Why Working From Home is for Me!

I am sitting at my dining room table while my daughter sits next to me practicing her name.

While I may not get a ton of work completed, I love being able to sit with my daughter and help her, while I work; I love that I have the choice.

This wasn’t the plan

I never envisioned myself working from home. I always thought I would have this successful career as Counselor and work with children.

In fact, I am in School now working on my Master’s Degree in Clinical and Mental Health counseling; so being a Counselor is still very much something I want to do, but I needed something better in the interim.

So why am I writing?

Honestly, the idea regarding freelance writing first came to my mind about 5 months ago. At the time I was about 2 months pregnant with my 2nd child; knowing I had another child on the way I quickly felt the anxiety surrounding leaving my baby and returning to the work world.

Although that bridge was a way down the road, I couldn’t stop those same emotions that I had after my daughter from resurfacing; the feelings that I was abandoning my daughter and neglecting to spend adequate time with her.

I couldn’t believe these feelings were coming back up so soon, and I knew I didn’t want to be faced with that decision again!

I had to figure out a way to elude these feelings. I was beyond determined to find a way to stay home with my babies and still be able to make an income – because not working was not an option for me and let’s face it, not working is not an option for many mothers.

The Process

I started by looking into being a virtual assistant. Which I talk about a bit more in another post “7 Vital Tools You Need to Efficiently Work From Home”  Take a look if you want to know a bit more. https://michelleanderson.org/2019/04/12/7-vital-tools-you-need-to-efficiently-work-from-home/

I stumbled across Freelance writing when I ran across the blog of Alicia Rades and one of the authors for The Write Life. https://thewritelife.com/category/blogging/ I also found some pretty helpful tips from Elna Cain, creator of innovative ink https://www.innovativeink.ca/.

Both websites are jammed packed with so much helpful information for beginners like myself!

Although what works well for one writer won’t necessarily work for all writers; I appreciated the knowledge and personal feedback/experience shared on both of these websites.

Hundreds of websites offer up some valuable information to get anyone started on their writing journey.

Where am I now?

Not too far – haha

To be honest, I am not writing this after becoming some sort of success story – I am still in the early stages, and I am still learning a lot from research, trial and error!

I have learned a lot over the last 5 months, but I did not actually put my self out there and start launching my career until about 2 months ago.

I woke up one morning told myself it was time! It was actually beyond time to get started – so  I did!

And honestly, it was the best choice I could have made.

No I am not rolling in money from my 500+ freelance gigs and offers, but I am getting tons of experience, and I happened to land a few clients within 30 days of starting my business – not for free either!

But you see this is only the beginning for me!

While only doing this for such a short amount of time I have been successful. That statement does not make me cocky or conceded because I know that I have not reached the top!

I am continually re-evaluating my goals to push myself for greater success!

Are you are a freelance writer? Are you a mother? Or even a Father?

How do you juggle wiring and taking care of your littles? Please share your story – maybe someone can learn from you!

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Rates

My current rate is .10 cents per word.

This rate is subject to change at any time, unless already in a contract or unless other arrangements have been discussed before agreeing on a contract.

I am open to negotiate prices for clients that are looking for long term contracts but would like to try out a few articles/post first.

Price examples:
$50 = 500 words
$75 = 750 words
$100 = 1000 words
$150 = 1500 words

If the article(s) require extensive research ( case students, research style papers, scientific papers ), an additional fee may be required.
Any additional prices or fees would be discussed before confirming the contract.

Any article 750 words or less has one free rewrite included in price; additional rewrites would be between $5-$25 depending on the extent of rewrite.
Any article 751-2500 words start at $15 for a rewrite unless otherwise discussed.
Any Article 2501 words or more start at $25 for a rewrite, unless otherwise discussed.


Rewrite prices are in ADDITION to base article prices!

Night Time Horrors

Why is Night time so tricky in my house? I seriously can’t be the only one asking myself this question!

Here I am 4 almost 5 years into being a mom, and I still can’t win the epic bedtime battle with my sassy little munchkin.

Source Psychology Today

How did we get here?

I believe we have a reasonably loose bedtime schedule. I know you’re going to tell me that’s my 1st mistake!

Here’s the thing, for the longest time I worked Mon-Fri from 7 or 8am until about 5 or 6pm. Some nights, after work, I would go to Night class; if I didn’t have a night class, I would come home for about an hour and then head to a gym class.

