Double duty: The hazards of working at home with kids

Issue: 
April 2012

The term “working mom” always bugged me. It’s redundant. All moms are on the job full-time, as in 24/7.  

“Stay-at-home mom” is another misnomer since many of these so-called moms burn daylight in automobiles, waiting rooms, checkout lines, bleachers and more, hardly staying anywhere long. And, what do we call moms who raise kids and earn incomes, both at home? Perhaps courageous and slightly nuts. 

After having child No. 1, I surprised everyone — including myself — by surrendering a coveted parking space and dental insurance for what I considered the best of both worlds: taking care of my kids and freelancing from home. Admittedly, retiring pantyhose and heels was liberating, but I soon discovered that middle-of-the-night feedings weren’t the only rude awakenings.

For starters, I traded one whiny boss for tinier whinier ones. My desk became a legal pad on half my lap, the other half occupied by a needy toddler who relentlessly swiveled my head toward him like a Lazy Susan. And, it never failed. Elbow deep in my baby’s radioactive diaper, I’d get a business call and have to lunge for the phone before my self- appointed, paci-chomping secretary answered. Distractions were also plentiful. For example, it was virtually impossible to ignore dust bunnies and cobwebs only a Swiffer’s length away all day.

Gone were dependable, relaxing noon breaks over chilled salads and ice teas at restaurants or behind the closed doors of a private office. Suddenly, nibbling scraps off high chair seats and bibs chased with backwashed apple juice from abandoned sippy cups signified mommy’s lunch. Adios, support staff. I was on my technically-challenged own whenever impulsive office mates jammed, dropped, threw and/or submerged company equipment; likewise, I had no one down the hall to gossip with or hot coffee to drink while waiting for repairs. Unimaginably, I also missed Muzak after “The Wheels On the Bus” and “B-I-N-G-O” replaced it at home, in the car, and stuck to my brain like the Spiderman and glitter heart stickers to my old briefcase. 

Along with going to the bathroom sans an entourage, having reasons to depilate and using multi-syllabic words, the opportunity for non-mommy work was scarce. Frankly, colleagues in onesies don’t respect privacy or give a damn about inspiration. Every Mom! Mom! MOM! irretrievably erased a (surely brilliant) thought. If only there were a home version of waiting rooms, cordoned off areas for kids who’d sit patiently reading out of date Highlights magazines while mommies attended to agenda No. 2. With extended days at home, I initially thought there’d always be time; however, when cranky associates finally conked out in front of the Disney Channel, an equally exhausted, immobile mom found herself watching DuckTales and munching on Goldfish Crackers found between sofa cushions.

“Homework” hazards stalked me away from home, too, like bumping into other moms whose second jobs required shoes and deodorant, and hearing things like:

• “I envy you doing nothing all day.”

• “Your house must be clean!”

• “I’d go stir crazy being home. Aren’t you bored?”

• “I couldn’t afford the hole in my resume.”

• “Since you’re free, would you mind …?”

Though novel at first, being the sole person at work wearing pants — albeit pajama pants — lost its charm after awhile. Just for today, I vowed each morning, I’d wear a pair with belt loops … and a bra. Ultimately though, simply being mom eclipsed my supermom alter ego and I threw in the legal pad, giving up my paying day job until a little uninterrupted time to complete a project — any project — didn’t seem like a crazy daydream .

My advice to moms considering double duty at home: Dump any fallacies about bonbons and soap operas with stinky diapers. Then, discard lofty parenting principles, which eventually succumb to a whatever works approach when deadlines and kids together loom. Yet, if you can swing it, benefits are unrivaled: being able to attend recitals, games, school functions, witness milestones and tend to sick kids. Plus, no more bathroom keys … or pants.

Comments

MariaL's picture

Nice tip. Being a stay-at-home mom is a hard tasks. That is proven.

leonardo85's picture

It is certainly not easy being Working Mothers. Whether you choose to work from home or you join an organization, you just have to keep balancing two different worlds in the most error free way possible. Sometimes you do feel that both worlds are driving you mad. But once you learn the trick to maintain that balance everything becomes considerably easier.

I used to work from home and the distractions were many even without children to tend to, so I can hardly imagine what you're going through right now. These days I do my best to fill my resume and include basic information so I could get an office job, I really miss interacting with other people and getting out of my home more often!

areeshay222's picture

"Didn’t get to go on that vacation you were dreaming about this summer?"
statement of teaching interest

zion1122's picture

Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article.
Shisha delivery London

Thank you so much for the post you do. I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.
Full NB Fyjz Article

Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.
become a tutor

This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses.
ottawa dry cleaners

There are a lot of opportunities of working from home, especially call-center work. And there are sites like www.contactonecallcenter.com that provide quality information on this topic.

