I often tell people how great it is to be a work from home mum. How lucky I feel to work two and a half days a week from the comfort of my house and spend the rest of the time with my toddler and my first grader. “It’s the best of both worlds,” I tell friends. “I get to be a mum but still have my own identity.”
Honestly, though? F*ck that. The reality is that I have two days a week to cram in as much work as possible, often resuming unfinished tasks after dinner, plus I’m still saddled with a week’s worth of cooking, cleaning and taking care of the kids. My husband pitches in, but, come on. We all know who’s better at the day-to-day drudgery. It’s us: the mums. Even if it’s technically one of my work days, I’m always the one scrambling around like a maniac to kick the day into gear for everyone, all while my husband sips his coffee and reads the news before sauntering into the shower and getting himself dressed. It hardly feels fair but, also, I get it. That’s how it has to be. Even on my designated work days, I don’t need to get “ready” like my husband does. It doesn’t matter if I’m dressed or have my teeth brushed by 8 am because I’m not going anywhere. My office is my bed, and my dress code is bra-optional.
I know, I know. What am I complaining about? I mean, I have a job and I still get to be there for my family. It sounds awesome… and yet, sometimes it isn’t. At the end of the day when I’ve clocked out I’m suddenly rushing to do all the mum stuff (which I won’t go into detail over because you probably don’t need reminding of all the sh*t you do for your family on a daily basis). Meanwhile, what is my husband doing? Most of the time he comes home in time to do bedtime with the kids, but there’s always a chance he’ll text me from work asking if it’s okay to grab a drink with his colleagues before he heads home. And I don’t begrudge him his social life, it’s just that as a WFHM, there’s no one for me to grab a spontaneous drink with at the end of the day on my way home. a.) I’m already home, and b.) my colleagues basically live inside my computer. It gets pretty f*cking lonely!
Maybe I’m feeling especially irate about my circumstances today because, although it is technically one of my “work days,” I am not working. BOTH of my kids woke up sick this morning (well, we were up with them all night, too), and they’re both staying home from school and daycare today. But guess whose job it is to drop everything in order to stay home and nurse them back to health? Not my husband’s, that’s for sure! There was absolutely no question that it would be my job. I appreciate the fact that my husband praises me on a daily basis for all the things I do to keep our family functioning, but why does nursemaid always seem to fall on Mum’s shoulders? Okay, yes, I know that my husband makes more money than I do, but does that make his time more important than mine? The fact is, it doesn’t. Or, at least, it shouldn’t.
And that’s why it sucks so much to be a work from home mum. In fact, Mums: Whether you’re in an office all day, or working from home, or totally owning your SAHM status, can we just admit that sometimes it sucks for all of us? And it doesn’t mean I don’t feel lucky, or that I don’t love my family to death. I do. Sometimes it just sucks.