Working Out of Home Mom Reality Check

I am having some self dialogue on if I post this.  I fear it’s going to come out as a complaining about working.  So, let me just say this…”I am not complaining about working.”

At the same time, some of the rose color that built on my working-away-from-home-mom-glasses faded to a lighter shade of pink today.

There are the every day realities of working in an office.  High heels for example.  After two years of wearing Tom’s, flip flops and Ugg slippers, these last 10 days I’ve come to realize that high heels are the modern-day version of foot binding.  Seriously.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  I work in an office with 5 guys.  Do they really care what shoes I’m wearing?  Nope.  Even still, I look in the mirror and wear the heels because it looks cuter with my outfit.  Again, did I mention that I work with 5 guys?  I’m married.  They each have significant others.  I have no one to impress…and I still give myself blistered pinky toes.

The other every day working struggle for me is the alarm clock.  6:00 AM and I are not on speaking terms.  I’m not even really sure why I set my alarm for 6:00 AM, because in truth, I’m never out of bed before 6:45.  The problem is if I set my alarm for 6:45, I wouldn’t get out of bed until 7:30.  I have this disease, I’m pretty sure it’s medically documented and it’s called, “Tatum in the Morning”.  When I was a kid, I remember getting (a small amount of) water dumped on me because I wouldn’t get out of bed.  I didn’t care.  I curled up with a wet head and fell back to sleep.   I despise morning.  I may have to invest in insurance on my phone, just in case I accidentally throw it against the wall when it starts beeping at 6:00 AM.  Better yet, could one of you smart people develop a patch that has a timed release of caffeine into my blood stream 30 minute before I need to get up?

Today, was not just the every day whine fest type of days.  There was nothing horrific, but it was a great reminder of the type of trade offs that parents have to make.

The pros for working:  I’m a happier person when I work.  I also add more to our family when I work.  I’ve made it pretty clear in the past, I’m not exactly domesticated.  When I work, we can pay someone to do some of those domestic things.  Our life is so much more organized (our nanny is amazing) and house is cleaner (our nanny is amazing) and there is no laundry on the couch (our nanny is amazing) even the inside of the refrigerator got cleaned when Owen was at school (did I mention that our nanny is amazing).  Remember when I said I didn’t have time to do anything during nap time?  She totally blew that theory up.  She gets so much done during nap time and the kids get to the park every day and go on field trips and get dropped off and picked up from school on time.  Everything that I completely sucked at as a stay at home mom, she is great at.  I get paid to do what I’m good at, she gets paid to do what she’s good at.  Neither of us are working crazy hours, so we both get time with our own families and the satisfaction of a job well done.  Perfection right?

Which takes me to today…

Con’s of working:  Owen had his GI check-in today.  It was at 9:30 so I worked from 7:30-9:10 and then met the nanny and Owen at the clinic.  The doctor decided he wanted us to see the dietitian again, so that made the appt go long.  I had an 11:00 meeting at work.  We didn’t leave the clinic until 11:00.  I sent a quick email…”be there in 10/15 minutes.”  I zip through downtown Minneapolis and near my office to realize that there is a Twin’s game about to start.  My office is right by the Twin’s stadium.  Parking did not exist – let alone costed a fortune.  After 10 minutes of driving around I found a spot that was 1/2 mile from my office.  Did I mention I was wearing heels and have blistered pinky toes?  I arrived at the office a half hour late with a mild limp, sweat pouring off my face and my cell phone ringing.  It was the nanny.  Kellen had a pretty big fall at school.  He was running and had a toy in his hand so he broke the fall with his face meeting the concrete.  He was asking to go home, so the nanny wanted to make sure I was okay with her picking him up.  We agreed, I said “check his pupils” and we hung up.  She soon called me back.  His pupils seemed to be slightly over-reactive, he was extra low-key and acted like he had the chills.  She didn’t “think” he was concussed, but we agreed that a doctor should make the call.  She took him.  My mom-guilt was kicking me in the gut saying I should be the one to take him, but in reality – she was with him and 5 minutes from the doctors office and I was 20 minutes from home.  If he did have an issue and needed to be taken to the hospital, I was closer to the hospital and could meet them there.  It didn’t make sense for me to be the one.  (Mom-guilt isn’t logical…she’s a complete bitch).  So there I am, trying to have a meeting with a marketing contractor that I just met 5 sweaty minutes ago and all I can wonder is if my kid is alright.  The nanny soon called me back to let me know the doctor cleared him.  He was going home to nap.  I wanted Kellen to have a parent at home, so I got in touch with Kyle to see if he’d be able to go home early…the marketing contractor (whose time we’re paying for) is still sitting in the room.  Thank God, she’s a mom.  I finished meeting with the contractor and then got pulled into another meeting with some of the team.  It’s 2:30 and my stomach growling (not exaggerating) can be heard throughout the entire office because I hadn’t eaten since my granola bar on the drive in to the office.  Mercifully, I finally got some food and shortly after the day came to an end and I rushed the 1/2 mile back to my car thinking…so, today I sucked at my work and I sucked as a mom.