My wife had no idea how to make an invoice when she started working from home and it was kind of hard until we found out there are invoice templates free online.

I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post. Thanks for sharing.
Click Lenoxian Link

When a woman is soon expecting her baby then she is the happiest person in the world. But it is quite difficult to manage the child if the mother is working as she has to look after her baby as well as she has to work out for the organization is been working. For this problems many problem there are many women those who are leaving behind the job need order to take care of the baby. But there are certain techniques which can lead a comfortable with the baby and the work. I would like to thank the author of the blog for publishing such a wonderful blog.
cheap baby products

I agree with the above comment, this is very clearly mentioned. We always like to say that every great confusion are the useful and manage click route. This is the worthy point in the re enter sharp force.
buy usa views

The correct rated contents are the sharp entry and it shows the very great solid movements in the react force. This is very wonder things in the model north.
facebook likes

We have noticed that this contents are mainly depends on the low root pressure tools on the re submit. This is well optimized ray content peak.
instagram followers

This is just the information I am finding everywhere. Thanks for your blog, I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog.. cheap youtube views

roger1122's picture

Thanks you very much for sharing these links. Will definitely check this out..
remedios caseros

After going through your story I truly sympathies with you, those moms who stay home have to go through an equally harrowing experience. I personally know this because I work at a Thornton CO day care center and most moms share their stories with us.

roger1122's picture

I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this..
get bitcoins

ronan1122's picture

The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface.
binary option trading signals

ronan1122's picture

Thanks for providing recent updates regarding the concern, I look forward to read more.
gift ideas

ronan1122's picture

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me.
gift ideas

Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff...I think you've made some truly interesting points.Keep up the good work. capture his heart

areeshay222's picture

Textiles & Leather Products Thank you a lot for providing individuals with a very spectacular possibility to read critical reviews from this site.
text compactor

It is not easy to juggle these responsibilities, many women find it difficult to juggle both these responsibilities. It would be better to wait till your baby starts kindergarten. I look after my little niece and I know how difficult this job could be, but I love surprising her with little gifts as well. Since our entire family is Yankees fan, I bought her a cute Yankees Pink Baby Girl Outfit from http://www.babysport.com/Yankees_Baby_Clothes.aspx.

It is true that those moms who stay at home and deal with kids have a very stressful situation. However, you can find some relief by knowing that there are help available in the form of waterproof bed sheet which is detachable, you can find it at http://www.ripngo.ca/.

leonardo85's picture

Being a stay-at-home mom is not an easy task, you have to devote so much time and effort in making your baby comfortable and happy. A friend of mine is an illustrator and a mother of three kids. However, she manages to balance both worlds, her works have also been published on http://www.hermanagencyinc.com/.

sharon199's picture

Thank you for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a complete way of writing? I have a presentation incoming week, and I am on the lookout for such information.
writing the personal statement

ronan1122's picture

Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.
telecharger cube world

I am a specialist and for sure we have the same situation in Germany!

ronan1122's picture

it was a wonderful chance to visit this kind of site and I am happy to know. thank you so much for giving us a chance to have this opportunity..
how to get free steam games

ronan1122's picture

I really enjoyed reading this post, big fan. Keep up the good work andplease tell me when can you publish more articles or where can I read more on the subject?
Welcome to Kurma Bio Fund

It is tough balancing the role of a mom while working from home. You certainly have to work doubly hard, as kids keep growing up their demands become even more diverse, your shopping preference would also change after having babies. Instead of looking for branded watches and designer dresses you have to look for diapers, matching girl doll clothes and candies.

The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing.. what does bubblegum casting do

The human mind thinks that the event is actually happening and laughs at the funny situation shown in the images. This is why people love to see images and pictures.funny images

mehndi is consider the sign of beauty is golden words for everyone. everyone have its own attitude to understood the fashion.
design of mehndi

Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is very cool.
bubblegum casting

The contents having the power to come your way to posses the entire glue for the SM Instagram to buy Real Instagram followers today.

Her Well Being: Stories of Health, Survival, and Livin' It Up Her Style

A Big, Bad Fight

Dana Birdsong didn’t have time for a headache that day. The (then) 35-year-old lobbyist and advocate for the American College of Cardiology in Washington, D.C. had a meeting on Capitol Hill she couldn’t miss.



To read this and other Her Well-Being stories, click here.
Real Estate: Home Video Tours
Searching for a new home? Her Nashville is excited to partner with HouseLens.com, offering buyers easy-to-view video tours of Middle Tennessee's hottest homes.

125 Walton Village Dr, Hendersonville TN 37
Price: $0
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 0/0

1015 Brixworth Dr, Thompsons Station TN 37
Price: $294,900
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 4/2

View More Homes

Mailing list sign-up

Copyright © 2009 Her Nashville