So I’ve worked from home for about 5 years now, and 2 of those years have been as a mom. Now with the company I work for, it is against policy to have someone you watch at home with you during work hours as it keeps you from being productive. As I completely understand that, there has been times in the last 2 years that it was out of our control and Cameron had to stay home with me and I had to attempt to balance work and be a mom at the same time. Now because of the way sick time and PTO work with my job it wasn’t just as simple as taking the day off when things like this happened. Plus I tend to be one of those people who hate taking off work when I feel like I may be letting people down. Which the more I think about it, is not good for health reasons since the job could replace you in a day.
So I had to be strategic with what and how I handled these situations. Luckily my husband also worked from home or had taken off some of these days so he was able to watch her. But what do you do when your child sees you and wants to play with only you. Or sit with you, or have you watch TV with her? You can’t just turn off being a mom. It doesn’t work that way. So I would have to take an early or late lunch, or take a break, or work later into the day to make sure I was covering all my hours and getting all my work done.
I also try to set up activities for Cameron to do so that she has things to do while I’m trying to work. Yes it’s hard to be “absent” while being right there in the same room as your child. I am also guilty of sitting her in front of the TV and putting on a show or movie I know she loves so that I could get a little work done. Especially if I have a conference call in which she needed to be quiet, but also, she’s 2, and doesn’t fully understand being quiet when mommy is on the phone. But I have also explained to my co-workers and bosses that during this current time of transition because of all the moving we are doing that sometimes Cameron has to be home, but that I do promise it’s not adversely affecting my work. And my boss knows that I can get things done as I’ve proved time and time again.
I’ve just learned you have to be flexible when it comes to working from home and being a mom. A lot of my mornings are spent getting her ready for the day, taking care of things, and then beginning my work day. Some other things I’ve learned by working from home is that it gets lonely. You have coworkers you never see and may go days without interacting with. You crave some adult conversation, I remember when my husband would be out of town and I would be on daycare duty, I would always end up staying longer at drop off or pick up because I just wanted someone to talk to. I also noticed that I stopped putting a lot of effort into my look because my office was my living room and I wouldn’t go outside some days so I lived in sweats since no one was going to see me. After a while I vowed that I needed to step back up again and put some effort into my appearance.
Are you a work from home mom? How do you balance the work mom and the mom mom?