I’ve been a working mother for almost nine years and I think I balance it all okay. File me under one of the “world’s most okayest working moms.” If it wasn’t for the father of my children, I’d be in the category of “mom who enjoys work more than life itself.”
Aside from the foggy, sleep deprived, lactating, painful, hormone-filled maternity leave that we enjoyed, I have never, ever been a stay at home mom with my kids. I work from home during the day, my children are at school and daycare and after-hours care until 5:30 pm. But summer is approaching, and this is the first time that I will be taking the time to mother them all day long for a full two months.
I made the decision to keep them at home as a bid to save money by not paying the outlandish thousand dollar fees of summer camps and daycare. I’m choosing instead to bond with the kids over camping weekends, mid-week hiking excursions and trips to theme parks on Fridays (mostly to “save” money).
But now I am questioning if I thought out the reality of what I signed up for. Two children, one aged nine and one aged four, home alone with me…the grumpy Mom who is always on a deadline and cursing under her breath at the insane messages and job performances of certain colleagues.
Now, I have significantly cut my work contracts back this summer to accommodate all of the incredible bonding time I am going to be spending with my children, but I cannot cut all work off completely or else I will be broke. And if I am broke, then I’m no further ahead (I know, I know, time I will never get back with my children, it’s priceless, etc…I also have a mortgage and electricity bills to pay, people!)
Today’s case in point; My four-year-old son is home sick. He’s already watched 3.5 hours of television while I responded to emails, did an hour video conference call and attempted to edit some footage into a timeline as I have an episode of a show I’m working on due tomorrow. In this time alone, I believe I have gotten for him four cups of water, three hot dogs, and two additional snacks. Not all at once. Individual requests peppered between assistance getting new show started on Netflix, turning on the light in the washroom, locating a misplaced train toy, convincing him my iPhone is not suitable to dunk into a bowl filled with water and cleaning sand out of a dump truck.
How do I entertain them?
Uninterrupted work time as of 2:18 pm: 8 minutes.
Eight minutes of work is not even worth invoicing for an hour. It’s disjointed, uninspiring and panic-inducing. Literally, nothing got done. This is a taste of my summer to come. My emotions are aplenty.
Send free help or lottery winnings… PLEASE!
My words were originally posted on Reality Moms and have been reprinted with permission here.