Ever since the start of this year, things have been taking a turn for the “clearer”, so to speak. I changed the name of my blog from Dainty Mom to “Make it Blissful” to reflect — as my friend Yeng Remulla puts it — my “declaration” or “statement” in life. It just felt right and felt timely when I did that.
Later on this year, I also welcomed a new venture: I became the part owner of a small coworking space called HoneyComb: Manila Coworking, a shared collaborative workspace for creative, innovative entrepreneurs and professionals. It’s a newbie in the local coworking scene, and we’re still gearing up for its formal opening, but right now it’s on soft launch and free trial period. (Stop by some time to co-work for FREE.)
My local blog therapy and coaching gigs have also been picking up, meaning I set a lot of my local meetings over at the coworking space.
All that said (and done!), people have asked me several times —
“I thought you’re a work at home mom? Why are you coworking? Does this mean you’re not working at home anymore?”
Well, yes and no. No, I’m not a 100 % work at home mom anymore. I still have clients whom I meet with and collaborate with purely online. I actually preferred it this way for a long time! It meant I could breastfeed my kid for an extended period of time (which I did, and I wrote about how it was hard for me to wean). Now that Vito is older, things have changed in the way I’m doing things around the house and in the family. He’s more independent, and so the setup I’m working with has also changed. I still stay at home, say, 90% of the time.
Flexibilty is freedom (for me, that is)
It’s not the label of “work at home mom” that defines me. It never has, and it never should.
With my blog therapy picking up locally — and, being personal in nature — it made sense for me to adapt while I can. I’ll always be a mom who works from home, because I believe that’s the best setup for me. But more than that, I believe I’m a — as my other friend Ruth Wong puts it — a “flexi-work mom.”
Being a mom with a flexi-work setup means that I empower myself with the freedom to work in the way I see fit.
Some people don’t work well with flexible schedules. Me? I need flexibility in order to thrive. I suppose it comes from years of being a writer, when most of my work was about deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Like my friend Frances once said to me, “nothing inspires a writer to write than a screaming deadline!” It’s true! I used manage my projects like this when I had an 8-hour, non-stop schedule with my former offshore employer.
These days, I work best during my self-defined “work pockets”, with a cold drink on hand (real tea with lots of ice, or iced coffee!) and some good
(or cheesy 80’s) music on my playlist — which is pretty much what’s happening now. And I’m working from home, yes, at 20 past 10PM.
Working with what works
This is the way my life works right now. When I have to schedule my meetings outside the house, I make sure to compound them into a single day, so that I can still tend to my son and be hands-on as possible with our very flexible, very informal homeschool. Once my meetings are done, it’s Vito time when I get home. We play, we craft, we draw, we watch TV, we just spend time together. Sometimes, the family will have time to up and leave town in the middle of the week, just because flexi-work makes it possible to take a day off from the city.
My husband and I are making things work — making them blissful — because we want this flexi-work thing to work out. At this point in our lives, it’s what works. And I’m enjoying the season so far. I believe the path I’ve followed ever since has eventually led me to my current mission as a “bliss finder.” I believe in creating one’s own happiness in life, work or love. For me, that means being able to define my work style in the way I see fit.
So, “no” I haven’t stopped being a work at home mom, would be my answer to this blog question. I have, however, just added a new dimension to the way I work and live my life, and that’s flexibility. It’s my version of “creating freedom,” as my friend Lois Yasay of We Are Sole Sisters puts it.
Have you ever felt labeled or “boxed in” by labels and definitions, like me being a “semi-work at home mom”? How do you respond to this? Let’s chat in the comments, yes?