People often ask me what it is I do all day, since I’m rarely seen leaving my house. You see, I suffer from the Throwback to the 1950s Syndrome where my contributions are constantly questioned because I keep shit together and earn a living all behind closed doors. I’m not fueling the working vs. stay-at-home mom fire, since I do both so I’m better than all of you, but since it is normally those who work outside of the home who keep asking me, What do you do?!, I thought I should at least answer them.
I am a WAHM, Work-At-Home-Mom for those not familiar with the acronym. This means my professional and personal lives are constantly colliding since I do everything in the same space, at the same place. And when one inquires as to how I spend my time, I am tempted to hand over the following itinerary and yell SUCK IT.
THIS is what I do:
Wake-up: A normal employee’s work day begins at the same time each morning. Not so for the WAHM. A toddler’s finger could poke my sleeping eyelid at any moment, but for the sake of scheduling our day, let’s just say the wake-up window is from 4:30 – 6:30. While your alarm signals it is time to roll out of bed, mine normally demands something, like an episode of Disney’s Handy Manny. In all fairness, though, my alarm is much cuter than yours.
Breakfast and departure preparations: Perhaps you enjoy an invigorating work-out before indulging in a quiet cup of coffee as you scan the New York Times. I become a short-order cook, distributor of vitamins, and arbitrator of “she has more cereal than I do!” disputes.
Commute to the office: I walk downstairs, so, yeah.
Morning meetings: While my pint-sized co-workers shovel the remaining bits of morning chow into their adorable little faces, I’m logging into work. It’s around 7am and I already want a nap.
Work day: An average day goes something like this: draft a response to one of the trillion emails that trickled in overnight; abandon draft to play a game of Candyland; resume the email only to be interrupted by a dirty diaper; the co-workers demand a snack, the dogs want to go outside, and now it is time to take the elder co-worker to preschool. But not before lunch. I make lunch, we eat lunch, we leave the house often with part of lunch on our faces. If I’m lucky, my youngest co-worker falls asleep on the way home and that gives me a solid 1.5 hours to dedicate to
blogging checking Facebook holiday shopping online work. Oh shut up, I’m only human.
Preschool pick-up, another round of snacks, and fitting in some work before dinner prep is how the remainder of the day goes. Finding a spare minute to devote to work is like a game of Whack-a-Mole; it’s there and gone in the blink of an eye. Yet somehow, I manage to get it all done and stay employed. Which is great because November is cold and we like to keep our heat on.
Commute home: HA! Like this job ever ends. Although I will say I refuse to look at anything career-related past 5:30, on the weekends, or the holidays. One of my biggest obstacles when morphing into the MILF-y WAHM that I am today was “turning off.” I now designate work time and everything else time for the sake of my sanity. And my family. But mostly my sanity.
Pay: I make a pretty decent wage for banging out a conference call whilst on the toilet or taking a meeting with a sick child in my arms. Nothing, though, compares to the opportunity to stay home with my brood, fight the urge to drink myself stupid every day, and cash in on the nightly rewards, also known as When Dad Comes Home.