Every video or article that I have read about working from home all say the same thing, “find a quiet workspace”, “take your time”, “make coffee” the best one yet “take a bath to reset during the middle of the day.” How am I supposed to take a bath in the middle of the day when I can’t even pee without my son trying to climb on my lap to reach the toilet paper?! Bathroom privacy with a one-year-old is nonexistent. With COVID-19, I am at home being a student, employee, and mother, while my partner is working 24-hour shifts for the Milwaukee Fire Department (Thanks babe). I’m here to debunk the unrealistic expectations about Working From Home (WFH) parent’s edition.
We start the day at 8:00 am, logged in virtually for class in pajamas, both of us wondering “how did we get here?” As my professor is going on with the lecture, I am in the kitchen cooking breakfast with one hand and praying to god that my child does not dump his toothbrush into the cat’s water bowl the billionth time this week. When class is over, I switch tabs and start work, which isn’t bad. I recognized the privilege I have being able to WFH. But, now one task can take twice as long to complete. Every five minutes I am redirecting my curious child to new activities such as building with blocks and flipping through picture books. When it comes to staff meetings, I have become the queen of switching my microphone to mute and looking like everything Is fine when in reality Jaxson is using his outside voice while chasing our cats around with a Ukulele. It’s important to realize that we can’t change this situation that we are in and to take it easy. Being in your pajamas all day is completely fine, working with distractions are normal, and not having a complete dedicated workspace is also normal.
Taking care of children is no walk in the park and now it can be even more challenging than before, but you are not alone! Do whatever works for your family and yes that includes screen time!
A tip that I have learned is to nap during nap time after eating a giant bowl of fruity pebbles.
Your favorite Millennial Mama
(No cats were harmed)