Just so we're on the same page: being a mom is hard. Pursuing a career is hard. So, being a mom who’s pursuing a career is, of course, hard. These statements probably aren’t too surprising to most. However, I’m not able to always think about my current situation this rationally, thanks to looming deadlines and toddler meltdowns and piles of laundry that cloud my view. On the rare occasion that I’m being a grown-ass work at home mom, there are a few things that I don’t do. Spoiler alert: they’re not only related to overindulging on wine and episodes from the first season of UnREAL while “working.”
Seriously, while it’s probably not for everyone, I happen to like working-from-home very much. It works well for myself and my family, and it seems to be a far better option than the others we have tried (including but not limited to, working out of the home, not working, and laying on the floor wishing I was working while my baby played with blocks). There's definitely no "right way" to go about motherhood and there's no "right way" to go about finding and succeeding at your career, so just like it's no surprise that both those things are difficult, it's no surprise that how people handle both vary depending on the person and the circumstance and, well, you get the idea.
Despite the challenges, I am usually able to muster up some appreciation for our situation, especially when I'm able to conquer my to-do list by avoiding the television. Here are a few more things that fellow grown-ass work-at-home moms just don’t do:
Belittle Their Work
Work you can do from home is still work, and still requires effort and energy and all those other things that fall under the “adulting” category. You will never see me shrugging off what I do, or how I do it.
Belittle Their Parenting
I may not be perfect, but I try really, really hard not to beat myself up over the parenting choices I've made. Particularly the ones that have allowed me to pursue a career and help provide for my family.
Skip An Opportunity To Multitask
What’s that, you say? There’s an email that needs to be sent and a toddler snack to be prepared? Have no fear, a work-at-home mom is here.
Completely Separate Their Work And Home Lives
Yeah, nope. As tricky as it can be, if I can take a five minute break from work to fly my kid on my feet, then that's exactly what's going to happen. It would probably easier to completely compartmentalize, but that's just impossible. I am a mom and home and I'm an employee at home, so both of those things are going to bleed into one another. Honestly, I don't mind it.
Kidding! Just kidding. Of course I shower (occasionally). I just like to perpetuate as many work-at-home mom stereotypes as I can so our secret club doesn’t get too crowded.
Take Working From Home For Granted
Even my worst work-at-home days involve coffee and snuggles, and get me closer to long-term career goals than any other work situation I’ve ever been in. I know this may not be the case for everyone, but hopefully the perks outweigh the negatives for other moms who’ve gone this route, too.
Of course, anyone with kids (and anyone who’s had looming work deadlines) often finds themselves forgoing a little bit of sleep. However, I have to admit that I sleep more now than I ever thought I would as an adult.
Pass Judgment On Other Women’s Choices Or Situations
Oh, you say that being a satay-at-home mom is better for you and your family than working from home would be? Or, that you like working out of the house? That’s awesome! No, I’m not being sarcastic at all, I mean it. To each their own. What works for my family may not work for another, and visa versa.
Spend Too Much Time On The “What Ifs?"
What if I had full-time childcare? What if I had one of those glorious backyard office shed-things? What if worked out of the house again? What if I get sick of not commuting past a Starbucks every morning like I used to? These questions shall remain unanswered, because thinking them through takes more time than I have to spare right now.
Forget To Care For Themselves (Much)
It’s true, sometimes when I’m on deadline or, when my kid is particularly needy, things like showers and exercise take a backseat. While work-at-home moms are not the only group of people who have to rearrange personal priorities, we do have a little more flexibility when we don't have to be presentable for a meeting before breakfast time.
Neglect Her Partner (Much)
In the off chance that we are ever in the zone and legitimately do not even hear him or her ask us to take over the childcare duties for a few so they can take a bathroom break, we are always quick to apologize.