US and Australia find very amusing.

Yes, did I mention that I work from home as a freelance writer-slash-virtual assistant? After slaving away in the corporate world, I found myself jobless one day. A friend introduced me to an online job market, and it’s been a dream since. It’s not always perfect, but I find working for myself is a whole lot more fulfilling than anything else that I’ve ever done.

I’m primarily a writer. I do mostly web content. But lately, I’ve been tasked to do more. My interests have now shifted from economics, which is my major, to social media, internet marketing and education technology. It has its ups and downs, but somehow, I don’t see myself doing anything else.

… well, except selling turon (banana rolls) and lugaw (rice porridge) in a tiny little shop someday. More on that later.

Perhaps, like my client, I’ll write a book about my experiences one day. But for now, I’ll blog about it and hope that I get to share bits of wisdom every now and then. And maybe you’ll get to teach me, too.