A WAHM Blogger's Story

I was recently interviewed by Ms. Marge Medina about the dynamics of working from home among mom bloggers. It was for a master's thesis in communication she is conducting for her master's degree in De La Salle University-Manila. 

Her research intends to study the public life writing of Filipina bloggers and mothers, their environment and relationships, and how they set boundaries to achieve a work-life balance.

The hour-long interview I had with Ms. Marge highlighted the benefits and the difficulties of working from home as well as how blogging has helped me as a work-from-home mom.

I have previously blogged about the perks and struggles of the working mom vs. that of the SAHM, but I have yet to talk about being a Work-At-Home-Mom (WAHM) and my experiences being one. The interview with Ms. Marge urged me to write about my WAHM journey as a writer and blogger.

The Call of the WAHM

I have been working for the past 16 years in the academe before I decided to be a WAHM. It was a difficult decision for me, but the idea of working from home has constantly tugged at my heart since I gave birth to my little boy. You may read my blog post, THIS IS IT, to find out more about when I finally decided to go for it.
Working From Home and Blogging Journey

Motherhood, Blogging and Working from Home

Ms. Marge's research was about the phenomenon of digital work among womenspecifically WAHMs, who are engaged in blogging or use the blog as a portfolio to find a job online. 

The interview was divided into parts:

1) The labor of motherhood blogging and the process of public life writing of Filipino mothers about motherhood

I started blogging in 2008 when I was working abroad. It was a way for me to express myself while I was away from home and my family. 

As an educator, it was second nature to me to share my experiences as a way to educate others. Most of my readers then were my older students, parents of my students, friends, and families.  

I blogged about my experiences as a teacher, my love for my students, and also about my life musings.  I did not know at that time that I can make money blogging or make use of it as a portfolio to help me land a job.

At present, I realized that in blogging, you need to be able to give more to gain more.  In my blog, I talk a lot about my personal experiences as a parent, especially as a single mom.

I now use my blog, not only as a platform for self-expression but also as my portfolio as a content writer. My blog landed me a job as a  ghost-writer for a parenting website. I also have other writing assignments for other clients in different niches.

Ms. Marge asked about the process involved in content development, from choosing the topic to write about to publishing the content, and I said that for me, I am more spontaneous when it comes to my blog posts.  I just write about what I know, and what I feel is relevant for other moms and me at the moment.  I also try to ask other moms what topics they find relevant.  I write about what I feel matters. My circle of friends is mostly mothers, too, so they see my content useful and relevant. My family can also relate as most of my siblings have their kids already.

2) The material environment of ‘work-at-home’ mothering

I do not have a proper home office or work station yet. If not on my bed, I use my son’s study table as my make-shift working space.  

The good thing about working from home is that you can actually work in any part of your home or if you are lucky and you do not need to be time-tracked by your client/ employer, then you can simply work from anywhere you find comfortable. Luckily for me, I can work wherever I want, I make sure that my client agrees to my schedule because my primary reason for doing this is so that I can spend time with my son. 

As a full-time blogger and content writer, my work is flexible when it comes to time because I can work at my own pace as long as I can submit my work as a writer on set deadlines.

I was able to start working from home immediately as a writer because I already have my laptop and wifi connection at home. 

While I searched for jobs, I joined webinars and online training about freelancing, content writing, and also blog monetization. 

I connected with other mom bloggers and other writers.  I also joined blogging and writing forums and pages.  I knew that if I had to become great at my new work, I needed to invest time and effort to learn the tools of the trade. I had so much to learn, and I am still learning a lot. 

3)  How home/family and work relationships are shaped and re-shaped in the context of ‘work-at-home’ blogging

Working from home gave me the freedom to be with my child anytime I want.  You would think it is all lovely and glamorous, well, it’s not.  Working from home means that you juggle with your deadlines and your child’s attention- I have a 2-year old boy, go figure! 

It’s not easy to follow a strict daily schedule or routine because I am a single mom and I have a clingy toddler who I breastfeed (yes, he is almost 3, and I still breastfeed him, and that is ok).  I stay with my mom and look after my nephews as well during the day. I know it is not the best set-up for me at the moment because I need the time to be able to deliver more output (I am paid per article), but this is what the family’s situation needs at the moment.

The good thing about these experiences as a mom blogger is that I get to really share authentic stories of a WAHM or a WAHM blogger at that. I feel that my content is genuine because I write about what is happening to me in real life. 

I do not want to share anything unreal just to make my blog sound right or fun or more interesting for others. I just want it to be authentic and relatable for my readers.

4) How online and domestic work is simultaneously performed by mothers and how the boundary is constructed to perform work in both areas efficiently. 

I am a single mother to a 2-year old boy. I do not send my son to school yet as I feel that he is still very young for it, I teach him at home during play.  I do not have so much time to meet up with friends because my time is devoted to my work and my son.  I stay with my mother, so I am fortunate that I do not have to do all the housework, except to maintain our room.  We do send our clothes to the Laundromat because this is something I cannot attend to anymore.  I discussed the struggles of the Stay-At-Home mom in one of my previous posts, and you would find that the WAHM may have more or less similar struggles, and she still has to do her work at home. Other people may find it difficult to understand that when a WAHM works, she is actually working.  I sometimes feel that people think I do not do anything in front of my computer, and maybe they think I am just wasting my precious time here.  It’s hard for others to see that mothering is already a full-time job, I’m not sure why, but I have to tell you it is.  I barely get enough rest because my days are filled with my kid running around the house, screaming, scattering whatever stuff and more. While at night, I have to get my boy to sleep and then prepare to face the machine for some work to accomplish. 

At the moment, I am still thinking of ways to set the boundaries of being a working mom to just being a mom.  It's hard to separate the 2 roles because my workplace is also my home, and as such, professional and personal boundaries are blurred. It's challenging to execute both income-generating activities and maternal duties daily.

A Word For WAHM Mom Bloggers Wannabe

If you feel that this is something you really want to do, then just go for it! However, bear in mind that if you are just starting, do keep your financial security in check before diving.

Blogging alone may be able to earn you some cash, but monetizing may also take time. Blogging and finding the right niche may be a daunting task in the beginning, but once you have gotten the hang of it and you have discovered a topic you are passionate about, then your blog gaming would definitely be a breeze.

Just recently, I have been featured in Feedspot's Top 100 Single Mom Blogs and Websites and ranked 49th.  It feels so good to be able to share with people about my experiences and also be appreciated for what I do.

I shall blog more and shall let you all in on my mommy and blogging journey. 

mummychelle

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