A Day in the Life of a Work At Home Mom

Since I’m rarely seen leaving my house, people often ask what it is I do all day. You see, I suffer from the Throwback to the 1950s Syndrome where my contributions are constantly called into question because, like my maternal predecessors, I hold down the fort (and the toilet seat) behind closed doors. However, unlike most that came before me, I also earn a living behind those same closed doors. I am certainly not fueling the working vs. stay-at-home mom fire, especially since I do both, so I win. Listen, a parent’s job is hard. Period. But because I have been asked about my day-to-day routine on more than a trillion occasions, I thought it only polite to answer: I am an online English teacher, a WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mom for those not familiar with the acronym). This means my professional and personal lives are constantly colliding, as I do everything at the same place in the same space.DayinLifeMost 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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Comments

  1. You are the EPITOME of an incredibly passionate mother with an incredibly passionate career!! LOVE LOVE LOVE how you DO IT ALL!!!!! BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO my friend!!!!
    Chris Carter recently posted…It’s Time To Dress Up!My Profile

  2. I’m always happy to meet another WAHM! We are a rare breed!
    Angela recently posted…Product Review: Meaningful Beauty Creme de SerumMy Profile

  3. I like that you unplug at a certain time each day. That’s hard to do with today’s technology!
    Amy – Funny is Family recently posted…Crock Pot Thursday: Chicken Artichoke PastaMy Profile

  4. I admire and respect all mothers who find the time to work and care for their children at home. It can really be taxing at times, but the end result is well worth the investment. Much respect for you, Stephanie.
    Melissa @ Home on Deranged recently posted…Marco, where are you? 10 funny things toddlers sayMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Melissa! And I sure hope you’re right about that investment paying off ;) There are days where my kids tell me to go away, so I’m thinking they’re ready for a break from my ugly mug. Thank goodness for Grandparents ;)

  5. If I ever have kids I plan on working from home. It would be the only way I would have children and I think what you get to do everyday is pretty awesome. Visiting from Live, Love, Blog!
    Roni Faida recently posted…Paris In Black And WhiteMy Profile

  6. You are my hero. Reading about your commute was my favorite part, though knowing you lug in the milk in the laundry room too made me feel very connected to you and all your coolness.
    Meredith recently posted…Antics and Answers Delivered!My Profile

  7. What a great post! I’m just starting my WAHM life with the reopening of my wellness coaching practice. Of course I also blog but that’s just for fun :) Staying home with my boys and now homeschooling them is the best thing I’ve ever done. The payment (those huggies and kissies) is really the best pay I’ve ever gotten.
    Missy Homemaker recently posted…Saturday Soapbox #10: Affluenza Defense is BullshitMy Profile

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