The grass is always greener, right? Being a mom is the best job in the world, but it’s not the only job many of us have. Some of us are moms and we work; from home and away from home. Right now we are going to talk about the work-from-home mom. That’s me; I’m a work from home mom. I have four kids – daughters who are almost 7 and 4 and boy/girl twins who are one, and I work from home every single day. I write; obviously, and it’s a job that requires some serious concentration and some serious effort. And sometimes it’s so hard to find both that I want to rip out my hair and just run and hide – but my husband has asked that I not do this considering how often I get my hair done and how much it costs (no pressure, right?). Being a working mom who is at home with kids can be a little stressful (a little…that’s cute) but it’s not as bad as many people think that it is.
It’s also not quite what other people think it is. With that said, I do at least have the pleasure of taking two kids to school in the morning and only having two at home who nap most of the day between drop off and pick up, which is when I’m most productive. So, what I have here is a list of things that my husband is probably beyond tired of hearing but to gracious to mention that work-from-home moms understand best.
There’s Never Enough Time
Everyone says this, but constant interruptions into motherhood and work are very difficult to deal with, and it leaves very little time (no time) for anything else. Finding a balance is very difficult when you have a job like this where things are not separated and life is not balanced into little pockets that make it feel so much simpler.
You have to Let Go of What Others Think
Most people who have never worked from home or owned their own business have no idea what it’s like. They think you work when you want and play the other 99% of the time. They’re constantly asking you for favors and becoming annoyed when you turn down lunch dates and things of that nature. I mean, I just lie by my pool all day while my nanny takes care of my kids and my pool boy gives me something to watch and my maid brings me mimosas, right? Um…I wish.
Distractions are Plentiful
No matter how much you try to eliminate distraction, it’s always there. You have no idea how annoying it is to have the doorbell ring in the middle of naptime until you are a work-from-home mom DESPERATELY in need of those three hours to finish a deadline.
Every Single Second Counts
I mean this like you don’t even know; every single second. Sometimes when I forget to grab my water from the kitchen as I walk back to my home office during naptime I berate myself for wasting the extra 15 seconds I need to go back to my office. Responding to a text from my mother who won’t stop texting me drives me nuts. People don’t understand; those seconds – they mean everything.
Deadlines are Terrifying
They sound easy enough, but you never know what’s going to happen. There was a time I had to email my editor and apologize for missing out on all my work from the day because it was two days before Christmas, we had family obligations that evening and I was attacked by a dog and a cat when my dog ate my cat and the day was then spent at the vet and the doctor for me. It happens; but you never know when.
The Office Sounds Really Nice
Sometimes work-from-home moms would kill someone to have an actual office outside the house in which they could go and work without anyone asking for a sippy cup or crying.
Extra Time? What’s That?
There is no extra time. People ask what we do with our spare time. Spare time? What the heck is that? I have no concept of spare time. it’s work time, house time, kid time, husband time, sleep time, extracurricular activity time, food time, doctor time, bath time, nap time…there’s no extra time in there.
It’s really hard. People think it’s simple; but it’s not. Every second counts and it’s hard to wonder if you’re spending enough time with the kids, or if you’re ignoring your friends or if you’re doing it all to the best of your ability. It’s hard.
You do struggle as a mom who works at home. You want to devote undivided time and attention to your job and your kids, but you can’t. There is always interruption and it leaves very little for you. You might long to sit outside on a gorgeous day and read a good book, but you can’t because that three hours of naptime is going to make or break your night. It’s a struggle.
Am I a Good Mom?
All moms ask this; not just those of us working at home. We all wonder if what we are doing is good enough. Is it right? Is it enough? Will my kids remember that time I told them they could not go outside because I had to finish work and think I don’t love them?
Play Dates and Park Dates and Extras are Out of the Question
Working from home means there are no snap decisions. A play date during the day is something that requires at least a week’s notice so that I can work ahead and around and plan my hours accordingly. There is no drop what I’m doing and meet someone for something, either. It’s just not often a possibility.
What’s a Lunch Break?
Lunch? That stuff I make for the twins each day so that they can sit in their high chairs and enjoy food and I can sit back down and work until they are done making a mess eating and I can clean them and my dining room up before naptime? That’s a break? Oh, you mean I get a lunch break? To eat food? For me? Hahahahaha!
Schedule is the Most Important Part of Life EVER
When you have so many things that have to be done at certain times, you begin to understand the importance of a schedule and organization. It might not be something that other people value as much as we do, and that’s fine.
Working from home is uniquely cool in that you get to be there for everything. You can stop what you’re doing and hang out with little people that are so cute and so sweet and they’re so much more fun than actual coworkers. But that doesn’t make it easy.
The Grass is Always Greener
It is; it just is. Working in an office where there are no diapers, no laundry, no other stuff to distract you sounds like a dream come true when you’re one sentence and 20 minutes into one article because you’ve had to make three cups, change two diapers and help get three things off different shelves and break up two fights in between. But then being in an office while your kids are away from you sounds kind of less fun. It’s just always greener on the other side of that fence.
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