15 Things Nobody Tells You About Being A Work-At-Home Mom
HAPPY FRI-YAY, everyone!!! I am excited about today’s blog post because it’s been in the works for quite a while. I even pull from some of my friend’s experiences as work-from-home moms, as well, to share their thoughts. Being a work at home mom is such a unique experience because you AREN’T just a stay at home mom – meaning, you don’t get to devote your full day to your children and your home and self. And, on the flip side, you AREN’T just a working mom, either. You don’t get that reprieve of adult conversation during the day but you also miss out on so many things during the day with your kids. You get “the best of both worlds”…but sometimes, it’s the worst of both world’s, too. If you’ve been struggling with being a work-at-home mama, this list is for you. It offers solidarity, humor, and hopefully a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel, too. Let’s jump into this.
15 Things Nobody Tells You About Being A Work-At-Home Mom
*an earlier version of this post had 13 things but I got carried away and added 2 more*
You hear all the time that “you’re so lucky” to be able to work at home AND raise your baby. And trust me – I KNOW that’s true a lot of the time. It is such a privilege that I get to be the one who sees all of Jack’s firsts and be the one to take him to the park or playdates or doctor appts. I love it. It’s a wonderful thing. But when you couple raising a baby WITH working full time from home, it can get really hard in ways that people just don’t understand unless they’re in the same situation. Nobody tells you before you start doing it that…
- You’ll go to bed at midnight or later some nights because the only time you’ve had to work that day is after they go to sleep at 7pm. And deadlines don’t wait for babies.
- You have to learn how to be the ULTIMATE in flexible because every day is different. Some days your baby isn’t going to nap and you aren’t going to have time to do anything other than look after them. “My schedule changes daily because of 1, kids and 2, because I work with several bloggers on an ongoing basis, their needs change depending on projects or things they’re working on.” – Carmen from myunicorndidit.com.
- AND THEN you’ll feel SO GUILTY for wishing you just had 30 minutes to proof-read or answer emails or finish typing something up because THESE ARE THE BEST YEARS OF YOUR LIFE and you aren’t supposed to be missing a single second of it.
- Sometimes you’ll let your baby fuss a little bit while you finish a task. And then you feel guilty again for not going to them immediately. I mean, what kind of mom lets their kid cry so they can answer an email or publish an instagram post – I tell myself at least five times a day.
- You need a village. YOU NEED A VILLAGE. Let me say it again. You. Need. A. Village. I wouldn’t be able to do my job if I didn’t have help. And I wish that I had put things in place better before Jack was born. I was scrambling after with a postpartum anxiety because of it.
- Some people are going to assume that because you are at home, it means you have an endless amount of free time for some reason. While some days you may be able to rearrange your schedule – other times they are going to forget that you are: 1. raising a child 2. working full time 3. keeping your house clean 4. trying to find time to eat something – anything. They will get annoyed if you cannot meet them for lunch every Tuesday.
- You will end up trying to do everything yourself because you’re home. Learn what you can feasible juggle and then work with your partner on how to divide up the rest, equally. Because you are working, too. “As the spouse with a more flexible schedule, if something comes up that needs to happen during a weekday – a doctors appointment, a sick child, a home maintenance appointment, a service appointment – I’m the default person rearranging – and often losing, if I’m being honest – my designated work hour(s). This means making up that time after the kids go to bed or on a weekend, which doesn’t bode well for work-life balance.” – Val from lovelyluckylife.com.
- You are going to become a master multitasker. If you’ve never typed with one hand and held a baby in the other, you will now. And you’re going to get really good at it. Can I put this on a resume? Guinness Book of World Records, anyone?
- Take out is ok. Sometimes you need to get out of the house for lunch or dinner and picking up take out is going to feel like such a treat. Especially when it doesn’t add any dishes to your already overflowing sink.
- Sometimes, working from home doesn’t mean you get to forgo childcare. I still had to hire a nanny for Jack 3 times a week so that I could get solid work done on those days. As Onyi from sincerelyonyi.com says, “working from home still requires child care from time to time.”
- Burnout is SO real. I feel you, mama. It’s going to be tough to get through it. “When there aren’t clear cut boundaries between the two (I don’t “leave work”), it can be hard to even realize how much you’re working.” – Val from lovelyluckylife.com
- You may be the mom that people are judging because you are on your phone or laptop at the park while your kids play. But when it’s your job, sometimes you NEED that 30 minutes of play time to finish a task. And other times, you may not realize just how much you are behind a screen. It’s a TOUGH balance. “I am on my phone way too much with this business [because] it’s convenient….I try to make sure I set my phone down on a regular basis as to not be on my phone consistently.” – Jen from andhattiemakesthree.com
- You are going to need to get outside sometimes. “Your body needs sunlight to thrive! It’s soooo easy to spend an entire day getting caught up in between what needs to be done to succeed in business and what your mom-mind is telling you needs to be in your home from day-to-day.” – Alice, from aliceonsunday.com.
- You are going to miss seeing other grown ups face to face sometimes. Somedays, the only other adult I talk to is my husband when he gets home from work or the cashier at Target or Starbucks. It’s ok to miss that. And it’s ok to make sure you are about to go out with friends at least once a month to remind yourself how to be an adult human.
- At the end of the day – working from home really is a privilege. You will feel SO grateful for that opportunity because it allows you to help support your family and take care of your little ones. Even on the days it feels REALLY REALLY hard -I’m still SO thankful.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
We all now working at home isn’t a walk in the park. You are in charge of the kids, the home, your job, your self…it’s the job of four people, honestly. Sometimes more. I never want anyone to look at my blog or my instagram and think – “wow. she REALLY has it all together. She’s got this working from home thing completely figured out”.
Spoiler alert: it’s not true. 1. I have HELP. My mom and sister are over almost every day to play with Jack while I get work done. On days they can’t come over, it’s exponentially more difficult for me to get anything done. 2. Sometimes I hire a house cleaner if I am too overwhelmed with mom-ing and working and just don’t have time to get the the house, too. If my house is clean it’s because I either hire out for it, lose quality time with my husband in the evenings, or set aside a full day during the week to do it. 3. There are days when no work happens. I sit in my jammies and snuggle my son. There are days when ONLY work happens and I barely see my son except for nursing and putting him down for naps. It’s just part of the game.
We are all trying to figure it out. If you’re struggling, you are not alone. I hope this helped you realize that we are all in this together. Whether we stay at home, or work out of the house, or work at home – being a mom is not for the faint of heart. Each of those have their own set of struggles and pros/cons. We should focus on lifting each other up!!