I need just about 10 more hours in a day and I will be fine. Do you think that is possible?
When I graduated from college I got a job at a small PR firm. After Chris was born I was able to work out a deal where I worked 3 days from home and 2 days in the office. I really wanted to be able to stay home with the kids, yet at the same time we needed the extra income. So it was a perfect scenario. In September 2000 I went out on my own. My boss was moving to Minnesota and I wanted to stay home with the kids fulltime. Luckily a large client stayed with me, plus I found other small jobs here and there. Up until this point working from home was pretty easy. Emily was 4 and in preschool. Chris still napped. I took care of calls and such during that time and finished any worked after they went to bed. Sure there were late nights, but it was doable.
When I was pregnant with Allison I found out that my large client was being bought out. I stopped freelancing and contracting, and in the end it was a blessing. There was no way I would have been able to work considering all involved with my pregnancy and her care. Plus who knows what kind of material I would have sent to clients considering my emotional state for the first few years. In August 2005 I started contracting again. The workload was small and the kids schedules were still manageable. I continued to contract small projects after we moved, and again, the workload was so small that it hasn't been a big deal –– until now.
As I said a few weeks ago I have picked up a new client. The project has escalated into a much larger project, with four new things being added in the past week and a half. I missed Sam's preschool Halloween party because I had to go to a meeting. Emily had to miss practice Monday because I was called into an emergency meeting, Matt couldn't get out of a photoshoot he was doing for work and my neighbor's were gone. Now until January will be non-stop work. Add in 3 new projects since last Friday from Cat. My small workload has tripled in the past few weeks. And the other person I am tentatively scheduled to do some work for is supposed to give me project details in the next week or so.
Three years ago this would have been no problem. Today it has turned into a crazy balancing act. I have three kids in three different schools. Sam is only in school 3 days a week for half a day. Emily and Chris have homework. Emily has gymnastics practice 4-5 days a week. Chris has football 3 days a week. That ends next week, but then he starts basketball. Sam has her gymnastics class once a week. The kids have youth group and AWANAS on Sunday nights. We have bible study Friday nights. I have PTA, booster club, gymnastics meets, volunteering at the school, teaching Sunday School once a month. Matt is busier than he has ever been at work and leaves this Sunday for a 2 week trip to Europe.
Our travel schedule is crazy. We have three more meets this year and four in the winter. I have to fly to Illinois and to Atlanta for work in December and January. Emily and I are flying to Las Vegas for her meet in January. Matt will be in Arizona for probably 5 weeks in January and February. Our whole family is flying back to Ohio in February. Matt is at a trade show in Las Vegas for 8 days in March. We go to Thailand in April for 10 days. And that is just all the travel we know of so far. Plus Christmas and Thanksgiving.
We don't eat dinner until almost 8 every night, but that is because we believe we should sit down and eat together and that is normally the time we can do so. I am just having a hard time figuring how to juggle it all. Work, family, activities, friends. Next year should be easier with Sam going to kindergarten, but then that is what I thought with her going to preschool. Needless to say, right now a Orlando vacation home rental sounds really, really good.
I know there are others out there like us and I would love some ideas on how to balance it all. Fellow WAHMs I would love some suggestions on just how to get what I need done in the time frame I have and running these kids everywhere. Being a WAHM was much easier with two small children than with three active ones.