What a broken coffeemaker taught me about work-at-home motherhood

Work-at-home motherhood

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One day, it just gave up. The lights turned on but that sweet sound of percolation wasn’t there. Life without a coffeemaker while parenting a toddler seemed impossible.

But then again, so did working 20- to 30-hour weeks while serving as the primary caregiver for a child, and yet here I am.

Nothing is impossible.

We’re living through strange times. Times that have spread moms and dads so thin they don’t know if they’re sane anymore or just existing. Between at-home school, working remote and entertaining children that have no activities, no friend playdates and nowhere to go, we’ve all been wondering if 2020 might be what drives us to the nut house.

In the midst of it all, I stopped writing this blog. For the first time in my nearly two years of work-at-home motherhood, I wasn’t sure if I would recommend that other moms take on this role of at-home tasks mixed with a job and caring for little ones.

And then my coffeemaker broke and I woke up (figuratively of course because I need that caffeination to get going each morning). I realized that unlike that coffeemaker, I’m irreplaceable in the work that I do. And even though work-at-home motherhood is extremely hard, it’s allowing my family to have a little bit more time together each day. I’m also sharing in some pretty special moments with my son.

Work-at-home motherhood during an economic downturn

I cut ties with corporate life just seven months before the coronavirus pandemic sent the US economy into a terrible downturn. If I’d known what was coming, I’m not sure I would have left the security of office life.

In those first few months of the pandemic, I really missed the comfort and consistency of a salaried paycheck as I was forced to do more prospecting for my copywriting and digital marketing business. I stopped telling other moms how great work-at-home motherhood is and I sat back and observed wondering if I made the right choice.

Slowly, we’ve fallen into new routines over these pandemic months. I’m getting everything done without working evenings after my son goes to bed and I only work on the weekends when I want to. Although I’ve had to work harder for my paycheck than I did before the pandemic, we are not currently experiencing any financial hardships, and I know that’s really saying something when nearly 1 in 5 Americans is unemployed right now.

And now three months into this horrible tragedy for the world, I’m back to championing the stay-at-home working mom life because I still believe in it. It’s hard, but as I review the spring months, I look back on amazing memories.

I’ve been trying so hard to get my little guy to say “help” or “please” instead of just screaming when something goes wrong. And after three months of trying, he started saying a new word: wall. 

I’m pretty sure that’s the most worthless word my little guy could have learned when there are such helpful and nice words he still can’t say but I was there for that triumphant moment his eyes gleamed at me and he said “wall.” And now he loves to point out the walls when his hands are especially sticky and gross. I can’t help but smile at the craziness that is motherhood.

It’s a goofy moment but one I’ll remember about these quarantine days when large populations of the world suddenly learned what it feels like to be a work-at-home mom and juggle so many roles. 

I’m thankful I don’t have school-aged children because I’m seriously impressed at how moms and dads have taught their children at home while working and keeping up with everything else.

Unlike a coffeemaker, I’m irreplaceable

It sounds so silly, but it’s true. No one can be a mommy to my little guy like I can. After nearly four years of marriage, no one can fill in the gaps my husband needs to be filled (and let’s be real, no one can fill my gaps and imperfections as he can!).

What a gift it is to be a work-at-home mom, which is why I started this blog. I love my mornings drinking coffee in peace and having a little me time to work on my career while being a stay-at-home mom. It really is the best of both worlds. 

Gosh, I miss those quiet mornings when the coffeemaker beeps saying it’s ready. An in-home coffeemaker is a luxury to me over having to get in the car and drive to get a cup. Starbucks is a nice treat when you’re out and about but having to leave your home at 6 a.m. is no fun. And that’s sort of what work-at-home motherhood is. I never have to get in a car and drive to find my career fulfillment.

Feel free to reach out and share your experiences, ask for help and interact with other work-at-home parents through our online community. Don’t let a pandemic get in the way of you fulfilling your work-at-home mom dreams. And when you need me, I’m here to help in any way I can, even if it’s just encouragement. Hang in there, parents, someday library storytime and playdates will return.

And don’t worry, we ordered a new coffeemaker the same day it broke down. In the meantime, looks like we’ll be using that instant coffee we bought back at the start of quarantine for making trendy whipped coffee (which in my opinion, wasn’t that great). I’m counting down the days until I can live in the luxury of at-home coffee once again.

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