What it’s Like to Work from Home… with Kids

When you have kids, it can be tough to juggle life. Especially when both you and your spouse work outside the home and daycare (aka school) is closed. Today was one of those days. One of those long, long days.

I just started a new job. I’m on week 4. So I’m still trying to gain trust and establish myself. It used to be so easy. I was focused. I was ambitious. I wanted to learn and do my best and shine like a star powered by the strong glow of fluorescent office lighting. Climb that corporate ladder like the yodeler character in that Price is Right game.

That all changed when I had my son. Now a mom of 2, all corporate ambition vanished. I realized that with 2 kids, “Outstanding” performance reviews are a thing of the past. Work no longer came first. Or even second. It couldn’t.  For some reason, I was able to manage the juggle better with one kid. Probably because I’m not one of those Super Woman Moms. I’m a real person. Some might say it’s more specifically because I’m not “organized” and I don’t “plan ahead”. But at least I’m pretty, right? That’s a positive that can get me ahead in the “juggling work and family and friends and dreams and working out and meal prep and not forgetting my prepped meals and selecting the correct number of tax deductions on my pre-employment forms” game for sure. Did I just let $200 worth of veggies go bad? Yes. But my smokey eye is on point today so that totally makes up for it.

Anyway, today was not a productive work day. Today was a day that consisted of just trying to keep up with emails and not much else. My daughter is great at letting me do my thing. If she has a tv, she’s good to go. Unless she sees me on my personal computer.  Then she wants to use said computer to “check her status”, which means she wants to take the quiz to see if she’s still in House of Slitherin.  #Priorities.  My son, on the other hand, would totally crawl back into my uterus and live happily ever after if it were at all possible. He wants me with him AT ALL TIMES. If he can’t see me, he finds me. If he can’t find me, he yells for me. That’s very problematic when I need to get things done for work.

For example, today he decided to be a member of the band Ratt. Remember them? He just met their music thanks to Sirius XM’s hairband station. And he loves them. So he wanted me to find their music videos on YouTube. That way, he could sing and play guitar with them. While dressed in his Brock Lesnar costume. Meanwhile, my daughter watched 4 episodes of Scooby Doo and 9 episodes of Monk. So when the doctor asks how much screen time she gets at her next appointment, please know I will lie. I will straight up lie. She gets 30 minutes of screen time and that’s all the doc needs to know. And all the moms who actually REMEMBER to cook the asparagus BEFORE it liquifies in the fridge can judge all they want. I welcome it. Cuz I judge them while peering from the top of my wine glass at the next PTA meeting.

At some point today the kids asked if they could go to Toys R Us and spend the $30 my grandmother gave them for Christmas. Seemed like a great way to get them out of the house for a bit. The visit was a success. Both walked out with goodies and stayed within budget so #blessed.

The trip to the grocery store, however, not so great. I only needed items for dinner (b.t.dubs, I made an AMAZING steak salad tonight. It was so good). Anyway, the kids were going crazy. Running all over the place. Bella putting Roman up to shenanigans. Shenanigans all over Fresh Market. And, yes, I yelled. And threatened to leave them. A few times. All the while, I was not getting any work done. I left with flank steak, avocados, tomatoes, cilantro-lime dressing, and the 2 kids I walked in with so… yay!

When I got home I did some work. And then it was time to cook dinner.

Ever feel like life is flying by and you’re holding on, white-knuckled, barely buckled in, and you know that if it would just slow down a little bit you could see what’s passing you. And maybe not fall off the roller coaster? Ugh.

Also, since we’re on a slight tangent, at what age do you start to gain weight by NOT eating? When did this start? I used to be able to skip a meal and lose 5 pounds! Now I skip a meal and gain 15. Son of a bitch. And don’t tell me it happens to everyone. If it did, I wouldn’t have skinny friends. Beautiful, skinny friends who “bounced back” 3 weeks after baby #4.  At least I’m pretty.  Starving, with 10 pounds to lose, but pretty.

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Feminist Schiminist

I never thought of myself as a “feminist”.  Feminist is a baaaad word.  It applies to females who douse themselves in patchouli oil and don’t shave their pits.  These creatures are too busy angrily screaming about men while teaching Women’s Studies at the community college to be taken seriously.  Feminist??? Me??? Gross.

excerpt from cartoon on fashion-inspiration-by-me.blogspot.com
excerpt from cartoon on fashion-inspiration-by-me.blogspot.com
Up front, I’ll be the first to admit that I have a severe aversion to being labeled.  It makes me feel too controlled, too confined.  Something I maybe should have considered before joining drama in high school or cheerleading or competing in pageants or a joining a sorority in college.

