7 things I learned being a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) + Homeschooling during the Pandemic

I’m not going to lie…

I have always felt that WAHM (work at home moms) and SAHM (stay at home moms), had it EASIER than moms who actually had to work outside of the home. Not easy, but EASIER.

Yes, there are definitely perks to not having to commute and being with your children all day. Especially, if you are a WAHM who is also homeschooling.

But I realized this is HARDT ( Yes, HARD with a T) LOL!

Let me tell you why I wrote this post. I am currently at home with my 12 year old (yes a preteen) , my preschooler and my puppy.  I am trying to create an accurate report for a conference call that I am facilitating. Not just a regular meeting, a meeting with Several Account Managers to discuss financial debt for a very high profile business. I manage a financial portfolio for 170 customers.

Meanwhile, I am telling my 4 year old son that he CANNOT have another popsicle ( it is his 4th one).

I am bargaining with him to be quiet, so I end up agreeing to buying him a PS5 (when it comes out). Just so he will sit down and work on his alphabets on his tablet quietly.

tablet JR

I have to WORK.

I have to be PRODUCTIVE

&

I still have to MOM!!

Our puppy Apollo joins in the chaos by whimpering. He’s pissed that I had to lock him in his crate for a few minutes to calm him down from his mid morning zoomies. Plus, I am yelling at my 12 year old to get up so she will not miss her Zoom lessons (currently all learning is virtual).

Yes, we are in the middle of a Pandemic and quarantine life, but either way this WAHM life is challenging.  I had a conversation with a homeschool/wahm and she said it takes major trial and error to get into a groove.

Aside from this being flat out challenging there are 7 things I have learned:

I HAVE TO SET LIMITS…

I have to set a schedule to complete all of my work duties instead of spacing everything out throughout the entire day. Simply because homeschooling and taking care of kids requires me to take more breaks, more often. Most nights I find myself working until 11pm to make sure I finish everything I want to complete during the work day. However, I still need to maintain work/life balance. So it is a must I create limits and boundaries to separate when I work and log off.

I MAY NOT BE THE MORNING PERSON I THOUGHT I WAS…

My mind is clearer, thoughts are together and creativity is flowing late in the day. Either it is just more peaceful in my home during the evening or I actually work better later. I am not sure yet. I do know that I have always been an early bird, so I have believed that I am more productive during early hours. But honestly, I feel I am way more alert and productive from afternoon to late evenings. It makes me wonder if I would be better working a later shift.

I EAT MORE AND I AIN’T MAD ABOUT THAT…

At work, I am not getting up to go into the kitchen all day.  I rarely pack myself anything when I go into the office. Working at home, I have access to the kitchen and I find myself eating more snacks throughout the day. However, I have been sticking to healthier choices and they actually feed my brain and help me function better. WAHM life has probably packed a few pounds on me.

I HAVE TO KEEP REMINDING MY KIDS THAT I HAVE A JOB TO DO…

Seeing mommy at home without her usual business attire has made my kids think we are on vacation. I have to remind them that yes I am at home, yes they can give me hugs and ask me questions, but at the same time they have to respect that I am working. They have to give me space to think and be quiet when I have meetings. I always give them a prep talk before conference calls. I also try to get things prepared so they don’t have to ask me many questions and I can focus. That means tablets powered up and loaded with activities.  Plus meals and snacks in reach.

PEOPLE ARE MORE FORGIVING THAN YOU THINK…

I thought people would be annoyed during a conference call/ video chat to see my 4 year old walk up and hand me something to open. But honestly, most people enjoy seeing the kids and encourage them to speak during the calls. I think people understand a lot more than you think they do. Many times we are harder on our situations that others are.

