Since I was pregnant I have been working from home and something that I was always worried about was how I was going to juggle being a mother and working simultaneously. Soon after we came from home from the hospital and we had a chance to settle in, I turned on the computer and immediately felt completely overwhelmed. How was I suppose to answer an inbox full of emails while one hand was supporting my little one’s head? As hard as that first week was, I just kept telling myself it was going to get easier.
The truth is that to this day when I feel like I am totally present and patient with my little one, I look over and see a to do list on my desk that is so long that it basically touches the floor. And when my to do list looks small and under control, my little one has herself wrapped around my legs whining for mama. In the past 21 months I think maybe once did I look at my to do list and see everything checked off and then look over and see my little bundle of joy sleeping soundly. Oh yeah and that happened in my dreams.
What I am always striving for is some sort of balance. One thing that has always kept me more or less in check is a Reminder on my phone every 90 minutes. When the Reminder goes off, I then set a timer for 15 minutes and try to get as much done in that time.
Then once I get her to sleep for a nap and for the night I catch up on everything I missed from the day including picking up snacks from every square inch of the house and washing the dishes and all that other fun stuff.
A huge variable in my awesome plan on how to conquer the day is that I can’t exactly tell my little squish that it’s mommy’s 15 minutes and that she needs to go play. What usually happens is 2 minutes into my session she starts freaking out that I am not using a Minnie Mouse voice making Minnie dance in the air and the master plan is ruined.
At the end of the day, even if it a was fail the most wonderful thing in the world is hearing her little voice chirp, “Mama a hug? Mama a kiss?” and everything else just melts away. On days where I am particularly absorbed in work I like to explain that to her at the end of the day, “Mommy was very busy today and we are going to do something fun tomorrow.” And then the next day I try my best to follow through and we will go get ice cream or go the park and then I’ll remind her, “Remember when mommy was busy yesterday? Well now mommy can play without any distractions.”
I know that right now she probably doesn’t fully understand what that means, but I hope that by repeating these words and actions with her that when she’s a little bit older I can tell her, “Mommy needs 15 minutes and then after we can go do something fun.” and that she will know that I follow through and give me the full 15 minutes to get some work done.
Tomorrow will be always a new day, and if the day before was a fail I think trying make it up the next day merits a bit of forgiveness.