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Everything looks slightly askew in this photo of my real life work-at-home workspace … which is completely appropriate. Because working from home with a toddler tends to make everything slightly askew.
When I attended Type-A blogging conference (interested in the 2019 show in DC? Use code SPARKLE2019 for $5 off) this past weekend, and sat in on conference owner Rachel Honoway's session on Setting and Keeping a BHAG (Big, Fat, Hairy Goal), I knew that one of my big goals was to build out the Work at Home Life section of Bourbon & Sparkle. I had set up the section on the site when I migrated from Squarespace, but I've really only focused on the affiliate marketing portion of the site.
This is my workspace. It's real, and it's a mess.
Yes, admittedly I tidied it up a wee bit before this photo was taken, but in fairness I had just returned from a business trip and all of my shit was everywhere. What you see above, with the Cricut that I use maybe once a year to make a birthday card, the fancy Canon printer that has been out of toner for more than a year, the growing cluster of badges from shows I've attended and spoken at, the microphone for video calls and the YouTube series we do and all of the rest of the mess is what denotes my “office.” I often work from the couch so I can build towers with one hand while typing up newsletters and emails with the other. But for the one glorious hour a day when Dexter is sleeping and I can crunch in at least three hours of normal worktime into 60 harried minutes, I sit at my desk and act like a real human who works.
Working from home is something I'm intimately knowledgeable about.
Even before Dexter came along, I had been working from home for a number of years. Previously, I had worked in retail, print media, the service industry and more. And it kind of came around to the fact that I just don't like people very much, unless it's on my own terms. That sounds shitty, doesn't it? Well, it's kind of true. I like people plenty, but not if I have to deal with the very worst of them, day in and day out. I'm generally a much more pleasant person if I can have a bit of control over who I interact with face to face. But I'm also an extroverted introvert — I love conferences and happy hours, because they provide that huge pop of social facetime I love. Then I go home and recharge for days or months at a time.
Working from home is one thing. Working from home with a kid is a whole different story.
I am lucky enough to be a part of a very wonderful, engaging and completely nonjudgemental community of mothers — working, working from home and not working (at least, in the “traditional” sense) — on Facebook. They're brilliant, with some working in academia, some working in law, some working for corporate, some bartenders and beyond. And many of them work from home, at least part time. The one thing we all know to be true is that working from home with a kid is just plain hard. The demands of being a mother are beyond great. The demands of being a working woman are also beyond great. Put the two together and it's one helluva challenge.
But because there have been few relatable resources available for mothers who work full time from home — or even part time from home — available, we turn to one another for venting, sharing and general community. Let's face it — those Instagram “work at home mothers” who share a perfectly peaceful photo of the mother diligently working in a sparkling clean kitchen while the kid plays or colors quietly next to her are bullshit.
The women in my community all — nearly unanimously — requested a series that shares our workspace. Because it's hard to set up, maintain and actually have a functioning workspace when you work at home.
I want to see your workspace, too.
Do you work from home, full or part time? Show me. Share it (on IG or Twitter, use #wahworkspace), email it (bourbonandsparkle(at)gmail.com), whatever. Just share it.