Creative Child

Why Work-at-Home Parents Have the Best and Hardest Job

by Allie Garcia

It is 8:15 a.m. and I have a baby on my hip, yogurt on my yoga pants, and I am waving goodbye to my husband as he drives off to work. I have already been “at work” for two hours and have at least 5 more to go. During that time, I will change 4 diapers, rock 1 baby to sleep, make 8 phone calls, and teach 30+ students in an online classroom. I will spend the entirety of my little one’s two hour nap doing paperwork on my computer and waiting for the dryer to buzz so that I can make sure we all have clean clothes to wear for the week.

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I am both co-breadwinner and homemaker. I am a work from home mom.

The decision to work from home was one that came easily. Shortly after my daughter was born, I knew that I would do whatever it took to be home with her. We are a two income family, so not working at all was not an option. With my teaching degree and a passion for education, I was so grateful when I was offered a job to teach online from home. I didn’t have to give up my career or time with my baby; it was the best of both worlds.

Working from home, in reality though, is one of the hardest things that I have ever done. It turned out that all of the things that I loved about working from home were also the things that made working from home a challenge. There are three huge factors that make this job the best, but also the hardest job!

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I get to be my daughter’s primary caregiver.

This means that I am the person to watch her take her first steps, cut up her grapes, hear her first words, and teach her about colors and shapes. I am also the person to change her poopy diaper (one-handed, while on an important phone call) and clean up the Cheerios she threw all over the floor. I get to be the one to try to silence the dog, while turning on another episode of Daniel Tiger to keep her at bay for another ten minutes while I finish teaching, and I am her primary source of entertainment.

I am her very distracted companion, filling her day with fun-filled Pinterest activities if and when I get one spare second, ensuring that she has meaningful and educational things to do while I’m busy working. Although, I am almost always exhausted, I know the exact quality of care she is getting, and I don’t have to spend half of my paycheck on daycare.

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