Moms Who Work from Home ROCK the World, the Cradle, and Pretty Much Everything Else
I must begin with a conclusion. Working from home is probably the best professional decision this Mama has ever made! From the comfort (or mess; whichever way you look at it) of my living room, I have been working from home for three years, in two different professions. While I do get the occasional understanding from others, there is always the assumption that I should be the carpool mom, the babysitter for other working moms, or the woman in charge of the next neighborhood shindig because after all, I just stay at home.
“Stay at Home”
This is true. I do just stay at home. But while I am there, I work. I wash and fold the laundry, I wash and put away the dishes, and I make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three little men (and one big one). I am the dusting fairy, the toilet cleaning fairy, the missing-sock-finding fairy, and yes, I am even the tooth fairy. I clean up spilled milk and sometimes cry over it. I clean up after sick kids and sometimes cry over that too. I watch a good chick flick once in a while and definitely cry over those, but that’s only in my spare time. You know, like at midnight.
I drive my kids to school, to track practice, to Scouts, to basketball practice, to tee ball, and to visit Grandma. I pick up that big man I mentioned from the train station. Sometimes we even sneak out on a date or two. I stock the pantry, I stock the refrigerator, and I stock the linen closet, the bathroom cupboards, and the medicine cabinet. I sew patches on pants, costumes for Halloween, flags for Scouts, and quilts for gifts. I bake birthday cakes, homemade bread, and cookies for the neighbors. I make homemade fruit roll ups, goldfish crackers, and granola bars. Add to that my profession and I am sending and receiving emails, filling in spreadsheets, writing, writing, writing, meeting deadlines, and wondering who all my co-workers are. Let’s just face it: There’s nothing I can’t do. Basically, I am Super Mom.
Super Mom Strikes Again!
So how does that all come together? At the beginning of my week, I like to plan out every day. My calendar is fairly empty. It looks similar to this each day:
- 8 AM: Get the two older kids ready and off to school.
- 9 AM: Exercise, shower, and get myself ready.
- 10 AM: Drop off youngest child at preschool. Begin work for BKA.
- 12 PM: Pick up youngest child, eat lunch. Play with youngest child.
- 1 PM: Back to work (at the computer) for BKA.
- 3 PM: Pick up older kids from school. Begin homework.
- 5 PM: Begin dinner. Eat dinner.
- 7 PM: Begin nighttime routine with kids.
- 8 PM: Kids are in bed. Time to relax.
That is why working from home is such a beautiful thing!
By the end of the week, this is how the calendar gets filled in on any given day:
- 3 AM: Youngest wet the bed. Get up, clean it up, go back to sleep.
- 4 AM: Oldest has achy legs. Get up, get Tylenol, rub legs, go back to sleep.
- 6 AM: Middle child is bouncing on my bed. Send him to eat cereal. Go back to sleep.
- 7 AM: Roll out of bed to go break up a fight in the living room. Neighbor kid arrives to be babysat. Middle child is rude to neighbor kid and I have to do some quality control.
- 8 AM: Enforce the fact that school starts SOON and they must have clothes on before they will be allowed to enter the building. Take kids to school.
- 9 AM: Check email and the BKA spreadsheet. Realize that my job is due today and not tomorrow. Work feverishly to get it done. And while I’m at it, I’ll take another job so my paycheck will be bigger.
- 9:20 AM: Youngest child wants to play cars. Drive cars. Crash. Game over. Turn on TV. Throw in a load of laundry. Resume work for BKA. Mom calls and wants to chat. Since I inherited my awesomeness from her, I indulge.
- 10 AM: Take youngest child to preschool. Back to work, but only after I stop at the grocery store to purchase more toilet paper. Switch the laundry.
- 11 AM: Send in BKA articles. Shower. Notice the bathroom is looking pretty bad. Begin cleaning the counters. Work my way down to the cupboards. While I’m at it, the toilet could use some cleanser. And the floor. And the shower. And the walls. Switch the laundry.
- 12 PM: Try to tame air-dried frizzy hair. Apply makeup. Remember youngest child at preschool and run over there to pick him up.
