Working from home seems to be more common these days than ever before. It’s a really cool concept and option for certain professions. And it sounds extra cool to a parent that doesn’t want to spend a huge portion of their hard-earned money on child care. I’m one of those parents. I have two part-time jobs and two full-time kids. I work at an office one day per week (they either hang with grandparents or come with me – that’s a whole other story), while all the rest of my work is done at home. Although I’m incredibly thankful for my flexible situation and all of the time I get to spend with my kiddos, there are quite a few obstacles that are unique to parents that work from home while simultaneously caring for young children. Come on, fellow WAHPs (Work-At-Home Parents). Laugh with me.
Being a WAHP is sort of like being the office worker at a daycare, and your desk is in the middle of the play room surrounded by laughing, crying, screaming, cartoons, chaos… you know…the usual. Oh, and all of your colleagues are gone. So you’re gonna need to stop what you’re doing a gazillion times per day to make snacks, lunches, do puzzles, play with toys, change diapers, break up fights, clean up messes and, of course, change the TV channel.
So, why don’t you just work while they’re asleep, you ask? Well, we do sometimes, of course. But most other working folks do business during the day. So unless you need no interaction with other human beings in order to complete your work tasks, you’re gonna need to do most of it during the day. Also, there are lots of other things to do while your kids are sleeping, like exercising, showering, prepping food for tomorrow and cleaning up. Plus there’s wine drinking, Housewives watching and actual sleeping to do. Busy, busy.
Making professional phone calls is a daunting task. You just know that your little 2-year-old angel is going to suddenly go into a full blown tantrum just as soon as you have that customer on the phone. I mean, I’ve even locked myself in the bathroom in order to make a phone call. Granted, she screamed the whole time right outside the door, but at least the noise level was marginally lower.
Oh, and heaven forbid you try to do any work tasks on your phone or other device. It’s like that little piece of electronic equipment sends out some sort of alert (a la dog whistles) to little children. They begin swarming me with extra requests, all of the sudden, including requests to take the phone from me so that they can play the damn Peppa Pig game. Mommy’s working, I say…more whining… I’m working!…more whines… I’M WORKING! HOLD ON! PLEASE! It’s like I feel that if I include the “PLEASE” when I’m exploding that it automatically excuses my explosion and shows that one can still have good manners even when one is extremely frustrated. See? Always multi-tasking.
All jokes aside, I truly am grateful for my working situation. It may be chaotic and extremely difficult at times, but it certainly falls into the #firstworldproblems category. So when the going gets rough, just remember to find the good, and especially the humor, in things. Laugh it off…and have some wine.