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A Typical Work At Home Mom or Am I Atypical
2002 Barb Niehaus

  For the first thirteen years of my telecommuting tenure, I was fairly isolated from others like myself. My friends either fell into one of two categories: moms who worked outside the home or stay-at-home moms. I very rarely disclosed my teleworking situation as very few back then could relate. If I said that I worked from home. most assumed I was glorifying my status as a *domestic engineer*. Attempting to explain that I really did work from home was futile so it was easier just to let them think that I was a SAHM.

Isolation and loneliness pervaded all those years. I yearned to meet other teleworkers and hopefully, forge some friendships. Imagine my glee when I *discovered* the Internet and began publishing a daily WAH ezine! I wasn't alone- there were thousands of home-based workers and business owners at the click of a mouse. At long last, I had found my *own kind*...or so I thought.

I discovered some startling facts. It seems that the majority of WAHMs are *June Cleavers* in cyberspace. Most manage several websites (of which they are adapt at maintaining as they are all HTML gurus apparently), publish several ezines in conjunction with their various sites, host or participate in online chats, promote their businesses in addition to raising a family!

Now, hold on here. Am I the only one that sees something wrong with this picture? Am I the odd woman out? Am I the only harried, disheveled, disorganized one? HOW can these folks accomplish this in a day? My day is nothing short of controlled chaos as I refer to it. Just getting 4 kids up and ready for school is overwhelming. I feel like I've taken a beatin' by the time the younger two are finally on the bus and it's only 8:45 a.m.! Before I can even begin to settle down at the computer, I have to tackle dirty breakfast dishes, two loads of laundry and navigate through three rooms of clutter to get to my office. As I begin responding to dozens of daily emails, most days I have to turn the keyboard upside down to dislodge the food crumbs that cause several letters to stick. That accomplished, I am ready...sort of. Invariably I receive a couple of jokes that are so funny they absolutely mandate being forwarded to ten of my closest friends which of course those ten respond to and then I'm forced to reply to their replies.

I should have known better when I repainted my office last year not to move my computer desk next to the window. There are so many interesting scenes out there: watching the cats chase each other, counting cars going up the street, seeing what neighbor is getting new furniture delivered, peering out for the mailman.

Late morning is approaching and having answered my email, I start focusing on researching telecommmuting jobs and business-related articles for tomorrow's newsletter. The problem is when I get into a site, I may see five different links to other sites that interest me so off I go surfing. And if those sites offer free newsletters, it's a given that I'll be a new subscriber which means even more emails.

Amazingly, I do manage to finish off one newsletter each day 2:00 p.m. when I need to pick up my older two from school. Every day one of them asks how my day was and if I got a lot of work done. To which I reply that I was in my office most of the day again. It sounds good, anyway.

I made a list of 2002 resolutions that included getting organized and focusing on my business among other goals. Now if I can just find that piece of paper with my good intentions on it...

If there are any others *like me* out there, how about we form a discussion group...when we have the time. No June Cleavers allowed. If you can relate to Roseanne Barr, drop me a line!


Barb Niehaus, webmaster and publisher of Moms@ Home Working, is striving to get her life in order...soon. To receive WAH jobs every day at no cost, mailto:
Visit us at: Moms Home Work

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