Confession: it can be tricky for both partners to adjust to a work-from-home routine. In my own family, for example, I work almost exclusively from home, while my husband spends at least a few hours of his work week there, too. You would think that, since we both understand how complicated working from the comfortable chaos that is your home can be, we’d be completely and totally respectful of each other’s work times. The truth is, however, that my partner is much better about letting me work. It’s almost as if he has a secret list somewhere of the things grown-ass men never do to work-at-home moms that he follows, while I still need reminders to leave my husband alone when he’s trying to get stuff done, and to, oh, you know, not encourage my son to have dance parties right next to the desk.
OK, I’ve never actually seen this list, but, like the wind, and like beautiful romantic relationships as portrayed in movie adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels, I can feel it’s presence. In fact, not only can I feel its presence, but I see evidence of its existence every single day. I'm simply convinced that this list influences almost every aspect of our day-to-day work lives, making it easier (or at least possible) for me to work from home.
So, not to toot my own horn or shameless brag about my wonderful partner, but I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what might be on the list of things every grown-ass man refuses to do to a mom who works-from-home, and how it all works. Without any photographic evidence, here's what I'm assuming that super secret list says:
He Never Starts A Fight Over Chores Piling Up
I'm not saying that they don't have feelings about chores piling up because, of course, anyone is allowed to feel however they want to. However, they don't pick fights or place blame when those chores do, inevitably, pile up, because they know a work-at-home mom's time is limited.
He Never Just Assumes She’ll Take Care Of A Dish Or A Piece Of Laundry, Because It's There
Not sure about everyone else, but I possess a selective blindness if I'm on deadline. Like, it could totally be my turn for the laundry but I'm able to look completely past it. It's a gift, really.
He Never Asks Her To Work And Parent At The Same Time (Under Normal Circumstances)
There are exceptions of course, like illnesses and random calls that pop up. But, best case scenario is that, most of the time, grown-ass men recognize that it's rather tricky to work and parent at the same time.
He Never Balks At Her Need For Time And Space
Please repeat after me, if you will: "Nope, it's not unreasonable to need a door that closes to separate your desk from the play area."
He Never Complains About How Busy She Is
Sure, have all the adult conversations you'd like about making family time, since that's productive and beneficial for all involved. But complaining? That doesn't really help anyone.
He Never Gets Insecure About Her Work Goals
I suppose it's technically possible to feel weird if your partner's career is going gangbusters while yours isn't, but a grown-ass man would know how to move past feelings of jealous or inadequacy. In fact, he'd probably celebrate it, because he knows and appreciates how hard she works and how her hard work, in turn, benefits the entire family.
He Never Acts Condescending Toward Her Career Efforts
Everyone starts somewhere. Weren't we just talking about knowing and appreciating how hard she works?
He Never Interrupts For Random And Unnecessary Reasons
What's the definition of "random," you ask? Anything that doesn't involve blood or broken bones.
He Never Judges Her Clothing
If it were up to me, leggings and hoodies would be appropriate in all situations. However, since it's not, I'm still going to celebrate the fact that I can wear them from the privacy of my desk.
He Never Lets The Kids Run Through The Room When She’s On A Call (If At All Possible)
Or, if he does, he at least gives her a frantic wave a half-a-second in advance so she can mute her side of the call.
He Never Gets Out The Loud Toys When She’s Trying To Be Productive
Looking at you, lawnmower toy. The carpet does not need to be mowed that often.
He Never Makes Her Feel Guilty
The conversation surrounding working moms and guilt is a long, complicated one, best saved for another day. However, in the meantime, we can all rest easy knowing that abstaining from judgment of others is a pretty, very, super safe bet.