Sometimes I Feel Like Being a Work-at-Home Mom Is the Hardest Thing in the World

3 years ago

Sometimes I feel like working from home is the hardest thing in the world.

I'll pause here, so all the working moms can angrily exit my blog and remove me from their Google Reader.

Oh good, you're still here? Let me explain.

When my husband gets home, and I'm still wearing yoga pants and have not yet gotten into the shower, I feel so lazy. Granted, he never makes me feel this way, and it's absolutely something I put upon myself... but still. If I feel it about myself, it must be accurate, right?

I mean, I haven't even thought about dinner, the house is a disaster, and I look like I just woke up. I wonder if I'm ever going to be the supermom that manages to make it all happen and still look like I just stepped out of everyone's Pinterest board.

I mean... I work from home. Shouldn't I have ample time to cook and clean and decorate and run errands and meet my friends for coffee? But the truth is, there are times that I'm torn between being a great employee, and being a great mom. If I keep responding to this email and ignoring my child's incessant jabbering, is he going to remember that I'm more interested in what is on the computer than I am in what he's chattering about?

I have to pause here and take a few deep breaths.

What did I accomplish today?

Well, I kept my baby happy and healthy, for one. He's smiling and tearing toys from his basket gleefully. My employer doesn't hate me. I managed to squeeze four client calls into Porter's afternoon naps, and I actually got my laundry sorted into piles of "Must Wash Today," "This Can Wait Another Day," and "I Should Probably Just Throw It Away." Oh! And I blogged.

God does what He always does, and reveals to me what I so stubbornly forget. I prayed for this for years. All I wanted was to be a stay-at-home mom. So, this is what I've been given, and now it's mine to conquer. I'd be a fool to think that this was the easy route. Life doesn't work like that.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.

  • I may not get dressed up every morning like I did when I went to a "real job," but I feel 100% better about myself if my hair is styled. So, one of my top priorities is making sure my hair is curled and backcombed a bit. I haven't accomplished this daily, yet, but I would say that three days out of the week, my hair is done and I'm a happy camper.

  • I have five minute clean-ups throughout the day. I'll stop everything I'm doing, and run through the house organizing, cleaning, putting things away -- but only for five minutes. If it's longer than five minutes, I'll start getting annoyed and frustrated. But a 5 minute pick-up is all I need to feel like I've regained control of my life.

  • I have to remind myself (about work) a few times throughout the day: This isn't life or death. My amazing boss told me this one day after I bawled my eyes out because someone was unhappy with me: it's not life or death, right? Uh... no. No, it's not. This is so unimportant in the grander scheme of things. If I find myself panicking about a client's attitude, or wondering how to fix a website issue that has seemed to stop the world from turning, I pause. I breathe. And I remind myself this isn't life or death. It sounds so silly, but it really helps to ease my anxiety.

No matter how out-of-control life seems as the mother to a nine-month-old (!!!) and a full time project manager, I am truly thankful to be able to kiss Porter's messy face whenever I want. The coffee breaks I used to take in an office are now coffee breaks at my own Kuerig, accompanied by a baby that could happily eat his weight in frozen blueberries, and I truly couldn't be more thankful. He's a great coffee date.

I'm sure next week will bring a whole new slew of challenges, which is ok with me. I've become pretty accustomed to change, these days; I'll roll with it. Probably in my yoga pants. But at least my hair will be curled and my blueberry-stained son will be smiling.

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