Work from home Momma
Like many folks, I have been working at home with my son.
Unlike many folks, I specifically chose this. When I first came to MainStreet, I was trying to have a baby. The ability to work from home was a huge draw for me. The cost of daycare is outrageous and almost makes working pointless, so I figured I could keep working and take care of the baby while I worked.
Turns out to be one of the best and hardest choices I ever made. My son is sitting next to me and he’s now almost 4 years old. Many of you look forward to the pictures of him I include in my emails and I often refer to him as my office manager.
When he first arrived and I went back to work, I felt like he was a dirty secret. I would worry so much if he made noise while I was in a meeting or on the phone.
Fast forward to “The Covid Years.”
Just about everyone has had to work from home now, and those with kids are now in the same boat I am. For me, that has been awesome. James is not a secret now. Most parents have been in my shoes and I can talk about him or say “Can I call you back in a minute? The office manager needs a diaper change.” The fact that having him home was my plan all along makes this plague easier on me and him. No closing daycare, no scramble if he gets a cold – just things as normal.
It is not all a bed of roses, but I am allowed to talk about it now and share my experiences and not feel alone in this challenge.
I was reading an article about this the other day, and it resonated with me. There was little information on this topic in “the before times.”
It talked about how very hard it is to literally do 2 jobs at the same time. It’s hard enough to be a mom or an employee, but both at once can be brutal.
Just recently I was on the phone with a client for about 40 minutes. As Murphy tells us, things would not go smoothly. During the call, James was very distraught (toddler life is hard), I missed a call I was supposed to have with another client, and I got an urgent work message that one of my coworker’s kids had a fever and she needed to go get him.
It was awful, but we survived.
I tell you though, the mom guilt is so hard. Trying to balance my responsibilities is hard. Being a good employee is hard. Being asked to play while my inbox is full and my to-do list is a mile long breaks my heart.
I would not change a thing.
I spend every day with my favorite human. I try to remember to ask myself, what will I care about in 20 years? The email I answered late? The phone call I missed? Or my little guy saying “Play with me, mommy!”
Spoiler alert, it’s my son. He is only going to be 3 years, 10 months, and 11 days old once.
While my job is important, I can do it after he goes to bed, or at nap time. This is not brain surgery, most times, things can wait.
My advice? Cut yourself some slack, prioritize, build in the playtime, find a routine that works for you and try to stick to it, while giving yourself permission to break it when it is important.
Set strong boundaries with your job like not opening your laptop after quitting time if the kid is still up or being non-negotiable about phone calls or meetings during lunchtime. Set aside time for you and your kid(s) every day so you can at least say “in 20 minutes, I can help you build the car track.”
Forgive yourself, listen to your heart, breath, and don’t forget to eat.