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It was just about a year ago when my bosses flew in from California for a week full of meetings. One such meeting was the one where they gave me the opportunity to work from home, something I had been angling for over the course of 6 or so months. At the time, my concern was commute, and just generally saving time. I never knew how much our family was going to need this, with the quick illness progression and then death of (our live in babysitter) my father- in-law, and with Hub’s business turning in new directions. I was excited for working in yoga pants and being home to see the kids when they got off the bus. I don’t think I ever fully grasped just how much life would change though. And also, how much work it is.

Here was a typical day for me before:

5:00 am: Wake up, and ready myself for the gym, leave for gym
6:00 am: come home, quick breakfast and coffee, shower
6:30 am: make lunches, more coffee
7:00 am: wake kids up, have them get dressed. Wake Liv up and dress her.
7:15 am: Leave the kids to deal with breakfast, the bus etc. with Grandpa or Daddy, take the baby and drop her at daycare (or my mom’s depending on the day)
8:30 am: (or thereabouts) Arrive to work, work the day away.
12:00 pm: go out or order in lunch
1:00 pm: continue working until 5
5:00 pm: commute home, pick up Liv
6:00 pm: start dinner, worry about homework etc.

A typical day for me now looks something like this. For the sake of this timeline, we will assume that I go to the gym as much as I plan to. On non-gym days, I just press snooze for an hour. Don’t worry, Hub never hears the alarm, even when it’s for him.

5:30 am: Wake up, put on my gym clothes, brush my teeth and leave by 5:45. Work out 30-45 minutes.
6:30 am: Home. Put coffee on to brew. Usually catch up on blogs/Facebook/Twitter on my phone while the coffee brews
6:45 am: Pour a cup of coffee and start making lunches.
6:50 am: go downstairs for juice boxes and lunch snacks, turn on work computer and catch up on emails, review my calendar for the day etc
7:30 am: back up stairs, finish packing lunches, double check homework, and pack up the back packs.
7:45 am: start waking the big kids. (We try really hard to always let Liv wake up on her own)
7:50 am: get Bud his breakfast, for he needs to eat the second he gets out of bed. Beg Lucy to please just eat something. Pour Hub his coffee and make his breakfast. Lay out clothes for the day, and start my usual chant of “let’s go guys! Let’s go let’s go!!”
8:10 am: If she hasn’t gotten up on her own, get Liv out of bed. Coddle her for a few minutes. Get her dressed.
8:20 am: Make sure everyone is getting dressed. Speak an endless chorus of “Shoes! Socks! Teeth! Let’s go!!” Usually clapping my hands briskly Is also involved.
8:30 am: Final check of hair, teeth and bags. Does everyone have their lunch? Usually, the answer is “uh…no…”
8:40 am: Ship the big kids outside to wait for the bus, clean Liv up, and get her shoes and socks on so she can wave to the bus driver.
8:50 am: Bus comes, and bye bye big kids. Hub loads Liv in to the car and takes her to daycare
8:55 am: More coffee, breakfast
9:00 am: downstairs to work, and work straight through the day with stops to nibble on lunch here or there, small breaks for blogs. Take 30 minutes to throw dinner together at some point.
4:00 pm: get kids off the bus, give snacks, get homework started etc.
4:05 pm: back downstairs to finish work
5:30 pm: end work for the day

I honestly do not know how we ever got through the day before, how my kids managed to make it to school with everything they need, how dinner ever got on the table, or how we survived with me being away so much of the day. I always said that I didn’t have it in me to be a stay at home mom, and maybe I still don’t. (Having the kids home with me all summer was tough, but it was also my first summer home, AND our first summer without a 3rd pair of hands here.) I think though, that I sort of have the best of both worlds. I’m here to do for my kids the things that I had to rely on others for in the past. I have flexibility within my schedule to volunteer at school, make dinner, and do extra projects around the house. I don’t know how I ended up being so lucky, but here we are. And hopefully, here we will stay.

7 responses »

  1. Do you ever have trouble focusing at home? Like, do you get distracted with things that need to be done, or with mail, or food in the fridge or whatevs? I would SERIOUSLY WORRY about my ability to stay on task at home. I can barely do it at work.

  2. This makes me wish I could work at home and my commute is tiny.

  3. Sounds like a good set up!

  4. This makes me so happy for you.

  5. It does sound like the best deal for you right now. I always wonder how working moms do it. I am still at home and Z is in school. I don't know how'd I'd manage to do everything I do if I was working full-time. (Well, the truth probably is that Matt would have to do a LOT more to help out!) But this is a great arrangement for you!

  6. I think working from home is a great set up for those that have that opportunity.I think I would, like Tess said, get distracted ALOT. Like, I can't even watch TV in peace if the floor visibly needs to be vaccuumed.Re: Mommy Daisy…work full time moms do it very efficently and very easily IF they have a good support system at home. I, for one, know I could never work out of the home if it weren't for my awesome hubby (who also works full time but has more down time with his job that I do)…he picks up alot of the slack around our house.

  7. You know, I didn't have it in me to be a work-outside-home mom. I mean, I did it. I did it for almost five years until I was like, "Self, why are you making yourself miserable? Someone would be DYING for your job." So, I quit, and someone else is very happy with my job. I am very happy making zero money and writing for zero money and making lunches and organizing the house and cleaning and cooking all day. Sometimes I wish I had more guts to listen to myself.


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