I”M NOT AS GOOD WITH MULTI-TASKING AS I THOUGHT

Trying to do everything at once puts me in a frenzy. It also makes me forget things that are important. Doing one thing at a time, while relying on my time management/ scheduling skills is the best way to tackle this new normal. Quality over quantity.

kid blog pic

I GOT TO BE A LITTLE MORE FORGIVING & RELAX…

I am learning to give myself and the kids grace. We are all dealing with a lot right now. Nothing is normal. So I let them have a cookie if they want, and I am ok about the house not looking perfect. Once, you realize that it is ok to just let things be and do your best, things will flow smoother.

I hope you enjoyed some of my learning lessons and can relate. As of now, stay healthy and safe.

XOXO

Tahnee COLE

 

Stupid Sh*t People Say to Career Moms

A lot of people look at the career mom as a Super- heroine. A lot of people make me laugh with their misconceptions and small mindedness.

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Many women are working outside of the home nowadays and maintaining lucrative careers.

Women are breadwinners and for many that is admirable. Women of today are being praised for duality and viewed as strong, resilient and examples of leadership. Slogans like, The future is her… is an example of the evolution of women.  Many of the most successful women also hold the title, “MOM”!

 However, there is a latter, and we know that no good deed goes unpunished, and no decisions comes without judgement.

The truth is, WE career moms are still ridiculed and talked about by others often. We are always asked how we balance everything, as if there is a definitive answer.  As soon as my child misbehaves in school I am blamed for my career taking top precedence in my life versus being a mother. We are accused of being selfish women, who are more concerned with our professional and monetary success instead of the well-being of our children.

The suggested well-being is for all moms to stay home and nurture their children ideally until they are able to attend school.

While I am for the idea of nurturing and spending time with your kids, I am sure that all moms would not benefit their child or themselves with this arrangement. Truth is, some moms work best when they get time away from their children to take care or fulfill their dreams. Is that selfish? Well that’s a personal opinion…

But how productive and how happy will a mom be if she spends days with her kids while feeling like she is neglecting her dreams financially and personally? Many women who do this often resent their life and sadly their children. With resentment comes triggers that may even cause mental health issues.

I made this post because I have been told some stupid things when found out I am a career mom and I’m honestly sick of the ignorance.

Below are 5 of the most stupid things I have heard and my response to the comments and questions.

1. Don’t you miss your kids?

Five words come to mind when I get asked this question, “you gotta be freaking kidding me!”  That is certainly a milder version of what is actually in my head. Honestly, what kind of question is that? Me being the smart ass I am, I usually say things like, “Absolutely not.”  Why wouldn’t I miss my kids and asking me does not make me feel any better. I am sure I am not the only mom to hear this foolery.

2. If you could have a million dollars, would you stay at home with your kids?

First of all, being at work does not always equate the need for money All career moms are not just money motivated. It may just be a personal desire of the mother to have a career. However, there are many moms who are concerned with financial compensation so obviously that is why they are working. If we had a million dollars we all would probably be making different choices but seriously…

3. Do you feel like someone else is raising your kids?

Of all the questions and comments this ranks high with disrespect. How dare could you compare raising, to me involving necessary helpful partners to accompanying me with my children’s development. First of all, it takes a village to raise a child and whether you like it or not, other sources will be necessary in the proper development of your child. Your child will need other people besides you at some point. Other perspectives and expertise to help them grow and be more multi-dimensional.

4. Do you feel bad when you miss out on events?

My first thought is: What makes you think I am missing out on all the events? Obviously, as a working parent there will be things that I miss. Honestly, I try to make as many events that I can. Me not showing up to support my kids is extremely rare. But seriously, no parent wants to be asked a question like that because the answer is pretty evident.

5. Do you feel like your kids would benefit better from you staying home vs working?

This question used to bother me a lot because growing up with a stay at home mom I could obviously see the benefits in how I was nurtured. It made me feel like I was slighting and depriving my children from a enriched life. However, I am learning to stop comparing my childhood and circumstances to my children. I also believe that whatever is best for my children will present itself and become our reality as long as I am aligned with my purpose.

With that being said, I hope all career moms understand you are not alone. People will support you and others will judge you. Keep going, you got this mama!

Tahnee Cole