A Day in the Life of a Work-at-Home Mom

Day in the Life of a Work at Home Mom: ZenParent

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Every year in May, people around the world prepare to honor their mothers with gifts, cards et al. Some even go so far as to plan holidays for their Moms, complete with transit to and from the airport! But if you ask me, all I want this Mother’s Day is just that – a day. A perfect day, where I wake up with the sun, do yoga while the birds sing, eat a low calorie nutritious breakfast and get to work on my well laid out to do list for the day. But what about the kids, you ask. Well……

If you’re wondering if I’d rather not have flowers and jewelry for Mother’s Day, allow me to give you a glimpse into my day – a typical day in the life of a work from home Mom. You have tiger Moms, helicopter Moms, dinosaur Moms (I’m kidding) and then you have WAHMs or Work-At-Home Moms. It’s no accident that the acronym sounds like someone’s hitting their head against a wall – Wham!! We are a new breed of Moms, trying to make the most of technology and our skills. We are the ones who literally have it all; or do we?

“Early morning cheerfulness can be extremely obnoxious” – William Feather

I start my day without too much excitement, sometime around sunrise. It’s the quietest time of my day, and I begin by making my morning cuppa. As I sit down to enjoy some me-time, I remember I have to leave the milk pan out for the milk man. Ooh, never realized that rhymed, by the way! A glance at the laundry line reminds me that the washing machine’s awaiting his breakfast – a good load of whites. I return to my cup, which hasn’t been idle in my absence; it’s converted itself into a swimming pool-turned-death trap for a poor fly. I throw out the contents and begin making another.

Alas, before I enjoy this one, the family’s up!! The husband takes over the bathroom, while my 6 year old decides that he doesn’t want to go to school. The next one and a half hour is difficult to describe; it’s practically a haze for me!! I don’t remember the details, but it involves some forced tooth brushing, scampering for matching socks, a craft assignment that miraculously disappears and a good deal of yelling, which I suspect is in my voice. Hmmm…yes, the yelling’s definitely me.

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“Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it” – Richard Whately

Once everyone’s left, I feel like I’ve come out of a trance and walk about the terrain of my home, surveying the damage. It looks like Katrina was in here! (The hurricane, not the actress) I spend nearly an hour picking up wet towels, clearing the table and washing up. The washing machine announces that he’s done with his meal. Finally everything is in its place and I’m ready to start working. Yay!!!

Not so fast!! The phone rings; it’s the maid. Turns out she can’t come to work today. If this was an 80s Hindi film, this particular scene would be where I am in an abandoned temple, a storm raging outside and bells clanging inside; as a disheveled me wonders what on earth I’m going to do now. I return to the present day and do some quick thinking; there are floors to be swept and mopped and bathrooms to be cleaned – forget the floors, they’ll last another day. But what about lunch; surely I can’t forget about that! A vision of my hungry, tired son swims in front of my eyes and my heart clenches. Guess Moms are the same, whether in 1980s Hindi movies or in real life!

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“Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you” – Annie Dillard

I rustle up an easy lunch, finish the associated clean up, just in time for my son’s arrival. As I get ready to log off my computer, I hear a crash in the kitchen. A thousand terrible scenarios rage through my mind as I race to the kitchen to find shards of glass everywhere. I realize my son has knocked over a glass in an attempt to reach the water bottle. “Why didn’t use the water dispenser?”, I ask. ‘You didn’t refill it’, he replies. Oops.

More clean up. It’s now late afternoon and I still have loads of work left (the kind that pays, not household stuff). The husband calls up saying he’s running late so I’ll have to drop my son off to his extra curricular classes. I expertly maneuver my car through traffic with the skill of a car-racing-video-gamer to drop him, then rinse and repeat to pick him up an hour later.

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“Evening is a time of real experimentation” – Donna Karan

It’s 6:00 P.M!! Good God, where did the day go? I begin preparing dinner, at the same time supervising my son’s homework. When it’s done, I’m faced with a choice – work or TV. After about a second of serious consideration, TV wins the battle, but I lose the war – to Doraemon. Oh well, I have work to do anyway. I do a quick check on Facebook to see if the world has been behaving while I was away and as soon as I start work, the husband walks in, which means just one thing – dinner time.

Father and son bond, while I try to wind up whatever little work I’ve done, although at this point, I can’t wait to hit the sack. As I prepare for bed, the usual ‘I’m not sleepy’ drama plays itself out, where the 6 year old hero finally gives in to fatigue and gets into bed. As I’m about to leave his room, I hear a soft “Mamma?” “What is it sweetie?” I ask, feeling all warm and motherly inside. He says, “I forgot to tell you. I have to submit a collage on trees at school. Tomorrow morning.”

Goodbye sleep.

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Now that I think of it, this is my perfect day – a loving family whom I love to bits, a home of my own and a job that doesn’t take away from my other responsibilities – what more could I ask! Maybe a few more hours in a day, but it’s nothing a little time management cannot solve! I wouldn’t trade what I have for all the diamonds in the world, and I’m sure all of you feel the same way about your lives! To all the awesome Moms out there who work from home and outside it, Happy Mother’s Day – you’re all amazing!!

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