And that my friends, is the reality of a working mom.


Kellen and I had some major cuddes when I got home and then we took a walk and spent some time with the boys at the park.  So, the day ended really quite well.  Kellen is fine.  His face took a beating.


But really, he is fine.  He ran 70% of our 2 mile walk and still had energy to play at the park and try to negotiate bed time.  He did get a special treat and is getting our bed, instead of his own, all sweaty-kid smelling.  It’ll be a perfume only a mom can enjoy as I fall asleep tonight.  Because, regardless of what Mom Guilt thinks she knows, I am a good mom.


© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

15 thoughts on “Working Out of Home Mom Reality Check

  1. Oh your poor little guy. The life of a working mom is one of constant struggle to balance. I stay home now, but at one time I was a single, full time working mom-working 1.5 hours from home. There was always the guilt mixed in with knowing that I was doing what I needed to do. So glad to hear that you have a great nanny to help.

  2. Poor Kellen.. such a tough guy though! Hey Tatum, they make an alarm clock-bot that runs around the room and you have to catch it to turn it off.. It’s true! I either heard in on NPR, saw it on Real Housewives or I dreamt it …

    • I have no idea if what you’re telling me is true, but it made me laugh. Can you picture Kyle chasing the alarm clock? LOL

  3. Glad your nanny is amazing but that won’t help the guilt – we are all in the same boat if that makes it easier -!NO didn’t think so!

    I need the alarm with caffeine too!

    Great post as always x

    • Being as close to the other side of the grass as I am, I can confidently say there was plenty of guilt at home too. No matter the fact that most of us are great parents – guilt goes around like a disease….seriously…she’s a bitch.

  4. I heard you have an amazing nanny!!! Kellen did you do that on purpose to get one on one mommy time…hang in there tough guy. The chicks will love how rugged you look.

  5. Oh, Tatum, you know I’m your transatlantic clone right? Except we use a nursery for Boo, rather than a nanny so the laundry is still on the couch. Oh and did I mention that 2-3 days a week I work 65 miles from home? Yeah, I told you I’m smart…
    I’m so glad you felt able to air the cons of working. If I do people say, don’t work. But I am the main earner (not by much but my partner is self employed so has no benefits and boy we need them). We would lose our house if I didn’t work and I hope I can keep doing it for my sanity and sense of self too. But ditch the shoes, friend. We parted company a while back (along with the certainty of arriving to teach a class totally prepared and vomit free).

  6. “today I sucked at work and I sucked as a mom” … I have had a lot of those days lately. Glad today is a new day for both of us! Kellen is one tough cookie… must be genetic 😉

  7. “Mom-guilt is a real bitch”….SERIOUSLY! She is terrible to have around. Hope today went better, and that Kellen’s face heals soon!

  8. John Muir (famous environmentalist before it was the fashion) had the same problem waking up as you do. When he was a student at UW Madison he invented a bed that tipped up and dumped him out when it was time for him to get up. Just thought you might as well find humor in your problem….and realize you aren’t the only one who has trouble in the morning. Sleeping in late will be the thing I like best about retirement (maybe next year.)

    How fortunate that you have such a wonderful nanny! I’m happy for you. Look what a good mother you are for finding such a good nanny!

    • I wonder if I could get that bad…and if my husband would stay married to me if we had it. Thanks, Kay, you always find the positive in everything – I love that.

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