Don’t call me a sorority girl.  I have a name.  Don’t lump me with 60 other people just because we belong to the same club.  Although, it is a pretty awesome club.

{Oh, you’re an Eata Krappa Pie???  You must be a private school girl.}

Recently, however, I’ve realized that maybe I do buy in to the beliefs of feminism.

Merriam-Webster defines “feminism” as “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”

If that’s all there is to it, why not?  Everyone should have equal opportunities as long as the bar doesn’t have to be lowered to be considered equal.

{Give me what I want.  Do it. I can’t earn it on my own so you should just give it to me because it isn’t fair that I can’t have it.  Work harder???  No.  I won’t do that.  That’s stupid.}

Don’t accept me into an Ivy League school with a subpar GPA because I’m a girl.  Make me earn it.  Let me prove I’m better than your expectation.

We grow up screaming “Anything you can do I can do better!” at the top of our lungs but then what?  Too often we stop short of proving it.

{I can jump higher.  I’m not going to show you because I don’t want to embarrass you.}

I’ve always been competitive.  I knew from an early age that whatever I did in life I wanted to be the best.  But I’m also deeply afraid of failure.  So much so that it’s crippling to think of putting myself out there.  As a measure of self-preservation I stopped trying.

{What if no one likes me, what if no one takes my ideas seriously, what if no one reads the random thoughts I piece together and call a blog?????  Ha, that’s funny.  Everyone will read my blog.}

I don’t think I’m the only one in the world who feels this type of fear.

What I do know is that I’m tired of being afraid all the time.  Who cares if I fail at something I’m passionate about?!?  Who cares what other people think.  I know I’m awesome.

I spent my first marriage trying to convince someone that I’m worth being with when I should have been convincing myself.  If I know I’m great, those who don’t can suck it.

Girls are given mixed messages.  We can be whatever we want.  We can have it all.  As long as we marry a prince.  But first we’ll have to scale an icy mountain, draw blood on a needle, survive a poisoning, get turned into a frog, and escape a kidnapper/shoe thief.  If we succeed he’ll save us from our evil step-mothers and we’ll live happily ever after.

Um, wake up, Sleeping Beauty.  Your Prince snores, he doesn’t clean up after himself, and he lives with his dad.

{Hey, Snow, I have a zit on my back that I can’t reach.  Imma need you to pop that for me after I blow this snot rocket on the shower wall that I won’t clean up because I know  you’ll  clean it if I leave it there long enough.}

I checked Snow White’s Twitter account shortly after she married Prince Charming.  It said, “Hashtag, notwhatIsignedupfor” and rumor has it she’s back living with the Dwarfs (oh, sorry… “little people”).

Here’s my point: as a woman, we will always have to work harder for less.  There is no amount of shouting that can change it.  When we fought to enter an equal workforce we didn’t stipulate that we wanted to work in place of caring for a family.  The family duties are still there.

We are inundated with the opinions of everyone else.  You’re horrible if you work outside the home.  If you don’t work outside the home, you don’t work the “right way”.

Women judge other women.  Women judge themselves.  Women look to men to solve their problems and we all know that just creates worse problemsGenerally speaking, men create the problems that only women can effectively clean up.  It’s like asking a muddy dog to mop the floor.

Stop.  It.  (that’s what she said)

Also, stop priding yourself in how much you can take on.

{I founded the “Women Who Are Better than You Because They Multitask” Club.  I run 2 companies, have 4 kids, AND I go to night school for my PhD.  Thaaaaat pretty much proves I’m better than you.}

I have 2 kids, I work full-time, I coach cheerleading for 4 months out of the year, I have 2 dogs, and I’m married.  AND I’M EXHAUSTED.  There are days that I don’t think I can do it all.  There are days I don’t want to do it all.  I am grateful for my job but there are days I resent it.

{I noticed you were out with a sick child last week.  You are missing too much work.  Can’t your husband help?}

Truth is, I don’t want to be considered equal.  I want to be considered awesome.  I’m done trying to be perfect and I’m done trying to be better.  Look at how happy Elsa was when she “Let it Go”.

I’m just gonna Keep Calm and Stay Pretty.  Cuz THAT I can do.

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