Today we’re continuing the How She Does It guest post series. Today’s post comes from Jessie Weaver, who you may know as Vanderbilt Wife. Join me in welcoming her to the blog!
I had trouble telling people I was a stay-at-home mom.
I left the workforce and moved to a new city all at the same time, beginning a life anew as a SAHM with a 14-month-old daughter. When people asked me what I did, I felt the need to justify.
“I’m a stay-at-home-mom … but I was an editor. But I’m a writer. But I have a blog. But …” I didn’t want to just be a mom.
I did continue to work for the company I “retired” from on a freelance basis. I was able to copy edit at home after
buying asking my parents and in-laws to buy me an iMac and the expensive software I needed; looking back at the few editing opportunities that came my way, I wish I had asked for writing classes instead!
With my connections at the company, though, I pitched a few articles for their magazines that were published. Now, more than four years later, I’ve written countless articles, have a monthly recipe column in one magazine, and have done compilation, writing, and social media management for one of their magazine’s blog communities.
As I’ve grown into a more confident writer, I’ve grown my blog a little, too, into a space where I write freely about my own struggles as a mother of three little ones, an incompetent housekeeper, and a person of faith. (And recipes. Lots of recipes.) With the advent of Pinterest, I make a little money from sponsored posts, Google, Amazon, and other affiliates. Because we feel comfortable between my husband’s teacher salary and my own freelance income, we’ve chosen to donate my blog earnings for the past year, which has been a great joy. I feel more free as a blogger than I ever have in almost eight years of typing out thoughts and recipes.
And how do we make it work? We have a unique situation. We live on campus as dorm parents at the high school where my husband teaches. He goes into work early during the school year (often leaving by 7), but he’s almost always home by 4:30. I squeeze work in while the kids are playing or watching TV and the baby is napping, during our afternoon rest time (MANDATORY!), after my husband gets home, or after bedtime. I’ve been known to hire a babysitter during the day if I have deadlines to meet – it’s well worth the $20 to me to have uninterrupted writing time. Usually by 8 p.m. I am too beat to think straight, so I know my best work needs to come out early in the day. Summers, when Mr. V is off, is my best time for planning and big writing projects.
I’d like to diversify – pitch to more magazines, do more editing. (Right now I edit e-books occasionally.) But these things are on hold until my babies are all in school. And that’s OK. It’s a few short years, and I am still in the game and work enough to feel like I have a sense of self outside motherhood.
A few weeks ago I was getting a pedicure with a fellow blogger and friend. The technician asked me what I do. I said I was a stay-at-home mom. My friend said she was a work-at-home mom … and that I am, too!
Oh, yeah. With all the bottoms to wipe, mouths to feed, time-outs to supervise, books to read … sometimes I kind of forget.
Jessie Weaver writes about faith, parenting, books, recipes, and being an abysmal housekeeper at her eponymous blog. Formerly writing as Vanderbilt Wife, Jessie is trying to be more comfortable in her own skin and helping others to be, too.