“How are you enjoying the time off?”
It’s a question I’ve had quite a bit over the last couple of weeks. It’s always asked in a completely innocent way, but when I’m faced with that question I can’t help but feel my heckles rising slightly.
A couple of weeks ago I did my last radio show and hung up my headphones for a while. During the 18 months I presented a breakfast show I also worked as a freelance journalist and copywriter. It meant that some weeks I crammed in 75 hours of work. Juggled around the fact I had my toddler home every afternoon, you can see I was pretty busy.
Since I finished my radio contract things have been a bit odd. I’ve been back and forth across the country sorting out a huge relocation to Devon, 200 miles from where we currently live. So it’s fair to say I haven’t settled into our new way of life quite yet. But I have still been working – it’s just that this working has been from home.
You see, I am now a Work At Home Mum. This is often referred to in inner circles as WAHM. Despite what someone said to me recently, this doesn’t mean I spend my days drinking cups of tea and sorting my sock drawer. It means I work. At home. And am a mum. Simple?
The thing is, it’s been a while since I last held this title, so I’d forgotten how some people fail to grasp the concept of freelance working. For many, the idea that someone can work from a computer in an office in their home, rather than an office in a building with other workers, is a bit of an odd one.
My daughter still goes to nursery, I still have a pick-up and collect run to do at either sides of the day. I still have clients to please and deadlines to meet. I still spin plates and have various projects on the go at once. Sometimes I have to go out for meetings – and in the future I’ll probably do more days in the office again as I go back to combining my radio work with my writing / editing / copywriting work.
I’m not complaining. I love my life and am very excited about our move to a more family-friendly pace of living in south Devon. But don’t assume that I’m going to be on a permanent holiday.
Because, you know, work at home mums still work.