This caused us to be home and sort of settled in around 9pm or later most nights.

Now that I have been out of school for a year, I still work until about 5-6pm and 2-3 nights out of the week my daughter has Dance or Gymnastics. So depending on the day of the week we may not get home and settled in until about 10pm.

Maybe some of you can relate?

I personally don’t like getting home and directly starting the bedtime process; I want to unwind, talk with my daughter about her practice, her day or just in general, before we get to the nitty gritty sleep time mess.

Most Nights

Once dinner has been eaten, and showers have been completed, I am pooped and I honestly just want to kick my feet up and enjoy maybe 30 minutes of my TV shows before falling asleep. To do that I need my kid to hit the hay.

The only problem is……. she still sleeps in the bed with me!

Let me go back a bit

When my daughter was born, I was deathly afraid to co-sleep; I mean you hear so many sad stories about families and their co-sleeping experiences; it completely terrifies you out of the idea.

But I did also read some positive experiences as well.

After about 7 weeks of sleeping with one open eye one and on the edge of my bed or couch, while my daughter peacefully dreamt in her bassinet, swing or crib, I thought it was time to relax and loosen the reigns just a tad bit.

Then I went back to work, and I missed my little baby like crazy; I missed holding her and smelling her and even watching her sleep (because I did that a lot).

So in my mind, sleeping with her was time for us to be close because we were away from each other so much during the day. I tried to make our sleeping arrangements as safe as possible because I was still nervous about the co-sleeping thing.

And I’m sure I will get a judgment or two on this, but hey we all parent how we want to parent and just hope and pray we are doing it right!

So anyhow, now my little one has been introduced to mommy and daddy’s bed!

As time progressed

Fast forward about 2 years, we started trying to get little lady in her own bed. Well, I was trying; her dad was perfectly fine with our sleeping arrangements.

But this step proved itself as a hard one.

We would try reading a book; stretching, night music even 20 minutes of TV here & there but absolutely nothing prepared her for sleeping in her own bed. So I would hold her and rock her until she fell asleep; which took anywhere from one to two hours!

So here I am totally worn out from getting my toddler to bed; its 12am and I still have to study or clean or do laundry. Hell or all three!

Needless to say, I became discouraged with this plan and welcomed Missy back to my bed within about 2 weeks.

Wait, don’t let me forget the nights I was successful in getting her to sleep (if you want to call it a success) she never slept in her room the entire night, and I regularly set alarms to wake up and go check on her throughout the night.

Ha, Ha, I know – I am shaking my head too!

The Other Night

So what prompted me to break out my laptop and write about this longtime struggle? What made me say enough is enough after 4 years of co-sleeping?

The other night!

There was nothing relatively different about this evening; we did our thing, ate dinner, talked, played, cleaned; it was a regular weekday night for us.

As 9pm approached I start talking the steps to prepare my kiddo for bed; by 10pm we are in bed, and I am turning off all devices, except the iPad which plays the “night music.”

First I ask my daughter to lie on her pillow, and I would pat her back while she falls asleep; she immediately jumped into freak out mode and demanded that she was held.

Okay that’s fine I hold her just about every night so what is the big deal with holding her again.

As I am holding her and patting her back, I swear about every 2-3 minutes she whines, tells me she is not comfortable and wiggles around in my arms, sometimes flopping from one side to another; after about 15 mins of moving and whining I just place her next to me and tell her to go to sleep.

Ohh, but why did I do that?

She broke out the waterworks and experienced a complete meltdown.

Absolutely nothing I said would comfort her; she didn’t want me to touch her, yet she didn’t want to lay by herself. My halfcocked threats didn’t work either.

I felt so defeated and over the entire night! I just wanted to sleep!

After about an hour of crying, flopping around and more crying she was off to sleep, in my arms!

What’s next?

I kept telling myself that after that night I was changing things up. My daughter was going to sleep in her perfectly comfortable queen size bed with her plush pillows and comfy comforter; after all, we had to prepare for her little brother arriving in a couple months.

What am I going to do with a child that still wants to be rocked to sleep and a newborn that is going to expect/want the same things?

Should have, Could have, Would have

These types of thoughts lead you to think of things you should have done differently or could have done differently. And then you tell yourself that you’re going to do so many things different with your next child to avoid not such positive experiences.

