Why Being a Work at Home Mom Sucks

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Telecommuting is on the rise, and us working, pajama wearing mamas are jumping for joy. Working from home seems like the best of both worlds: you get to work and rake in the cash, while simultaneously raising your own children, rather than taking them off to daycare. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, a lot.

1. Work From Home agreements can ban you from watching your children while working.

If you, like me, work for a company rather than yourself, you may be required to sign a work from home agreement. These often state that you cannot be another person’s primary caretaker while you are working. Sure, there are loopholes (if you’re a good worker and you have a nice boss), but the bottom line is — you could lose your job if you are caring for your children while you work.

2. Children. Require. Interaction.

And lots of it! It is how they make connections with the world around them. It’s how they learn everything from social skills, to the alphabet, to how to ride a bike. It’s what makes them feel safe. It’s what makes them feel loved. And if they aren’t receiving a TON of positive attention, they begin to act out as a means to receive negative attention (any attention is attention). When you are up and working at 7 AM with an hour for lunch and an eight hour shift, guess what you aren’t really doing? Interacting with your child. And to top it off, no one is. Because you, the work at home mom, have it made. You don’t have to pay for the sky-rocketing costs of childcare and you still get to rake in the paycheck.

Memphis Moms Blog toddler while mom works

3. Working from home as a mother can lend itself to hectic schedules. 

Sure, all of us find things a bit hectic from time to time. For most of us, though, we don’t have to juggle work and our children simultaneously. My days look something like this:

5:30 AM – Wake up; Drink Coffee; Nurse Baby

6:00 AM – Clock in and start working

6:30 AM – Toddler comes out whining; Dad takes over so I can continue working

7:00 AM – I get to see my toddler for a few minutes while I eat breakfast

10:00 AM – Dad starts getting ready for work

10:01 AM – TODDLER MELTDOWN

10:05 AM – WORK CRISIS

10:06 AM – BABY IS SCREAMING

And it all explodes. The rest of the day is spent in this sort of loop where I am up and down and up and down trying to focus on tasks that really require two people at best. Put the baby down. Redirect the toddler. Work. Up. Down. Up. Down. Heaven forbid we need to leave the house!

4. Screens become your babysitters.

We’ve all done it. Plopped a baby in a bouncer or a toddler on the couch in front of the TV so that we could make dinner, blow dry our hair, or fold the laundry. Imagine having to distract a child for eight hours so that you could complete the tasks you were working on. I find myself rotating my toddler from outside play, to the TV in the living room, to a smaller TV in his room, to his phone, and back outside. 

Memphis Moms Blog kid on screen while mom working

5. You get Mom Guilt and Work Guilt, leaving you feeling exhausted and lonely.

I talk to many people all day long, through a computer screen and a keyboard and occasionally a phone call, where I apologize profusely for the background noise of a toddler who is desperate for his mother’s attention. Yet at the end of the day, I feel lonely and exhausted. Because I don’t have a choice. I have to work. I have to care for their bodes before I can care for their souls. I have to make sure that there is food on the table and a roof over their heads. And don’t we all know what that struggle is like? But this idea that the work at home mom has the best of both worlds just doesn’t play out as well as it looks on paper.

In the end — if I am succeeding at work, I may be failing my child. If I am succeeding at childcare, I may be failing my job. 

 

 

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