It’s a been two months and we’ve reached the acceptance stage of quarantine life, mostly since there’s no end-date in sight. For the time being, my husband and I are both coming to grips with the realities of becoming a work at home parent.
Not just that, we’re homeschooling our wildling and we’re all kinds of excited! I mean, we get to be home all together 24/7. Who doesn’t want that?
The adjustment to becoming a work at home parent was hard. But, we’re getting the hang of it. Slowly.
There were arguments over who said what to who or who is going to homeschool when or why is the kid still living here? We fought over lunches and outings and why socks are bumpy.
There were disagreements over space and noise and why I still have my recorder from elementary school, which my son found and is now practicing for his one-man show.
Eventually the dust settled, and slowly, we’re familiarizing ourselves with this brave new world and all it has to offer, like:
When you are a work at home parent, you are never alone. Ever.
Once upon a time I was a person who loved being surrounded by people constantly. Being alone gave me too much time in my head and that was a dark place. However, after I had a kid, alone time was something I found myself craving. It was something I wanted – no, needed – in my everyday life to breath and think and just be.
Now there’s no space whatsoever. Alone time is a thing from the past.
Years from now they’ll make a documentary titled: “That One Time They Were Alone – A Parent’s Story Going from Freedom to Quarantine”.
However, after I cried enough to set a canoe down a stream, I dried my eyes and looked at my situation. No, it isn’t ideal, but am I ever grateful. Grateful I get to spend eternity trapped in a house I’m hoping doesn’t turn into a scene from Saw.
“Cherish these moments” is something I read daily on social media and are those parents ever right! We will never get these torturous hours back. We will look back on this time and think, Wow! I sure do miss those days when all we had to look at were each other’s faces.
I just know I’ll look back on these times and think how lucky I was to have a buddy to go to the bathroom with all day. No one at work does that with me. No one.
Being a work at home parent will give you hours of non-stop fun with your kids.
Remember when all you did at work was work? Zero fun, right? Well, now working from home with your kids present provides you with an incredible amount of entertainment. Not only that, the day is filled with surprises.
Will today be the day my kid presents his one-man recorder show in the middle of a Zoom meeting?
Your days start off as they normally would, until you realize that changing out of pajamas is an option and there’s a small creature bugging you for tablet time before you’ve had a sip of coffee.
You run around, frantically trying to get the day in order, serving breakfast and making ridiculous schedules you know won’t keep. You argue with little minions while trying to set yourself up for work. You forget what day it is and there isn’t a sane person in sight who can help you out.
You don’t even realize that you’ve been white-knuckling your morning away until you get to sit down in front of the computer, ready for a Zoom conference, complete with a pajama shirt and hair looking like you just walked out of a car wash.
Pay no attention to the negative comments your childless online coworkers make. They can’t possibly understand the exhilaration work-at-home-parents are feeling right now.
Being a work at home parent is the perfect time to practice your multi-listening skills (as if you needed to.)
Never underestimate the importance of a story coming from a small child. Their imagination is building, and they are filled with things to tell you, hums and haws and all.
You’ll feel a warm sensation in your heart – no, it isn’t heart burn or a heart attack – while your child tells you why he thinks we should set up homes for vampire bats in the backyard (he has a point).
Sure, the story may be going on while you’re trying to listen to your boss give you the next steps, but this is learning moment for you.
In all seriousness, though, however you are handling becoming a work at home parent, kudos to you!
Our work is constantly interrupted with requests for milk, granola bars, and Minecraft.
Homeschooling is fit in between meetings and prepping and marking. You may or may not hear a banshee-like sound coming from our closed windows on any given day, but hey, who isn’t freaking out at this point?
Work at home parents are now learning to work at home with mini dictators, which is not the same deal they had before, so keep your comments to yourself Cheryl.
Work-away-from-home parents are learning to work at home with mini terrorists in tow, which is a major learning curve for everyone.
Stay at home parents are now learning to manage with their entire families being home, which I can’t imagine is any different than the above.
We’ve all got our shit, so be kind and keep hoping that when this is over, we’ll come out with all our limbs and phalanges, and less judgment.