Most days go something like this:
Wake-up: A normal employee’s work day begins at the same time each morning. Not so for the WAHM. A toddler’s finger could poke my sleeping eyelid at any moment, but for the sake of scheduling our day, let’s just say the wake-up window is from 4:30 – 6:30. While your alarm signals it is time to roll out of bed, mine normally demands something, like an episode of Disney’s Handy Manny. In all fairness, though, my alarm is much cuter than yours.
Breakfast and departure preparations: Perhaps you enjoy an invigorating work-out before indulging in a quiet cup of coffee as you scan the New York Times. I become a short-order cook, distributor of vitamins, and arbitrator of “she has more cereal than I do!” disputes.
Commute to the office: I walk downstairs, so, yeah.
Morning meetings: While my pint-sized co-workers shovel the remaining bits of morning chow into their adorable little faces, I’m logging into work. It’s around 7am and I already want a nap.
Work day: An average day goes something like this: respond to the plethora of emails that trickled in overnight; cheat my way through a game of Trouble or Sorry with my son; begin assessing student work only to be interrupted by a dirty diaper. I field a dozen phone calls from my Mother who doesn’t believe I actually have a job, and then my co-workers demand a snack, my dogs want to go outside, and I can’t remember why I walked into the laundry room with a gallon of milk. A DVD or a kid-friendly craft allow me to be productive without interruption. For 8 minutes. I make lunch, we eat lunch, we leave the house for Preschool often with part of lunch on our faces. If I’m lucky, my youngest co-worker falls asleep on the way home and that gives me a solid 1.5 hours to dedicate to
blogging checking Facebook holiday shopping online work. Stop judging me.
My afternoons are holding office hours, completing Professional Development presentations, updating each of my 20 virtual classrooms, and putting out proverbial fires lit by students who did not read the course orientation and now have no idea how to navigate our class. Also sighing. There is a lot of sighing. Finally it’s time for Preschool pick-up, another round of snacks, and fitting in some more work before dinner prep begins. With the kids home, finding a spare minute to devote to work is like a game of Whack-a-Mole; it’s there and gone in the blink of an eye. Yet somehow, I manage to get it all done and stay employed. Which is great because winters are cold in western Pennsylvania and we like to keep the heat on.
Commute home: HA! Like this job ever ends. Although I will offer what is possibly the only useful piece of advice I can muster: I refuse to look at anything career-related past 5:30, on the weekends, or on the holidays. One of the biggest challenges I faced when morphing into the MILF-y WAHM that I am today was “turning off.” I now designate work time and everything else time for the sake of my sanity. And my family. But mostly my sanity.
Pay: I make a pretty decent wage for banging out a conference call whilst on the toilet or taking a meeting with a sick child in my arms. Nothing, though, compares to the opportunity to stay home with my brood, fight the urge to drink myself stupid every day, and cash in on the nightly rewards, also known as bedtime kisses. I am passionate about my career, but I am in love with my family. I don’t know how many people can say they have two jobs that they adore, but I can. Education and children will always go hand-in-hand, and I’m so trendy that I get to do both at the same time. I may not always remember to brush my teeth before noon or rinse the conditioner out of my hair (God bless the baseball hat), but this Work At Home gig is where it’s at. At least for me.
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