I don’t sit in morning traffic. I’m saving a ton on gas and likely on expensive lattes because I make some version of them myself at home.
I’m lucky. I get to experience a work-life balance that used to be a foreign concept to me. But I work hard. Contrary to popular belief, work-from-home moms don’t sit around in our pajamas watching daytime courtroom reality shows or playing with our kids all day long.
According to a recent report by Upwork, 73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028. As the workplace culture changes, so should our views around what it means to work from home.
Here’s what we work-from-home moms want people to know about what it really means to telecommute.
1. Not only is it real work, it’s hard work
We have 24 hours in our day. Guess what? It’s still not enough. In fact, about two-thirds of managers report that their work-from-home employees increase their overall productivity. So not only are we working hard, but we are likely more productive than we would be in an office with constant disruptions and inefficient meetings. We might even work longer days since there’s no separation of work and home.
2. Our kids need child care, too
It didn’t take me long to realize that my dream of saving hundreds per month in day care costs were just that — dreams. When mom is home, naturally, young children want attention. One week into working from home with a just-learned-to-walk tot, I was calling around for day care referrals.
Even among the moms who do work from home with their children present, they work in chunks of time around their children’s schedules and needs. This means they are often finding chunks of time into the night to get it done. Yes, we need child care help, too.
3. Flexible doesn’t equal free to socialize
“Sure, let me stop my work and take your one-hour phone call about what happened last night on This Is Us,” said no work-from-home mom ever. I wouldn’t call your office number during your work hours and expect you to drop everything for me. Please don’t expect that from us. A quick text asking when’s a good time to talk is always much appreciated. It shows that you respect our time and what we do.
4. The housework is not in my job description
I live in a household of four, including my husband, my teen son, and my preschooler. Each of them is fully capable of doing a household chore or two. We all have jobs; I’m constantly telling the kids their job is to go to school and learn.
Just because my job is housed in the home doesn’t make it my responsibility to see to it that the laundry is done. No, husband, clothes will not be folded when you get home. But we can fold them together when you’re here.
5. We need to get out of the house once in a while
On any given day, you’ll find me working at my desk at home, at Starbucks with headphones in, or at the library enjoying the quiet in the presence of other people. It’s nice to be able to have options, but I do end up working from my home office most days. It can get lonely.
Work-from-home moms welcome the energy of being around other adults once in a while. So excuse me if I make a two-hour Target run after being at home for consecutive days. It’s well earned.