I specifically said to myself that I will not cosleep with my son at all; I came to this conclusion because of the difficulty I am having with my daughter now.

But if I choose to eliminate the cosleeping idea with my son, will I miss out on the same benefits of cosleeping that I have enjoyed with my daughter over the years?

Which leads me into next week’s subject – Is it fair to change your parenting styles/approaches with each child?

Pregnancy: The real

Let’s be honest pregnancy is not always this beautiful, blissful experience that everyone wishes it was.

It is okay to acknowledge its truths, no matter how ugly they may seem.

Social media

The thing is social media has put this distorted view in our minds regarding pregnancy, parenting, fitness and so much more. We see perfection everywhere that we feel it’s a requirement; we feel like what we see on Instagram and Facebook must be what real life looks like or what real life should be.

The reality is, that perception and that image you see on Instagram isn’t everyone’s life – and that’s okay!

Reality

Although I would love to be a fitness guru at 8 months pregnant, while running my business, tending after my  4-year old, keeping a spotless house, cooking healthy meals daily and having plenty of energy left to hang out with my girlfriends…. the reality is that isn’t my life!

Big props to the women that can do just that; whoever they are! I am not speaking anything negative on their lives; but I am stressing the fact being that image, that lifestyle isn’t for everyone – and that’s okay!

Hey lady you are still winning!

The reality is your probably 30 pounds heavier than before you were pregnant. You are either going to have a clean house or have dinner cooked by 8pm. Energy these days seem to be non-existent, and you can’t remember the last time you took a moment out for yourself!

The reality is you probably hide from the camera because you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin. You smile when people joke about how big your belly has gotten, but in the inside, you just want to slap them. (No, just me?)

The reality is you may act as if you are 100% prepared and have it all figured out, but secretly you are probably scared out of your mind and hope you are doing everything right; whether this is your 1st or your 5th pregnancy, we still have fears and concerns at some point.

Be Real Be Happy

Ladies we have to understand that everything we see isn’t right; it isn’t real.

Our want or need to be perfect, the perfect mother or just the ideal human, makes it so much easier to take these things that we see and allow them to imprint on us and ultimately drive us crazy because we strive for the impossible.

One photo, one post, one video does not tell the entire story. It is only a piece of someone’s life. Most of the times it is the piece that they want us to see or that they create to promote the idea that they that have it all together!

And maybe she does!

But you don’t have to; you don’t need to!

Don’t break yourself trying to be perfect when all you have to do is live life and take in the experiences you are meant to have.

You are still great! You are still winning.

Your Journey just looks different than mine and hers!

The Cabin

I appreciate these challenges. Writing Challenge #2, click HERE to participate!

Every morning around this time of the year, for about 4 weeks, I would wake up to the most beautiful smell: Pumpkin Marshmallow. The sweet-smelling aroma swiftly engulfed the cramped cabin where my family and I stayed during the Holidays. The scent was not overbearing, it provided just the right amount of warmth needed for those chilly November mornings! The sound of pots and pans raddling and clanking in the kitchen was just a little reminder that Thanksgiving was around the corner.

Mother loved Thanksgiving; it was the only time of the year that all the family came to town and enjoyed each other’s company. The holiday visit usually lasted about 2 weeks; once it ended everyone quickly returned to their busy, eventful lives in the big city! Everyone tried to stay in touch the first few weeks after Thanksgiving, but generally, that didn’t last! It would go back to just being Mother, Dad, and the twins after the Holidays. The twins are Lily and Kyle; my family adopted them when they were about 6 months old. They are actually blood cousins, but according to documentation and family bond, they are my younger siblings! In total Mother and Father shared 6 children: the Twins, Mark, Cassie, Paula, and Myself!

I usually came to town a few days early to help with the Thanksgiving preparations. The week leading up to Thanksgiving we were required to get everything in the house impeccable, as Mother and Father prepped the food. Mother wanted floors and walls scrubbed spotless, Fall decorations flowing throughout the house and the fireplace equips to burn chips of wood all week long. The house remained very busy and smelled delightful, between scented candles and home cooked greatness. As each day passed everyone’s excitement grew greater. The anticipation became almost unbearable the day before Thanksgiving Eve. This was also the day for the final touches on the menu and last minute cleaning sprees!

