Three guesses what I'm trying to do.
There’s 10 kilos on my back but I’m not hiking.
I’m at work but I haven’t left my house.
I wish I had 4 hands, 2 extra eyes on the back of my head and an extra compartment in my brain to jump in and out of two jobs.
I wrestled, I meal prepped, became an expert on Baby Shark, had a meeting, put on a load of laundry, wiped vomit off my shirt, wrote up a document and sang a nursery rhyme… all before 9am.
Can you guess what I’m trying to do?
I’m a mum trying to work from home.
LET ME PAINT A PICTURE.
The hoodie on my jacket is under my chin and not on my back. Why? Because I had a phone meeting with my boss and my newly-turned-one-year-old-toddler is narky as, and needs to sleep. So on I don the baby carrier (or baby backpack as I like to call it) to sway him to sleep while I speak to my boss and try to present the uh-huh! thought I had over this morning’s nappy change. Bub falls asleep (thank you white noise of mummy’s meeting) and I do find the words to speak to my boss. But I get cold because its too chunky to put on the jacket under the carrier - so on it goes.. backwards.
The coffee I mistakenly thought I could have warm finally gets drunk. It’s sub 10 degrees at my place but I seriously contemplate making the best out of the situation and chucking ice in to it - what a great idea I thought! Have a fancy ice latte instead! But then remember - Yeah nah that’s a horrible idea, child is sleeping on your back remember- risk waking him up with the clunk of the ice machine? Rookie error.
On continues the swaying and working and since it’s quiet, I relish the solid thinking time. My mind jumps back just a year ago, and I think - you were always efficient but things now get done so how much faster now. Tick-tick-tick things go off the to-do list. Winning!
BUT THEN YOU FREEZE.
Uh oh the boss is calling. The assessment of the next move is swift, but it’s a big one. It goes as follows:
Do you answer? Do you risk waking up the toddler? Or do you not answer and risk being a road block on the project? How long as he slept, are we in the danger zone between sleep cycles?
You decide, ok, we’re okay, we’re over the 45 minute mark so you answer with a whisper. Boss knows what this means so continues on without skipping a beat. Their question gets asked while mirroring you with the whispers. Problem solved, work continues.
Nothing like understanding.
Working from home is like trying to do jobs at the same time, one that pays you with a salary, and one that pays you in love. Sometimes you feel like you’re failing at both, like when you couldn’t get to the mute button fast enough and bub randomly baby babbles/shouts while you are in the middle of trying to say something profesh. Then you try to hide the embarrassment and say “I’m so sorry, that’s just my toddler wanting to be part of the conversation” in a sheepish attempt to laugh it off.
But, it helps when you have an understanding boss and an organisation that values flexible working. As a new mum trying to find her way, this understanding is gold.