- 12:30 PM: Lunch. Since I’m in the kitchen, I’ll wash a few dishes. Neighbor calls. Can I drive her kids to Scouts? Why not? Youngest drops his jelly sandwich on the floor. Might as well mop the entire floor while I’m down here. New load of laundry.
- 1 PM: Back to work….but wait. Bomb threat at the school!?! Drive to meeting place to pick up kids.
- 2 PM: Still waiting in line to pick up kids. Thinking about the huge job I have waiting on the computer at home. Wondering why someone has to do a bomb threat at an elementary school.
- 3 PM: Run by the bank. Deal with a small fight over who gets which sucker (why does everyone have to stare? Seriously…) Back home, ready to work again. Kids are just too worked up for me to concentrate. Turn off computer. Switch laundry. Begin washing dishes.
- 4 PM: Kids walk in covered in mud and bugs. They love both. Put bugs in boxes, look up their natural habitats and create them a home. Stick kids in the tub. Begin to wash their clothes.
- 5 PM: Start to think about the gourmet dinner I will now make. Neighborhood kids knock to tattle on my kids. Head outside for some more quality control. Everyone starts asking for a treat. Head inside, look for those goldfish crackers, and head outside to divide them up fairly between 20 neighbor kids. Switch laundry.
- 5:30 PM: Pack the kids in the car. Pick up neighbor boys. Drop off kids at Scouts. Pick up husband from the train station. Stop by the grocery store for eggs, milk, and more cereal.
- 6 PM: Make macaroni and cheese. Eat. Pick up oldest and neighbors from Scouts.
- 6:30 PM: Remember book reports are due tomorrow. Set child up at the desk next to me so I can work for BKA and he can write the report. Accept huge landing page order.
- 7 PM: Blank computer screen. Awesome book report. Kids in jammies, brushing teeth, saying prayers.
- 7:30 PM: Three boys fighting in one small bedroom. Break up the fight. Ground them all for life. Take away the 3DS. Everyone’s grumpy. Except me.
- 8 PM: Sit down at computer to write SEO content for BKA. Middle child comes to tell me the other two are chatting and he can’t sleep. Go upstairs to threaten the kids.
- 8:10 PM: Sit down to resume work. Oldest child comes to tell me that youngest child is making the bunk bed wiggle. Go upstairs to handle the wiggles.
- 8:20 PM: Sit down to resume work. Youngest child needs a drink but can’t have one because he’ll wet the bed. Go upstairs to calm down his fit.
- 8:30 PM: Sit down to resume work. Husband wants to have a discussion about finances. Have discussion.
- 9 PM: Sit down to resume work. Remember that you are in charge of cupcakes for PTA tomorrow. Shut down computer. Make cupcakes.
- 10 PM: Pull out vacuum. Suck up a sock. Take vacuum apart. Retrieve sock. Begin to patch kids’ pants. Oh yes, the laundry! Switch laundry.
- 11 PM: Turn on TV. Begin to fold laundry. Wonder to myself if I accomplished anything today. Seriously, did I?
- 11:30 PM: Pull out guitar for a little R&R time. Remember garbage day is tomorrow. Take garbage cans out to street. Notice bikes are out. Gather them and lock them up. Dome light is on in the car. Go turn it off. Head back inside. Put guitar away.
- 12 AM: I need ice cream. Watch TV, eat ice cream. Fall asleep on the couch.
- 2 AM: Wake up with a crook in my neck. Wander up to bed. Fall asleep.
- 2:20 AM: Reality wakes me up and I go do my tooth fairy duties. Back to sleep.
- 3 AM: Youngest wet the bed. Get up, clean it up, go back to sleep.
And that’s on a good day.
A Superhero’s Work is Never Finished
So maybe Super Mom doesn’t quite fit. Maybe Crazy Mom? Or Super Crazy? Either way, it’s my life and I love it. So yes, I do just stay at home. And yes, I will probably babysit your kids once in a while. And yes, I will plan the next shindig. And as long as it doesn’t interfere with what my kids have going on, I will even write ten landing pages for tomorrow morning.
To be honest, I will enjoy every second of it. Because that’s what I do, what I love, and this is how I rock and roll!