8 Days a Week: Swoon 45
When I was little we were asked to write paragraph on what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wanted to be a mom. Why? Kids were fun, I liked to cook and craft…besides, dad came home kind of grumpy most days, mom danced the meatloaf to the dinner table, it seemed pretty clear who had the better situation. As I aged, mom would casually say things like don’t ever be in the situation where you need to ask your husband if you can buy a pair of shoes. Hmmm… maybe there was more to this than I thought.
My business partner and I bought the graphic design firm we worked at in the mid 90s. Knowing that it meant little money and a LOT of long hours… for at least a few years. It was big. After three months of waking up sick to my stomach, I realized I was not nervous for my work day… I was going to be a mom. Surprise!
Jacob was a normal baby… he cried, he slept, he nursed. I was back to work on my home computer the night I got home. I was back in the office within a week. Baby Jacob was an office baby when he wasn’t with Greg or my mom. He nursed in the morning before I left, was walked up to the office to nurse after his nap, and many days stayed with me til my work day was over. My amazing office mates rocked and played with him, we took turns. He slept on my partners legs while he worked or in a Xerox box cozied up with blankets under my desk. It worked… for a bit.
Once able to move around at will, Jacob stayed home, I only got to be a mom from 6:00pm to 8:30am. Great hours for a working mom, but not enough for me. When Olivia the wonder baby came along I was a pretty seasoned juggler. I designed an annual report from 11pm to 6am through the first stages of her labor. Writing down contraction times and listening to my friend’s (a brilliant midwife) advice… don’t go to the hospital until you can not walk with out holding onto a wall. I finished and packed up the annual report, woke Greg, waited for my sister in law (to be) to watch Jacob until his nanny could take over, kissed my little guy goodbye (sobbing)… and we went to meet the brilliant, intense, joyous, crazy, wonderful Olivia. Olivia was about an hour old when she met the intern from my office. A lovely young young man who had no idea going to the recovery room of his boss (and her new baby) was part of the job description. I think it was a good learning experience for him… wear a condom, always. He was horrified. He took the annual report and left. He ran.
Being a working mom with two kids was a bit more difficult. Olivia came to the office daily for feeding. Jacob thankfully was a morning person, so he and I had mommy time with baking and crafts from 5am to 8:30am. I would bring work home each night for after they went to sleep…eventually I worked from home part time…it was what it was.
I soon realized going into work was a bit of a break. I missed mommy and me group activities and some “firsts” I am sure, but it was ok, I had some peace at the office, my brain was kept active. I was straddling the fence. I saw both sides and both situations were super hard and super beautiful.
After my partner and I split I moved my business to a home studio. I was able to be PTA President numerous times and co-run an amazing Girl Scout Troop. I was class mom every. single. year. for both kids (except three times). I was finally the mom I pictured my self being. I also worked 8-14 hour days, 7 days a week. There was no start of the work day, no end of the work day… everyday was never ending. I would also never need to ask my husband if I could buy shoes.
The other day a friend posted that her young daughter something like “EVERYDAY is EVERY DAY!” She is very wise, it is all the same, a never ending day. That is what working from home and being a parent is like. Day after day.
I recently saw the meme below… I could not have identified more. Since my “kids” are grown, working from home can mean waking, walking, working, ordering things online, cooking, watching a show, reading, going to bed…day after day after day. I think I am good at quarantining because I have been doing it for years.
So, world… welcome to the world of stay at home parents, where kids are there 24/7…welcome to the world of working from home where there is no end or beginning…welcome to the world of of quarantine where there is a world outside but you are too busy running a business and a home to see it as often as you would like.
It will all work out… and maybe we will all respect the working parents, the stay at home parents, and the parents who do both… because ALL are awesome.