Working from home with my baby wasn’t how I pictured it.
When I got the go-ahead to work from home two days a week with my daughter, I thought I had found the best of both worlds: I’d still be stimulating my mind and keeping my professional skills sharp, while getting to spend time with my baby.
I had always heard that working moms envied stay at home moms because they missed out on milestones while their precious babes were in the care of someone else. Meanwhile, stay at home moms daydream about a whole day in which a tiny human does not rely on them to deal with every bodily secretion.
Working at home was the holy grail. I had found the greenest grass; no other situation could possibly be better than this.
Or so I thought.
It turns out that working from home with a baby is a challenge. Some of the biggest struggles that I faced:
- Taking a “lunch break” meant multiple breastfeeding sessions throughout the day.
- Nap time was necessary if I wanted to get anything done during normal working hours.
- Most of all, my attention was never fully on my daughter and I felt guilty about that.
That last one came as a surprise.
My sweet girl loves interacting with others. And as she grew and gained mobility, she took to crawling over to my laptop and trying to sit on it to gain my attention. I apologetically pushed her aside every time, all while worrying that she would start to believe the screen in front of me was more important than her.
It wasn’t, of course. I was just trying to do my job so I could financially support her. I would be able to explain this to her one day, but you can’t explain this to a 1-year-old… no matter how many times I said, “I’m so sorry, baby. Mama has to work right now.”
What I learned is that ALL moms struggle.
Working moms are separated from their babies. Stay-at-home moms never get a break. And as a working from home mom, much of the time I was overwhelmed with conflicting priorities.
We would all do well to give each other more grace.
Moms and dads alike struggle with balancing the demands on their time. No matter what your working situation may be, it is hard to be a parent. In fact, parenting is a full time 24/7/365 job in and of itself.
It’s also the best job in the world. But that doesn’t make it easy.
Encourage the parents around you. Lift them up with your spoken words, with an uplifting note, with your actions, and in prayer.
You never know which mom or dad in the office might have just spent their morning cleaning vomit out of the carpet. Trust me; they can appreciate a simple, “Your kid is lucky to have you.”
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”(1 Thessalonians 5:11)