• Kristina Mulligan

Life as a Work-From-Home Mom

I wake up early and hope to sneak in a quick shower before turning on my computer. On a good day, the baby will sleep in a little bit, but most days (like today) require a bit more juggling – bottles, formula, diapers, shampoo, toothbrush, wipes, rinse, repeat. After getting dressed, which takes a considerable amount of time when you have company, I tidy up a bit. I fold the blankets, make the bed, add to the dishes in the sink and get to them if I can, and then power on my laptop. This usually starts the soundtrack for my day: *ding* *ding* *ding.* Now, it’s 8am.

Soon after, it’s time for breakfast. The toaster pops, my email dings, cue the sound of the clicking keyboard in response while I’m also singing a song to turn impatience into giggling. The phone rings but I miss it because I’m cleaning up spilled yogurt off the floor and trying to make a mental note to change my shirt before leaving the house. While brushing Flynn’s teeth, I return voice messages – if only they could see me dancing on the other end of the phone. “Of course, I can squeeze that in,” I say while trying to dress a naked, running toddler around the house, hoping that within the next hour I have before leaving for physical therapy I become a superhuman octopus.

Run those reports that my coworker needs, make sure that the diaper bag is stocked, miss another phone call because I’m changing Flynn’s diaper, answer one last email, get into the car later than expected and begin our journey to physical therapy. No, I didn’t remember to change my shirt.

Physical therapy ran a bit long because we were a few minutes late, but I do have to run to the store for more almond milk. I’m so scattered that I forgot it during our last grocery shopping trip, but I swear it was on the list. We have to be quick, though, because I have a meeting in an hour. Park the car, pull out the stroller, head to the non-dairy aisle, breeze through self-checkout, back in the car, fold the stroller, load it up, rush back home. Luckily, we make it home just in time.

During my meeting, I make Flynn lunch while taking notes of things to remember and accomplish. Did you know that it’s possible to spread peanut butter with the butter knife handle in your mouth? It takes practice but, believe me, it is. “Sure, I can have it to you by tomorrow morning,” I promise, just before I have to leave the meeting early. Flynn’s next appointment is in five minutes and I need to get him ready. Today, we have two sessions back to back. Did I take the chicken out of the freezer for dinner?

By the time therapy is over, the office is technically closed, but I have another four hours to put in ahead of me. Just because there is work to do, however, doesn’t mean everything else stops. The chicken is still frozen, so I improvise a pasta dish and try my best to work in whatever non-frozen protein I can find. While I’m cooking, I check messages and snack on some cereal as I realize that I haven’t eaten at all today. Oh, and I’m preparing another dish for Flynn, too. Hopefully, he’s in the mood for pastina and broccoli!

After dinner, it’s bath time. Thankfully, my husband offers to help me out; so, after sweeping up pasta, I get some uninterrupted time in with my laptop for the first time today. It’s short-lived, but it’s helpful. I have work to do, but quality time is way more important. I would much rather sing the ABCs on a loop or work on stacking blocks now as a family and work late into the night, than miss special moments like this. As we start winding Flynn down, begin his bedtime routine, and kiss him goodnight, I wish I could be headed off to dreamland, too. Alas, there are deadlines, unanswered requests, and other tasks that I need to tend to, like that pile of clean clothes from earlier in the week that needs to be put away, for example. A mother’s work is simply never done.

As a mom who works from home, I have heard many insults and I can attest that: No, I don’t spend all day in my pajamas. No, I don’t get to watch television all day long. No, I don’t get paid to “play with my baby.” No, I don’t just sit around and scroll through social media all day. No, it’s not the “easy way out.” Being a work-from-home mom means that you work twenty-four seven, three-hundred and sixty-five at two jobs. There are pros and cons and it’s non-stop, but it is worth every second.

I feel that there is a lot of shaming when it comes to the various “classes” of motherhood. I can speak personally about my experience as a work-from-home mom, but I know many other mothers who are some of the most incredible people I have ever met. And let’s face it, when it comes down to it, whether you’re a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom, a single mom, a stepmom, a mom of multiples, a mom of many, or a mom of one…we are doing the hardest, most amazing, work there is.

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