The following article is a guest post from Paula Mahony. (Ed. note: I write for Paula. If you read this blog, you can tell from the first paragraph why we work so well together.)
What on earth did I agree to?! Guest blogging for Another Jennifer! Was I temporarily out of my mind when I said “yes”? Ordinarily, I assign writing work to her — not vice versa! So, if I guest blog, does that make me a glogger instead of a blogger? Thoughts like these aid my attempts at avoiding the inevitable. The writing assignment.
There’s nothing like the blank screen staring at you as you attempt to formulate a coherent — and no doubt mundane — thought. For 20 years, I have begun my day with a blank screen as I strive to describe products, services, people or events in words that highlight the exemplary status of the aforementioned items without making them seem too good to be true. I’ve learned that everything seems impossible at first. However, when completed and approved by the client, each and every project seems so simple even a 5th grader could do it.
For years, my work time revolved around my kids school, play and camp schedules. I managed to stick in a project here and there, working sometimes with Playdough under my nails or legos sticking out of my keyboard. I’ve written great copy at 2am after simultaneously bathing 2 children covered with chickenpox. I developed an ability to type while children used my desk for hide and seek and to attract clients who loved that the boys occasionally answered the office phone. With an office just steps away from my kitchen, I juggled it all to make life work. My clients thought I was a workaholic and my kids told everyone that I was a stay at home mom.
Seemingly overnight, the Playdough is gone. The legos are packed away and the kids are driving. And I’m commuting again for the first time in 20 years. Like the kids, the business has grown up and left the nest. For the first time since the boys were born, I get to make work a priority without sacrificing time with my kids. And simultaneously, I’ve been meeting women just starting down this path of juggling motherhood and work. Being a mom is the best job I ever had. I’ve wondered what I would do when they didn’t need me at home so much. Now I know. I love running my business. I love that it’s thriving. But I would never trade a minute of the last 20 years of being there for those never to be repeated moments with my kids.
I remember one day when my oldest was a baby. I told myself that I really was having my cake and eating it, too. I felt so lucky to have this healthy baby and a great business. Now I have two amazing kids and an equally amazing business. The cake just seems to get better every day.
Paula Mahony has been providing marketing and copy services for 20 years. She launched her business, Words@Work, in 1993 shortly after the birth of her first child. The company has grown to include several writers and marketing assistants with a client list of over 300 businesses including QVC, collectibles today.com, Aetna, and Yves Rocher. Visit her website at www.wordsatwork.us.
Photo Credit: Flickr