I’m going into the office today. I went in yesterday, too, and I’m going in tomorrow. This may not be news to you, but it is to me because I work from home 99% of the time. So since I never contributed my own story to CT Working Moms’ “A Day in the Life of a Working Mom” series, I’ll give you mine now with a twist: “A Day in the Office for a WAHM.” You’ll see how different that 1% of office life is from my normal routine.
6:30 AM — Shower before work. Dry my hair and put on a little makeup. All things I don’t normally do.
7:00 AM — Big gets up and comes into our room to snuggle, only to find me already getting dressed. Lie back down with him for 15 minutes and wish I never had to move.
7:15 AM — Get Little out of his crib, where he’s singing at the top of his lungs: “Somedayyyyyy . . . my prince will cooooooome . . .”
7:30 AM — Pick out clothes for Little and get him dressed. Try not to show how tickled I am when Big digs through his closet to find his tie dye shirt, “because Mama LOVES tie dye!” Look the other way when he puts it on with striped sweatpants.
7:50 AM — Finish getting dressed while the boys watch me in awe. “Mama, you look pretty!’ Don’t sound so surprised, kid. Guess I should dress up for them once in a while.
8:00 AM — Blow Big’s mind when I try to get out the door. “What do you mean you’re going to the office?! That’s downstairs in the basement! Can I go with you? Why? Will you be here to give us lunch? WHY?!”
8:15 AM — Leave for the office.
8:20 AM — Arrive at the office. Okay, so my commute is not very long even when I do go into the office. That’s why I don’t know any Top 40 songs anymore — I’m never in the car long enough to listen to the radio.
8:30 AM — Arrive in the office. Yes, it takes longer to walk across the parking lot than it takes to drive to said parking lot from my house. Try to relish what may be my only exercise for the day.
8:31 AM — Head for the stairs to the second floor. Make a U-turn and take the elevator up one floor instead. Why not? I already got in my exercise for the day!
8:35 AM — Hit the cafeteria with friends to catch up and drink my first (of many) Diet Mountain Dews of the day.
9:00 AM — Start working. Remember that I like to work in the office and like to have more adult conversation.
Noon — Lunch in the cafeteria. Forgot to pack anything so I have to pony up ten bucks for a hot lunch. Wander through the cafe with my tray, looking for the cool kids’ table and feeling like an outcast from “Heathers.”
12:30 PM — Call home to talk to the boys. Listen to them fight over who gets to be Buzz Lightyear and hear who is eating their lunch (Big) and who is not using the potty (Little).
1:00 PM — More work. Realize how much I miss my boys after being away from them for only five hours.
4:00 PM — Trek back out to my car for the zip home.
4:05 PM — Scoop up the boys and hug them tight, trying in vain to meet my snuggle quota for the day.
While it’s nice to connect in person with my professional peers once in a while and I do occasionally like wearing a bit of lipstick, I feel like I have the rest of my career to do that. My boys will be little for only a short time. Soon enough, they’ll be off to school and my house will be quiet — too quiet — during the day. Until then, I’ll continue to jump right from that early morning snuggle into my ergonomically-correct desk chair. I’ll continue to work hard from that office in my basement while listening to the
pitter patter gallop of little feet above my head. I’ll continue to feed my boys lunch and kiss their boo boos in between conference calls and action item meetings. For me, working from home means more hours actually spent working, but I’m a happier person while doing it. I’m more focused on work and more productive when I can recharge myself with cuddles. Work/life balance? I’ve got it. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.