Pictured above is my home office. As you can see, it is not an office at all but rather my kitchen countertop. This is where I pay the bills, balance our family’s checkbook, cook lunch, pour jam into jars, label the jars and pack orders for shipment. When we move in three weeks, things will be different. I hope to upgrade to an actual desk. Also, I plan on having a table for order shipments set up in the garage. And the cooking of jam will be done in a rented commercial kitchen—something I have mixed feelings about.
When people hear that I have a business based out of my home, they say things like, “Good for you,” and “How great you can be with your kids!” I feel very fortunate that I can do the jam thing and have the flexibility to spend time with my children, but the flexibility comes at a price. It is not like I can make jam and hang with my kids at the same time. The flexibility of the arrangement is that I can make jam all night and then be sleep deprived with my kids the next day.
Jam making is very time consuming. Picking fruit, prepping it, cooking it, canning it—the fruit doesn’t exactly jump from the field, on its own initiative, into the jar. So basically I am doing what second wave feminists called “the second shift.” I’m a woman who does all the wife/mom stuff in addition to working my job. Except my job is out of my house and I am my own boss so most people don’t even consider it a real job.
But it is a real job. The kind that takes up real amounts of time and pays really small amounts of money. Let me tell you, it doesn’t get any realer than that.