I’ve been thinking about all the attention that’s been given to the value of SAHM (stay at home moms) because of the whole Ann Romney/Hilary Rosen debate. In an article by Frank Bruni called “Working and Women” he sticks up for Romney, saying his mother, also a SAHM, worked harder than anyone he knows. While his tone felt a little patronizing to me, after all, he is not a SAHM, I appreciated his attempt to highlight the value of working from home.
I don’t like to call myself a SAHM, and if I have to call myself anything, I’ll say I’m at WAHM (work at home mom.) I’m a writer and a mother and I happen to work from home, unless my kids are home and the babysitter comes and the I’m a work at the library/coffee shop mom.
Working from home has a lot of advantages for me as a woman with diabetes. I’ve figured out a schedule that allows me to run in the morning, get my kids off to school, come home to write and then, when my kids return from school, I do all those other household duties (laundry, homework, cooking, cleaning etc.) Money is tight and we’ve made a lot of sacrifices, but most of the time, we’re pretty satisfied.
The times we’re not satisfied is when I start thinking about getting a “real job,” because after all, being an at home mom doesn’t pay. And unfortunately being a writer doesn’t pay much either. So I get on a kick every few months and start looking through job sites and sending out my resume and mostly, hearing nothing back. And during that time, while I’m on my morning runs, I try to imagine what it would be like to go back to the real working world. I try to imagine dropping my kids off for the entire day (not just the school hours), and not picking them up until 5pm. I try to imagine managing my diabetes and I think back to the days when I was out there “working” and all those rollercoaster blood sugars, and I don’t want to go back to work. But I also don’t want to avoid something out of fear.
I like working from home. I like that I can eat every meal at home, that I can test my blood sugar as often as possible, that I can exercise every day and that if I start to get low or high, I can take care of it immediately. Working from home allows me to put my needs as a woman with diabetes first and I like that. But I don’t like struggling to pay our bills. And I don’t want to feel like I am boxing myself in.
So I’m going to start looking for women who are living successfully with diabetes and managing successful careers. If you are one of those women, come and find me, I want to hear your story.
Articles and Studies on Diabetes and the Workplace: