The Reality of Being a Work From Home Parent

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Photo credit: Nathan Riley

Let me start by saying that work from home parents are a whole, ‘nother breed completely. 

Being a working parent? Hard. Being a stay at home parent? Tough. Being an intertwined mix of the two? What in the world were you thinking, mama?!

As a working parent, I struggled to find quality time for my son and partner. As a stay at home mom that didn’t worry about bringing in an income, I struggled to find time to get things done around the house while a little baby was attached to my hip.

Now, as a work from home mom, every day feels like this juggling act that never seems to end. I wake up too early and go to the bed too late. Nothing seems to get done and my house is never really clean. Every night, I collapse into bed, thankful that the day is officially over but stressing about what needs to be done when I wake in a few short hours.

Now, I am not complaining. No, I cannot complain that I have the opportunity to be home with my little guy. Many parents would absolutely love to be there every single day and cutout the childcare middleman. I can’t complain that I have the ability to work remotely and on my own terms, creating my own hours, and working with complete and utter flexibility. 

But dang, it’s hard! How do you fit an entire days worth of work into a few hours during naptime? You can’t, really. You have to find other times during the day to get some work in. As I’m typing this right now, I am visiting family out of state (a great job perk!) and my little guy has been taken into the other room to play. Of course, I took advantage of the opportunity and grabbed my laptop to get a blog post in. My laptop is charged and ready to go at all times, on occasions like these.

A typical day in my life, on paper, doesn’t seem that hectic. It appears pretty structured and routine. But, like most kids, my toddler does not follow our “schedule” to a T. He does a great job, considering he is this crazy little kid who constantly wants to play and sometimes refuses to sleep because, oh no, he might miss something!

That being said, I do have a “typical” routine that I try to follow. Being the main caregiver, the housekeeper, the cook, and working to build a business requires some sort of attempt at structure. When Baby B is napping, I work away. After he has gone to sleep, I work some more. If my workload is filling up and I’m falling behind, I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and work before he opens his eyes. When I am not working, I am working diligently to be present for my son and enriching his life. In addition to keeping the house clean(ish) and getting all meals on the table, of course. Somewhere in between, a real attempt is made to have some quality family time, and maybe, just maybe, a date night or two.

As much as I love being able to stay home, it is so emotionally and mentally tolling. I am so tired all. of. the. time. But, as hard as my day to day is and as much as I’d like to just sit back and put my feet up for just one minute, I would not change watching my little guy grow up. Being there as much as I possibly can makes my heart all warm and fuzzy. The hard parts melt away just as quickly as they come.