A Day in the life of a Work At Home Mom
After being a stay-at-home mom for the last 11 years, I recently got a new job. I don’t mean working for myself and building a business; I’ve done that, kind of. I’ve done the freelance thing in my “spare time.” Both were grueling, but not exactly a steady income for me. What does spare time even mean as a mom, anyway? I mean, I got an honest-to-Jeebus, 40 hours a week job that allows me to work from home. Yay for no commute, right?! Today I’m going to share a day in the life of a work-from-home mom.
The Day Begins
My day begins at 7 am. I wake up, brush my teeth, take a quick shower, and get dressed for the day. It’s now 7:30, which means it’s time to wake up the beastie boy. I make sure he’s awake and brushing his teeth, then go downstairs to make his breakfast and my coffee. He takes around 10 minutes of lounging on the sofa to entirely wake up for the day. While he’s eating, I iron his school uniform, make sure his electronics have charged the night before, and then pack his school bag. He gets dressed, and I double-check that he has everything he needs for the day.
Grudgingly, he puts his shoes and coat on, slings his backpack over his shoulder, gives me a quick hug, and then he’s out the door on the way to school. I make sure Mr. H is awake and has his laptops are turned on in his workspace: i.e., a corner of our bedroom. He also works from home. My “office” is in the corner of the living room. The joys of living in a small apartment, I suppose.
Once Punky is on his way to school, I go back into the kitchen and throw dinner in the crockpot. Then, I grab another cup of coffee because the first one, half full, has gone cold, and I don’t want to start my day off with room-temperature coffee. It’s now 8:50 am.
Time for work
I boot up my work computer, this tiny little box attached to two huge monitors. As that loads up, I quickly scan my desk to make sure I have everything I need – all of my notes from the day before, a pen that actually has ink in it. I need some highlighters, my headset, and all of my login details and passwords for the infinite systems I have to sign into daily.
Today is another zoom call. I’m in training for the next eight weeks, and It’s like being in school again. There is so much to learn, yet very little time to get it all done. So once my computer is loaded up, and all of the systems are logged in, I turn my webcam toward my ceramic owl. Cameras must be on, but they don’t have to be pointed at our faces. I am overjoyed. It is 9 am.
Zooming is the new way of life.
Our zoom call lasts all day long. We have training modules to complete, group activities to do, and presentations. We have our first break at 11:30 am. It’s a short one, only 15 minutes long. I quickly shove a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich in my mouth, chug a glass of water, and get back to work. When we come back from break, there is more of the same to do. More learning, more activities. I’m on my third cup of coffee for the day. Then we have our lunch break, 30 whole minutes of silence.
I throw some clothes in the washing machine, check on the crockpot to make sure nothing has burned, quickly tidy up the living room, grab my fourth cup of coffee and sit at my desk for the remaining 5 minutes of my lunch “hour”. Quickly, I eat some salted almonds, a small 1 oz hunk of cheese, and a boiled egg that is cold from the refrigerator. I wonder if my kettle is going to last throughout the training. I think that maybe I should buy a backup just in case it dies. The afternoon drags on.
Punky is home from school, but my day isn’t over yet
At 3:25, Punky rushes into the house, the door slamming behind him. He drops his coat and backpack on the floor, quickly says hi, and makes a beeline to the sofa. He’s exhausted too. I still have two more hours of work to complete before I’m finished for the day. I repeatedly tell him he needs to be quiet so that I can focus; there is an exam coming up soon. If I don’t pass the exam, I lose my job. No pressure, right?! The last two hours crawl by. My child is appeased with copious snacks and unlimited video games to amuse him while I work.
It is now 5:30 pm. I’m finished with work for today. I turn off my computer, close my notebook, and put down the pens.
After Work Routine
I am finally able to spend some quality time with my child. Thirty minutes pass by, and I have to finish making dinner. I whip together vegetables and a starchy side to go along with the main dish in the crockpot. Mr. H is finished with his work and comes downstairs to spend time with us. I dish up everyone’s plate, and we talk about how our day went while we eat.
After dinner, it’s time for Punky to do his homework. Mr. H gets settled in and helps with math homework while I have laundry to switch over to the dryer. Then, I start another load of washing. Next, I wash the dinner dishes and crockpot liner, readying them for the following day. I sit on the sofa with Punky while Mr. H is in the armchair. I’m quickly going over the to-do list that is saved into my phone. Remind me to go grocery shopping, check. Remind me to fill prescriptions, check. My brain won’t switch off.
Time to relax…kinda
We watch a movie together, laugh and joke around. Mr. H and Punky play a video game together for a short while, and I stare at my phone, willing my brain to go numb from the day’s schedule and the ever-growing to-do list that occupies space in my grey matter. It is now 9 pm— time for Punky to get ready for bed.
Bedtime for beastie
I make sure he hops in the shower, brushes his teeth, and puts clean pajamas on. I get Punky all tucked in. We talk for a few minutes about his daily worries, the highlights of his day, and what he hopes will happen tomorrow. I kiss him on his forehead three times, as is our ritual, sweep the hair out of his eyes (he’s in desperate need of a haircut), and say goodnight.
Does the laundry ever end?
I gather the laundry from the washing machine to switch over to the dryer. I plug in Punky’s electronics (his phone and iPad needed for school) and head back downstairs. Mr. H and I discuss any important matters that need to be shared, bills that need to be paid, what happened at work that we didn’t discuss earlier and our plans for the following day.
We watch an episode or three of a tv show together while I fold the laundry that I washed earlier, and then it’s time for us to get some sleep too. The next day will be just as busy. I carry the laundry basket up the stairs filled with stacks of clean clothes ready to be put away in the morning before work. It’s almost midnight, and we’re exhausted.
My day is over. Time for sleep!
My recap of “A Day in the Life of a Work At Home Mom” probably sounds familiar to many of you. But, if unlike me you are not a work-from-home mom and you have a commute during all of this craziness, my heart goes out to you. Sincerely. This is just the beginning of my full-time work-from-home journey. I’m only 4 weeks in so far; who knows what else is in store for me? I hope whatever you’re doing right now, you’re able to take a minute to relax. Have a great day, everyone!