As I sit here typing, Huck is loudly protesting his exersaucer and Taratabong is playing in the background, failing at its job to distract him from being in “baby jail.” There are Cheerios, blocks, and princess high heels strewn about the living room floor. My hair is a mess (I haven’t brushed it in three days) and I still have my pajamas on. My Keurig has been working double-duty all morning and my to-do list is somehow growing rather than shrinking, even though I’ve been working for four hours already today.
Luke thankfully took Marleigh to the playground to play with her cousins, seeing as it’s beautiful outside and when the sun is shining, it’s basically a form of torture to keep a toddler trapped indoors. It will be nap time when they get home, and I will kick into turbo-speed to get the rest of my work done and hopefully sneak in a few minutes to tidy up the house from our mini tornadoes and maybe, just maybe, get something to eat.
If you’re a stay-at-home/work-at-home parent, or any parent of toddlers/babies, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I am in the trenches. Loud, chaotic, messy, emotional. Did I mention chaotic? Don’t get me wrong. My gig is good and it’s one I am thankful for every day. I stay at home two days a week and go into the office for my “day job” three. I always have a long weekend and I sometimes get paid to work in my pajamas. Two days a week, no one judges me if I have three cups of coffee before 11 AM and take coloring breaks with my almost-three year old.
It’s fun and rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But it’s difficult sometimes too. When Huck is teething and inconsolable. When Marleigh resists her afternoon nap because she’s “not tired.” When the dog is freshly shaved from running away (another story altogether) and he can’t stay outside as long as he usually does because his skin is too sensitive. When the house is a mess and I feel like my head is slowly but surely sinking under the waves of responsibility I am up against.
As a mom, I’m constantly wishing that I had a timer for my life. A way to pause in the really good days, when Marleigh is sweet and a good listener, when Huck’s smiles light up the room and laughter fills the air. The seconds at a time that Hans is laying down still and not getting into things he shouldn’t be. A fast-forward button for the days and nights that are stressful. The sleeplessness, the tantrums, the toddler testing our limits. A way to quickly breeze past them, a few moments at a time, until we get back to the good. A stop button for the crying, the whining, the high emotions that sometimes come with this job as a mom. And a play, possibly the most important button I could wish for. To take more breaks to color and read with Marleigh and dance around the living room with Huck. Time to run around in the yard with Hans so he can get some of his energy out and maybe, just maybe, not destroy so many baby toys. To go on dates with my husband and forget about the worries of finances and budgets every once in a while. To turn off Netflix and start finding new ways to entertain and teach the little minds I’m responsible for molding, even when I’m busy making ends meet professionally.
Over the past two years of working at home, I’ve learned a lot of things about how I work best and the ideal conditions for the highest productivity. But every once in a while, usually right about the time when I think I finally have it all figured out, I realize that I still have a long ways to go.
Luckily, my “coworkers” are pretty understanding … most days 😉