This is our fourth installment of our Working from Home series from Rebekah, KHIT’s Lead Data Analyst. She shares about being a mom to a toddler and the importance of structure.
“Oh my gosh, you’re going to save so much money on daycare!! Won’t it be so great to keep your little one home with you?”
This was the first phrase out of almost every person’s mouth when I told them I was quitting my job to work from home. Obviously, if I am at home my toddler should be here with me, right? For every mom sitting there thinking about how amazing that sounds, I want you to try a little experiment: take your toddler to your office with you for one day. Just one, and then let me know how that went.
I knew from the word go that keeping my tiny tornado at home would not be a good idea, and the proof is in the pudding. When all of the crazy started in the world we had no choice for several weeks, as my coworkers can testify my tot LOVES to FaceTime and thinks that she should be a part of any GoTo Meeting that mommy is on. She is such a helpful tiny human and could not help herself when it came to any of mommy’s work materials. It didn’t take long before she took daily field trips to Mimi’s house. (Thank goodness for Mimi!!)
When you work from home everyone seems to think that means that you have a ton of extra time on your hands. Your house is always spotless, you have time to make it to every school event for your children and if your kids have the day off of school they can stay with you because you’re home and you must not be busy.
After hearing these things over and over again the mom guilt started to set in. Should I be keeping my tiny tot home with me? Why isn’t the house spotless every day? Why do I have dirty laundry in the basket? The answer to all of it is no. Just no. Being a work from home mom does not mean that I need to try to do everything that a stay at home mom does AND work.
After plenty of trials and errors I realized that the best thing for me and my family was structure. My tiny tot needs the structure of a daycare setting, my bonus daughter needs the structure of school (definitely not homeschool as this crazy time has taught us) and I need the structure of a quiet house. I have to get ready every morning like I am going to an office, and I have to force myself to take breaks and walk away throughout the day. But, I have learned that my breaks can be productive on a different level. I can do a load of laundry, or dust a room so that I don’t feel like my house work is always behind.
While I allow the hours within my day to be flexible the days that I work generally are not. In order to subside the mom guilt I work longer days Monday through Thursday, even working after my girls go to bed some nights, in order to give them and my husband more of my time through the weekend.
And even after doing all of the above I’ve learned that every mom struggles, every mom feels guilty at some point and every mom is TIRED, so don’t be so hard on yourself!
My day to day life is a work in progress and always will be, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!