Short of being a supreme boss mom like Marissa Meyer or Beyoncé (who, I'm assuming, can bring Blue Ivy with her wherever she goes while rehearsing or recording or turning everything she touches to glitter), I feel that most moms are mainly left to choose between two options: working and being away from our kids, or not working and being with our kids more. (Yes, technically, fathers ultimately have that choice to make, but their "choice" is historically presumed, thereby relieving them of the perceived pressure to choose just one. Lucky jerks.) I know that's a simplified way of putting it, but isn't that what reality looks like for all of us? Personally, I have found that neither option was perfect, but thankfully — seriously, I'm thankful everyday that my circumstances allowed this to be a choice for my family — my partner and I came to a conclusion that suits for our family: me working from home part-time. At least, that's the arrangement for now. Like most things in a family, who works, and how much, are things that change and evolve as the needs of the people in the family change and evolve.
How did we get there? Lots of questioning: What's best for my son? What's best for me? What's best for my partner? What's best for my career? What allows me to have the most access to a reliable coffee maker? You know, those questions most parents ask themselves on a regular basis, often while we're velcro-ing our kiddos' shoes and zipping their coats. I explored the idea of working full-time at the same job I had before my son arrived, and I also explored the idea of having no job at all, and ultimately this has been the best scenario us. And that said, while it's been a while since I was working out of the house full-time, I've realized that the most dearly valued parts of being a working mom are the same no matter where you work, nor when. And once you've experienced them, you absolutely will never take them for granted again:
The Morning Routine
I can't even begin to claim to be a morning person, but I feel way differently about them now than I used to. Despite the fact that it takes me forever to feel physically awake, I appreciate having a chance to check in with my son, sing him his "good morning song," get some snuggles, and watch him run around the kitchen excitedly, while his dad and I take our turns with the aforementioned coffee machine. Even though my instinct is to go back to bed and sleep for three more hours, having a toddler who takes me from zero to 70 in 30 seconds is something that, deep, deep down, I kind of enjoy. Kind of.
Being Reunited (And It Feels So Good)
These are the laws of being a working parent: leaving your kid always feels like a relief, being away from them always feels a bit sad, and reuniting with them at the end of the day usually feels like a warm, deep exhale. Also, my toddler has entered the phase where he runs across the room to greet you, and if that doesn't make your heart melt, then you are Lord Voldemort.
Solo Bathroom Time
Sweet, sweet privacy, you elusive minx. I can never quiet find you if my child is in the same building because he always hunts me down and thumps at the door like an ill-mannered lion cub. But during working hours? Boom. Done. The best.
I don't know what we would do without our trusted family members and childcare center. Seriously, it would be hard for me to take these things for granted when I'm actively praising them every minute of every day.
News And Photos Of Your Kiddo's Day
Despite what my browsing history might suggest, I would take any nugget of information about my little over celebrity gossip any day.
Thinking Grown-Up Thoughts
When I'm working, I don't have to stop what I'm doing and watch the big trucks go by, or wave to the mailman, or pet another piece of worn-out fur in a touch-and-feel book. I mean, not unless I want to. But for the most part, I'm perfectly happy to not worry about that stuff unless my kiddo is near.
Nights And Weekends (Or Whenever You Happen To Have Time Off)
Speaking of which, my kid will be home soon, so later, taters!
Commuting By Yourself
OK, maybe I do miss out on this one because of working from home, but I can imagine its splendor. A kid-free car or subway ride? Music or podcasts? For multiple whole minutes, every single beautiful day?? Is there anything more glorious?
Images: Pixabay; Giphy(8)