I have a lovely home office space that very rarely, if ever, gets used. Why? Because I have two wild and fun elementary school-aged boys, a newish puppy (a gorgeous lab!), a slightly more grown-up lab, and a partner who also works. My kiddos are very used to me working all sorts of wild and crazy hours, and emergency calls, but since I’m not usually a work-from-home mom, they have very little respect for the “Mom’s Working!” time. Typically if I’m home, I’m fair game. So, in the spirit of thriving through this chaotic time, I give you the “Working From Home… Yeah, Right (full of snark) Edition!
Creating the Illusion will work
- Set up adorable, personalized spaces for each member of your family. And take a picture now, because it’s the only time it will actually look like that. Admire your hard work and then laugh at yourself for ever believing your family members would actually work at the provided space. Your space is more appealing, or brother’s area, or the actual office where Dad is trying to hold a work meeting, or on the dog’s bed. You know, wherever.
- Invest in a snarky item that makes you smile during technology fails, the occasional insufferable conversation, your kiddos once again only interrupting you because they forget that they may have someone else in the house who can help, etc. Keep it just out of the range of the webcam (THIS IS AN IMPORTANT MUST… unless you work in a pretty relaxed office environment), but where you can enjoy it. My favorites are the “Swearing” art (just look at how cute it is!)
- Create a ridiculous school-at-home schedule for your kid, per their request. (Then prepare to abandon it by Day 3)
The “are you even working from home?!” list:
- …if your kid has never interrupted a call with your boss or another very important work person to shout, “can you make me a cupcake for breakfast?!”
- … if you haven’t, also yourself, eaten a cupcake for breakfast?
- …if you haven’t abandoned your no-soda or limited caffeine lifestyle to basically inject a DIY caffeine IV system?
- … if you haven’t emailed, instant messaged or called your partner who is working in the other room?
- …if you haven’t started each Zoom meeting or conference call with introducing your kids and your dogs, because you know at some point at least one of them is joining in or smashing their face into the camera?
- …if you also haven’t returned a missed call, while apologizing for missing it because you were pouring cereal, getting another juice box, etc.?
- …if you have put on makeup, at least once, when you usually never wear it to work, because otherwise, you look like you’re actually living through a Zombie apocalypse on your webcam?
- …if you haven’t nailed up a shower curtain to the open doorway to your “office” in a wasted attempt at privacy?
- …if you haven’t had at least two piles of Lego on your desk?
- …if you haven’t spent an inordinate amount of time unplugging and plugging in various devices to your minimal USB ports? (And then also cursed everyone for running out of supplies like USB hubs and webcams in our time of need?)
- …if you haven’t switched into your “work shirt” for an on-camera meeting, followed by promptly changing right back into your YAY I’M WORKING FROM HOME t-shirt. (Also moms, here is an unsponsored opinion of the world’s best work-from-home-uniform leggings! Treat yo self.) Every day can be casual Friday #blessed.
- …if you haven’t developed an even bigger love and appreciation for your kids’ teachers, daycare providers, babysitters, etc.? I NEED MY VILLAGE.
- …if you haven’t had a lunch or dinner, or lunch and dinner that consisted of fridge or pantry scavenger hunt/ fend for your own self meals?
And to wrap this up with a short personal story from the trenches, shout out to my youngest who was asked by my coworker this morning if he was having fun at home with mommy, and hand to god, without missing a beat, said kid throws me right under the bus and says “no, not really, she’s always too busy on the phone with meetings.”