This is a work at home mom “throwback” story from a day about five months ago. It’s one of my favorites so I couldn’t leave it out. Laugh along with me as I retell how this day went. I can’t make this stuff up.
The day started like any other. I was up every three hours with the teething nine month old, Maddux. Like a zombie, I stumbled to get dressed. Josh, my lover/father of my children/boyfriend, kindly offered to make me coffee as I juggled the baby, got dressed and planned how I was going to throw a bunch of things in a blender, bake them and hope to make strawberry pancakes for my two-year old, Ryder. The plumber was set to show up at 8am to fix a leaky (flooding) faucet in the bathroom so we were getting ready for that. The neurotic dog had his beeping collar on so that when the plumber came, he wouldn’t go to nuts.
8am is when I start my work day and when general chaos ensures. The nanny arrived at her usual 8am time, along with the plumber. The dog lost his mind and didn’t care that there was a collar beeping at him every time he barked. The sink got fixed in a timely manner. Thankfully, no one called me during the 8am hour of nuts. The baby was down for his morning nap when the crazy dog + beeping combo went off, but luckily didn’t wake up. Though it was a bumpy start, I was still able to get a little work done before my 9am conference call.
At 9am came the conference call I wasn’t even sure why I was on. I knew nothing about anything that was going on and was asked lots of “engineer-y” questions that I could not answer (I am the senior commercial estimator for a construction company). Then, I had to pee during the call and didn’t know how long the call would go on, so off I went. I hit the mute button and did my business. The toilet wouldn’t flush, obviously. So in between saying “I am really sorry but that is just beyond my expertise. I have to get back to you,” I was muting the phone and plunging the toilet. Ten minutes later, while still on the call, I finally solved the toilet problem.
I finally got off the conference call to find the air outside the house was filled with smoke and ash. There was a fire somewhere. I heard sirens, but had no idea where they were coming from. Here in southern California, we are on high alert for wild fires that may make their way to us. I walked outside, didn’t see flames, figured I didn’t need to evacuate, and attempted to go back to the 65 emails that had built up that morning.
The nanny came inside and said “I am really sorry, but I was waiting to take the kids to the park and Ryder really wanted to go in the yard and I got stung by a bee. I may or may not be allergic.” Said bee sting proceeded to get crazy and the whole side of her face swelled up. So off she went to the ER. Allergy confirmed.
The day had been exceptionally nuts with work and I was in high demand. I had to field 3,200 phone calls, while my kids screamed. The house looked like a tornado hit, but they managed to give me time to make them lunch.
After lunch time came nap time. Thankfully both kids went down for their naps without much fight and I was able to catch up on some of the things and people I had screaming at me. I was able to put most of my work things off until the following day.
In the end, I remember this day well. I remember feeling frantic and stressed about everything. What I don’t remember is the work things that caused my stress. I remember thinking I wasn’t “mom-ing” or “employee-ing” well, but I remember feeling most guilt about my mom-ing inability that day. Thankfully kids are resilient and they don’t take it personally.
Are you ready for a work at home adventure yet?
Lessons of the day:
- Decline invites for conference calls that you are useless in? I think starting the day with such a stressful situation that made me feel inadequate wasn’t a good thing and made the day go much rougher than it would have otherwise.
- It’s hard to balance two things that require your full attention and it will almost always fail. Pick the most important thing and focus on that. Wait one more day to deal with the mess of the other stuff.