Working from home, which sounds easier than working from anywhere else because hello couches and sweatpants and access to your own fridge, is not without its challenges. A grown-ass work-from-home mom (which I can’t claim to be on a consistent basis, although I do try), recognizes the struggle but also acknowledges the perks. Sometimes, those recognitions manifest into things she would definitely say say and, other times, in things a grown-ass work-from-home mom would absolutely never say.
A good day as a work-from-home mom can leave me feeling accomplished in a few key ways: I feel like I’ve made my kid feel loved, I've successfully made all of my deadlines, I've made my partner feel supported and I've managed to leave my house and enjoy fresh air or, at the very least, stare at the window for a minute or two. Perhaps it comes as no surprise to other parents that, as simple as all of this sounds, it’s actually a fairly tall order when you consider these accomplishments alongside regular life, laundry, juice spills, and toddler meltdowns that could have been easily prevented if I’d just packed the right freaking snacks.
So, it turns out that working from the comfort of your home, sweatpants and all, can, in fact, be tough. Still, maintaining a healthy dose of perspective definitely helps when that aforementioned tall order seems impossible. At least, that’s what I’ve heard from people who seem to be doing a swell job. Either way, allow me to share a few key things that I imagine all the #ladyboss work-from-home moms are refusing to say, because being realistic is never a bad thing.
"This Whole Work-Life Balance Thing Is Really Easy"
Maybe I’m just not trying hard enough? Maybe I should work through dinner and bathtime, and instead of reading books at bedtime, I’ll read my inbox aloud to my toddler. Just kidding! I love having that time with him and I don’t want to put him to sleep any faster. Seriously though, some days are better than others, but I'd never classify anything that blends motherhood and career pursuits as "easy."
"I Don’t Know What The Big Deal Is. This Isn’t That Hard."
It’s a different kind of hard than working outside the home. It’s trying to write emails with a kid on your lap; it’s leaving the computer mid-thought to go help with a diaper; it’s waking up early and going to sleep late. These aren’t meant to sound like complaints, mind you. They're just simply realities.
“I Wish I Worked Out Of The Home”
To be fair, this could be a true statement for many a work-from-home (or even stay-at-home) mom, however, what I want to point out here is the wish element of it. A grown-ass woman wouldn’t dwell on the wish for too long before putting it into action and turning it into “I’m going to work out of the home.”
“No Thanks, You Don’t Need To Watch My Kid While I Take A Shower And Chill. I’m Good”
Um, no. If this kindness is ever offered to a work-from-home mom, and you’re not a threatening person with questionable childcare abilities, I don’t think this would ever be shot down.
“Sure, I Can Do it. My Deadline/Project/Kid's School Play /Sanity Is Not That Important.”
Of course it is. Work-from-home moms get to set their own priorities, just like anyone else.
“I Don’t Need To Sleep”
Ugh, biology, right? If only we could skip this pesky little step. I mean, what else do we give eight (OK, seven. OK, five.) hours of our day when there’s so much more we could be doing?
“I Can Totally Work While Watching My Kid. No Problem.”
Maybe you can, but I can’t. At least not for more than six to eight minutes before he officially tires of the copious amounts of stickers and snacks and toy trucks I’ve offered him.
“Sure, Go Ahead. Use The Last Of The Coffee Grounds.”
I mean, I love my partner and all, but this would never be said in my household. Unless, of course, he’s asking in the afternoon when I’ve already reached my caffeine quota for the workday, and I know for absolute certain that one of us will be going to the store before morning.
“Everyone Should Be A Work-From-Home Mom”
Just because it works (ha! Pun intended) for one family doesn’t mean it’ll work for another. I’m sure I know other moms who would enjoy it just as much as I do, but I know plenty more who wouldn’t, too.
“Another Day, Another Chance To Skip A Shower”
Technically, this one’s also true, but a grown-ass work-from-home mom knows that just because no one outside her immediate family will see her, doesn't mean all personal hygiene and self-care should go out the window. Much.