Monday, January 31, 2011

A taste of a work-at-home mom's life

Today, I stayed home with my sick little girl. It started suddenly on Saturday night with the symptoms of an oncoming cold. Sunday morning I was on the phone with my mother and Telehealth Ontario to see what was wrong with my little girl. She had had a horrible barking coughing fit when she woke up and ended up upset and in tears; as was I. Telehealth, after a thorough investigation, informed me it was a case of croup that could be treated at home. However, she was not to go back to daycare until her fever was gone.

Monday morning came and though she was feeling better, another coughing fit and an ill look to me meant I was going to stay home and do whatever I could to take care of my daughter in her weakened state.

I had already given my managers at the office a heads up that this might happen. My follow up email rung true of the rest of my day: I would try my best to follow up with my emails (which conveniently come to my blackberry, by the way).

We spent our morning curled on the couch while my little one dozed in and out of consciousness and I tried to type one-handed over her shoulder. As the day went on and my demand increased (by work and a sick little girl) I wondered how on earth work-at-home moms get any actual business done without help! Well, by the end of my evening I think I figured out how - they never stop working. Instead of a solid 8 hours at the office, an hour commute home and then another, oh, 3 with the family, it's a day with interwoven streams of child care, conference calls, document writing, meal planning sprinkled with play time and timesheets.

What I've learned from this is though I love the comforts of being home with Abby and DH more when I work from home, I undoubtedly either get less done in a regular work day or am working on all things right until bed time. And while I miss them while I am away, there is a certain je ne said quois about my shared office which not only makes getting work done more efficient, it means I love coming home to my family even more.

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