There are a ton of fantastic articles I have run across over the past 2 years talking about how Moms who work full time struggle with “Mommy guilt” being away from their kids all day and others who talk openly about how lonely it can be staying at home full time and how LONG the days seem to be. I can relate to aspects of BOTH of these situations since I work from home with 2 little ones. I call myself a WFHM instead of a SAHM. I have been eager to find other women who struggle with this balancing act and have found there are not a ton of resources out there for us!
Here is a snapshot of a typical day for me:
7:15 AM – “MOMMY! MOMMY! I HUNGRY!” (The 2.5 year old)
7:45 AM – Get Big Sister some breakfast, a clean pull up (don’t get me started on Potty training- that’s an entry for another day), and dressed for the day and put her in front of a movie. I go movie route vs. TV show in the morning because I need that solid 60-80 minute chunk.
8:00 AM – Start hammering out emails, organizing my To Do list for the day, setting up calls, follow ups, and action items…. and then “WAH! WAH! WAH!” The baby is awake.
8:15 AM – Feed the baby, change the baby, dress the baby for the day. Put baby in bouncy chair or play mat while I sit next to her on the floor continuing to hash out emails.
8:30AM – “MOMMY! MOMMY! I HUNGRY” How are you hungry when you JUST ATE 45 minutes ago?!? Note: I am convinced “Hungry” = BORED
9AM – Baby goes down for her morning nap and Big Sister is finally coloring (probably on the walls) but at least she’s quiet and I can knock the rest of these emails out. The next 2 hours there are frequent attempts to sit in my lap and “help” me or begging me to come play with her which I wish more than anything I could do, but the To Do list is too long today.
11AM – “MOMMY! I HUNGRY” Says the 2.5 year old RIGHT WHEN the baby sister is waking up starving (Why is it ALWAYS at the same time?!?! ) Frantically run around fixing a bottle with a baby on my hip and trying to make a quick lunch for Big Sister so that both girls can eat at the same time.
12PM – We NEED an outing. I have GOT to get out of this house… but wait I still haven’t showered, brushed my teeth, or even changed out of my pajamas all day but BOTH girls look cute, so there’s that going for me? Chloé even has a matching bow on! (Bonus points!)
12 – 2PM – Some sort of outing. It may be Target. It may be the playground at the Galleria because it’s entirely too hot to be outside. Another recent favorite has become the Tree Fort at Watermark. This outing gets us out of the house and burns energy while making me feel accomplished at being “Mom” for the day alongside “business woman.”
2:30 – 4:30PM – NAP TIME. THIS IS MY TIME. MY CHUNK OF CHILD-FREE TIME. I am typically found trying to weigh my priorities for the first 10 minutes of it: Last night’s True Detective Finale? (Tempting) Dishes? Laundry? Start thinking about Dinner? Oh WAIT I have 2 conference calls lined up that take priority. (The only time I can schedule calls is during naps or in the evenings after bedtime to guarantee no interruptions.)
5PM – Witching hour. “MOMMY! I HUNGRY” We need to wait on Daddy to get home before we have dinner. Little does Big Sister know he’s stuck in standstill traffic on 75 trying to make it up North so it’s going to be AWHILE. (I would KILL to be child-free in the car listening to music right now. )
6PM – The angels break into the “Hallelujah” chorus when we hear the garage door open. “DADDY HOME!!! DADDY HOME!!!”
Does ANYONE ELSE feel me here? It is a CIRCUS. EVERY. DAY!!!! I am still struggling with how to be the best Mom I can be, get all my work done, stay on top of laundry and the dishes and occasionally I will even throw something into the crock pot for dinner! (Those are the days I am #WINNING – Pass me your cape Wonder Woman!)
But it can be hard and exhausting. Once my husband gets home we typically eat as a family and put the girls down and I have to hop BACK online to finish the loose ends from everything that didn’t get done during the day. I wouldn’t trade being home with my babies for anything, but there are days where I long to be dressed up nice and back in Corporate America having ample time to get my work finished without constant interruptions and poopy diapers to change. Then there are days where I am envious of my friends who have no work obligations and get to PLAY with their kiddos and not feel guilty about it. No emails to return, conference calls to dial into, or reports to run. They have more time to take their kiddos to do fun things and always seem to have a clean house and stocked refrigerator.
Here’s the thing though. When we compare, we will always lose. The grass is ALWAYS greener, so the KEY is to be happy and content with where you are at! No one can do it ALL and each scenario requires sacrifices of some sort. Embrace TODAY. Feel confident about your decision to work, stay home, or a combo of both! You are the PERFECT Mom for YOUR kids! No one else in the world could raise them or love them better than you!
Some things that have helped me tremendously in working from home are:
1. I plan ONE fun outing or play date PER DAY. This makes me feel like I’m meeting the needs of my children and then also getting much-needed adult interaction outside of my 4 walls and computer screen.
2. I always make a game plan at the beginning of the week so I don’t waste time every day trying to come up with my “To Do” list- The name of the game is efficiency! I typically do this on Sunday nights to get me organized for the week.
3. MOTHER’S DAY OUT! Can I get an “AMEN!” This has been a lifesaver for me and was brutal over the summer. On these days, I drop my 2.5 year old off from 9am – 2pm and have a guilt-free CHUNK of time 2 days per week to get as much work done as I possibly can! I also use this time to go to the store and run errands because running errands with 2 littles… Let’s just say I haven’t figured that out quite yet! It is much easier with just the baby!
4. Although I fought it long and hard, I have started making a MEAL PLAN. This helps me grocery shop efficiently and plan out all of our meals for the week so that we aren’t at Chick-fil-A every day because I STILL haven’t been to the store. (Guilty!)
I am hoping that some of you out there can relate to this craziness and I would LOVE to hear how you have managed the constant juggling act without feeling like you are either dropping the ball as a Mom, wife, friend or coworker! What has worked for you in organizing your days?