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A Day in the Life of a Work-at-Home Mom

Photograph by Photofest

Recently, I made the transition from working outside of the home to working at home full-time. I was so excited to turn in my notice and begin my life as a work-at-home mom. But now? I'm only two months into my life as a WAHM and I'm fully aware of how naive I was.

I envisioned achieving a perfect work-life balance and instead was met with a heavy dose of reality. Being a work-at-home mom means I am shoving between 30 and 40 hours of work each week into the margins, the nap time and bedtime hours and relying heavily on my girls, grandmas and husband to pick up the slack. Curious what a day in the life of a work-at-home mom looks like?

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4:15 a.m.: One of the undeniable truths about my life is that one, or both, of my children, will wake up 15 minutes before my alarm goes off. I wipe a nose, pop a pacifier back in the mouth or change a diaper, then I crawl back in bed.

4:30 a.m.: NOPE.

4:45 a.m.: I finally drag myself out of bed when I remember I have a 7 a.m. deadline and I am overcome by crippling panic.


Nothing a little positive self talk can't fix.

5 a.m.: After a pep talk and a little coffee, I am in front of my computer and no one can stop me now.

5:05 a.m.: Except for my 1-year-old baby, who only wakes up before 6:30 a.m. if she can smell a deadline approaching.

5:30 a.m.: I have nursed the baby back to sleep, and I've got an hour and a half to write 1200 words.

6:45 a.m.: I hear my 3-year-old climbing out of her bed, and I still have 35 words to go.

Time to do the mom thing.

Just kidding. It's more like this:

And a little of this:

But mostly a lot of this:

Noon: I somehow manage to feed both children lunch, change their diapers and put them both down for a nap at the exact same time.

Nap time for both girls means I should be clocking back in. I typically have at least one end-of-the-day deadline to meet and a few longer term projects to work on during this time. But, if I am being perfectly honest, most days the first half an hour of nap time looks a little more like this:

2 p.m.: Eventually, I get my act together and start scrambling to get all of my work done before someone needs me again. And I ALWAYS get all of my work done before they wake up.

2:05 p.m.: Who am I kidding? I actually rarely get all of my work finished before they wake up. Whether or not I am finished, I put my computer away and spend the rest of the afternoon on the clock as mom again. Ya know, cooking and cleaning and stuff.

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8 p.m.: Our girls are usually in bed for the night and I have at least an hour's worth of work left. So, I get back to work even though I am feeling like this:


Life has not been perfect since I began working at home full-time. I keep telling myself there is an adjustment period, but I am coming to accept that sleeplessness and feeling perpetually behind is part of the work-at-home mom gig. I happily continue to do so. It may not be perfect, but working from home gives me the freedom to do the kind of work I love and gives my family the balance they need.

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