I am extremely blessed to have an awesome job that allows me to work from pretty much anywhere. As long I meet my goals and get my tasks accomplished, my work environment can be very flexible. So, in an effort to “have it all” I decided to let my little man stay home from camp and spend the day with mommy.
The grand plan I envisioned started with us getting dressed in our work clothes (no hat, and a shirt with a collar for my little man), having a healthy breakfast at the table and enjoying a nice car ride into the office. My morning was more like this – a quick cup of coffee, fast shower for me, long shower for him ended by a flood in the bathroom. Me - mopping the floor while encouraging him to wear his ‘work clothes’. Him- fighting with me about what coordinates and why it is perfectly ok to wear a hat to the office. By this time I gave up hope of a warm breakfast for the two of us and threw some goldfish crackers in a bag with some string cheese. I skipped doing my hair, threw on a dress and was out the door with my little co-worker next to me.
Once we arrived at the office I introduced him to my coworkers and the two of us set up shop at my desk. I had some phone calls to do and he had summer homework to catch up on. Our first ten minutes went like this: “Mommy, why is your office so small?” (It is actually one of the largest I’ve had!) “Mommy, why do you have a corner office?” “Mommy, why didn’t you decorate better?” “Mommy, who is the boss here?” “Mommy, can I have a snack?” “Mommy can I use the bathroom?” “Mommy, do you have any games?” “Mommy, can you please download a game to your computer?” “Mommy, can we go to lunch yet?” “Mommy, what is for lunch?” “Mommy, when are you going to be done?”
I LOVE my little man more than anything, but after 10 minutes of nonstop chatter I realized our business partnership was not going to make it that far. I quickly texted a friend and arranged a play date. Not to give up on my work from anywhere challenge today, I decided to pick up the friend and let them play at my house while I conferenced called my way through the day.
Good plans don’t always work out the way we hope……
My little man and his friends are good kids - really they are. They get along well and listen pretty well for being 7 ½ and 8 year old little boys. I decided I was going to be the kind of mommy that can work from home, make dinner and even do a project with the kids today. (Ok, in hind sight maybe I was being a little over confidant). First, the boys and I had our lunch at Subway (I was NOT going to fall for a drive thru – I’m dedicated to being Super Mommy today after all!) A few fart jokes and a lot of me saying things like “shh!” and “stop kicking each other” and I packed up our sandwiches and we hit the road. (I am beginning to think drive thrus were invented to keep the kid craziness IN the car and away from innocent citizens.) Next we went to the grocery store because I needed a few seasonings and thought the boys would enjoy baking brownies. We had a chance of rain yesterday, and this mommy was going to be prepared! Again a lot of “shh!” and “Stop kicking each other!” But I survived the trip and we made it home.
Once we were home the boys were in their element. They ran in the backyard with the dog, climbed trees, tossed footballs and generally were just being boys having fun.
I was on a mission to be a multi tasker and decided to start cooking dinner. I didn’t get my hot breakfast, the least I could do was dinner. A large pot of Black Beans and Andouille with some fresh veggies seemed like a great idea. I was happily chopping my way through peppers and sautéing onions when the dog came to the door all dirty at the same time my phone started ringing. CRAP! Work call! Barking dirty dog, and onions about to burn! Oh! And where did the boys go?
I lost the kids.
First I decided to let the phone go to voicemail, next I turned off the stove, put the cooking on hold and locked the dog outside. Since I was babysitting a friend’s child, I didn’t think they would appreciate me losing their kid. Found the boys – in a tree- spying on the neighbors. Great! Let’s just hope they didn’t call the police thinking there were peeping toms around.
Time for me to re-group. “I got this” I thought to myself. I’m successful. I manage a lot of big projects. I can manage working from home with my little man.
I gathered the boys and we set down some ground rules. No spying on neighbors, no messing with the dog, wear helmets when riding scooters (Safety first!) and no shooting nerf guns at strangers. We all shook on it and I got back to the kitchen. I decided to bypass any idea of a gourmet meal- tossed the remaining ingredients in the pot and turned it on simmer. The dog was whining to come in because it is hot as hell outside and he is a St. Bernard living in Florida (poor, poor puppy). I wrangled him in, cleaned him off and got ready to sit down at the computer.
Then I heard a ‘WHEEE!!!’ and saw a form flying down the road in front of the house. The road – with cars on it- with a great big hill- with more cars and driveways and a chance to get hurt- UGH!
I burst out of the house as fast as I could (well, fast as I could while trying to keep a St. Bernard IN the house) and ran to the yard to see my little man and his friend racing their scooters without any helmets or shoes on down the street. I yelled STOP! (Yes, I am officially the crazy neighbor lady that yells for her kids from 6 houses away). The boys froze in their spots, actually I think the yard guy a few houses down froze in his spot too. I corralled the boys and we made a new plan. I would sit outside and watch the races and they would wear shoes and helmets.
It turns out that I live in one of those neighborhoods that if you are outside, other kids will hear you and come over to play. All of a sudden we have added to the races and I am now watching over a few more kids than I signed up for. Not to worry, I’m supermom, I got this. I decided I could return the call and check my emails while sitting outside life guarding the kids.
Except, one kid decided he wanted to be inside, one wanted to play with the dog and one wanted to ride down the hill. I checked my watch – it was only 3:00. I have a few more hours of work to do and a few more hours of kids.
“Change of plans!” I announce. I rallied the troops, plied them with juice and snacks and plopped them in front of the t.v. Television was not on my list of approved super mommy activities, but really I need to check my email! It worked for about three minutes, until one kid decided to play the drums, one decided to play some sort of noisy video game and a third wanted more food.
Ok, food works – more food for everyone! Let’s eat. I fed the boys their second meal of the play date, it kept the house quiet and they were occupied.
Once they were done they wanted to go back outside – ok back outside, let’s go! This mommy has got this stuff down. I looked at my watch – it was only 3:30…
And so my day went, watching boys play and create new games. Laughing at them being silly and making sure we didn’t need any trips to the emergency room.
I checked on my dinner once, and never got back to returning my emails.
In the end, I decided to call in a vacation day.
Turns out I am a super mommy, but it is very hard to be a Working at Home Super Mommy!