We’ve all seen the viral BBC interview of the working-from-home dad who was suddenly interrupted on live television by his toddler. We laughed, we felt his pain and most all of, in some capacity or another, we can all relate.
With the rise of telecommuting and remote workplaces, many of us are fortunate to be able to work from home. This helps us save money on the increasing cost of childcare, allows us to spend more time with our kids and cut out the agonizing commute. But sometimes we may think we are losing our sanity in the process by trying to do it all and have it all.
Here are 5 facts about parents of multiples who work from home.
1. We are tired
Who isn’t? Especially parents of multiples. I laugh when I recall my younger self talking about how tired I was. I’m sorry to all my parent friends who had to endure my naivety.
Those of us who work from home may often stay up late or get up early to crank out projects because we are never too sure if our schedule will go as planned and we will actually be afforded uninterrupted time to get things done. 5am is a glorious productive time of the day- barring your kids aren’t sick and they don’t hear you tiptoeing around the house.
And wouldn’t it be lovely if there were also time to throw in a load of laundry, run the dishwasher or cook dinner? But in order to meet our work deadlines, we have to have strict boundaries for housework or else we would literally never sleep.
2. The mute button is our best friend
Nine times out of ten all my conference calls will be on mute so that those on the other line are spared from the commotion my twins are making in the room next to me. Inevitably, even when I have a babysitter, my home office is filled with the sounds of giggles…and if it isn’t I should be worried because that means my twinados are up to no good.
If I sounded out-of-breath on the call, it is likely that I ran outside to answer your question because either the dog was barking or my twins were banging pots and pans. I wanted to spare you of the wonderful musical going on in my kitchen at the exact moment you needed an update on my TPS reports.
3. Showering is optional
Honestly, I can’t be expected to feed my kids, bathe them, respond to emails, finish up a work project, call my mom back AND shower. Something’s gotta give. When you work from home you may look like a hot mess, but that’s usually a good sign you got a lot accomplished because, you know, priorities.
Next time you see a mom in Target with her hair in a top knot, spit up on her shirt, returning an email and wrangling her kids, give her a high-five or buy her a coffee. It is a feat to get through the day with little ones and we can’t be expected to look like an Instagram model as well.
4. We love a schedule, but probably have a baby on our hip
I’m so Type A I was thrilled when I had a scheduled c-section. (Please don’t judge, I’m working on letting things go- after all, I’m a parent of twin toddlers.)
However, as much as I love scheduled meal times, nap times, etc. things don’t always go as planned and my two hour block during nap time may be thrown out the window because of teething or the stomach flu. That means, I almost always have a baby on my hip and I’m okay with that. I’ve learned how to respond to emails with one hand so that has helped increase my productivity.
5. Life happens
We are all human and practicing grace over guilt is the only healthy way to work from home. Becoming a parent of twins has made me work harder, smarter and more efficiently, but it has also been a wonderful reminder that we all need to show love and kindness to our coworkers, friends and family.
I have days where I envy stay-at-home-parents and days where I envy the mom who gets to drive to an office and drop her kids off at daycare. Everyone has their struggles and feels the pull and demands of being a parent- no matter what their unique situation may be.
I love my work, but I’m crazy about my kids and am slowly learning how to set up healthy boundaries in my professional and home life so that I have time for both and can build in undistracted time with my little ones that allows me to be present. It isn’t easy- but boy is it worth it.
Stefani Zimmerman Drake is a wife, mom and lover of rescue dogs. She and her husband live in Charleston, South Carolina with their fraternal twin girls and dachshund, where they both work and are always dreaming about the next big adventure for their girls.
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