On the day before Thanksgiving, Family would start to arrive at all times of the day. Some would bring dishes of dessert and others would bring the liquid inspiration, not that anyone needed it. The men would gather in the den to watch sports while trying to smoke Cuban Cigars on the hush; Father would open windows hoping to air out the smell, but it never worked! Aunt Francis would bring Christmas sweaters that she was able to weave together on her own. She was very good at what she did, but those sweaters were not always appealing. Every year she would request a picture of everyone in their sweater, and it eventually became a Christmas card. Then there was Cousin Billy and Cousin Frank, they are brothers, and I believe my 2nd or 3rd cousins; they always seemed to have a “new date” or “new friend” every Thanksgiving. It’s like those two were allergic to settling down.

Each year it seemed like our family grew; everyone was branching out and starting families within our already large Family. The cabin was always so full of laughter and love these days. We all would sit and talk for hours about past memories and share outrageously embarrassing stories. Mother would always find a way to sneak in her photo albums; she mainly went for the same one every year. This photo album was outlined in the shiniest silver you would have ever seen & if it were tilted in the correct position the reflection of light would allow the pages to shimmer. It was a stunning album. The album contained baby photos of my siblings and me. Every year we created new traditions and even revisited old ones. Every year we argued, laughed till we cried and cried until we laughed.

*……..*

It has been a long while since I experienced a Thanksgiving so full of joy. Once Father became sick the holidays became dull, and the laughter was no longer present.

He fought his battle as long as he could, but after 2 years of fighting, it was understandable that he was tired. Mother took his passing very hard; she began to give up on life herself; it seemed. The Twins moved out and off to college right before Fathers passing, so it was just Mother- alone. I asked Mother to stay with me because she didn’t need to be alone, but she felt closer to him at the cabin.

Days would go by before she returned any of my calls. Each time I talked to her, she sounded more lost than before. I wanted to help her, but I didn’t know if I could. She lost her life partner, the man she loved since the 8th grade. How could I possibly provide her with the right words and support to get her through this?

Each day grew harder; instead of healing, I felt my Mother was withering away. Eventually, she refused to leave the cabin at all. She refused to eat and take care of herself in any way. So I finally decided to move back with her. This decision shocked many of my friends; they didn’t understand why my older siblings did not volunteer to take care of our Mother. I tried to explain that everyone had children and families their own; to pick up everything and move thousands of miles would be unfair and unrealistic for them. However, it was just me. I lived alone. I dropped out of college shortly after my father was diagnosed.  All I did was work a dead-end job and attend night clubs!  I felt as if my life was going nowhere fast and I needed to be with my Mother! I needed to add purpose and substance to my life again.

I did not realize until I packed up and moved with my Mother that I was also still in pain. I had not completely come to terms with my Father departing this earth when he did. I ignored what I was feeling for a long time. That was no longer an option when I moved back to the cabin.

My mother had not left the cabin for many months; she felt closer to Father there, and I could understand that. We shared so many good memories in that place.

My 1st night back was uneasy; I heard my Fathers voice bouncing off the walls! I could feel his presence. I knew this was only my emotions and entirely in my head, but it felt so real! The smell of his cologne lingered through the cabin that night. I thought Mother may have sprayed it, so I walked down the hallway to her room. She was in a deep sleep. It looked as if the sleeping pills I gave her did the trick. As I looked around the room, I didn’t see any of Father’s belongings. It seemed like the room they shared and been wiped clean that he was ever there. I did not understand how Mother could get rid of all his things but still sulk in grief for his passing.

I grabbed for the handle on the door to exit my Mothers room, as I tried twisting the handle the door seemed jammed. I tried my best to wiggle it open as quietly as possible; I didn’t want to wake Mother. As I tried pulling the door handle for the 4th time I felt a cold chill down my spine; I spun around quickly and caught a glimpse of this dull grayish light. I shut my eyes rapidly; I kept telling myself I was tired and just needed to get some sleep. My gut was saying something different! I turned back to the jammed door and heard an unclear whisper. I could not make out what was said. I thought it was my mother so I called out to her, but there was no reply. I assumed she was talking in her sleep.  As I redirect my attention back to the door, I heard that faint whisper again, but this time I can make out what was said.

“You cannot leave me! We are a family! I will never let you go!”

At that moment I understood why Mother would never leave this cabin.

He would not let her!

Michelle A. 11/23/15