I’ve been working from home for almost six years. Being your own boss seems to have limitless perks, but living the pajama dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s very, very difficult to balance running and maintaining a home and raising children while simultaneously getting a start up off the ground.
I know I’ve said this before on my blog, but looking back, I’m not at all sure how I survived the last handful of years working from home and managing home life all at the same time. Sometimes, for fun, I reflect on my old working days. The days where I got up, got ready, put on a uniform, and drove to the hospital.
I worked in an Internal Medicine clinic and one day, one of our brand new doctors decided to scope the back end of a lethargic patient with intestinal disrupt instead of sending him upstairs to GI. The fountain of foul smelling, blood laced fecal matter that exploded all over the exam room is still something that cheers me up on difficult days at home. And not because I’m glad to be sitting here at this desk crammed into a corner of my bedroom instead of ringing for the Bio Hazard team with poop dripping from my scrubs. Because I once thought that day was difficult.
And it really wasn’t. I mean, I’d like to have a Bio Hazard team on call now. When I’m furiously typing with a phone cradled on my shoulder, listening to some guy in Indonesia shout at me about custom charges and I hear the tell-tale crash of the honey jar shattering all over the kitchen, I long for a red button on my phone. “Bio Hazard? Yes, it’s me. Please come up straight away. My daughter is smeared with honey, and my son is peeing on the ficus plant again. Oh, and the neighborhood kid just flooded the hall bathroom toilet and apparently needs to go home and tell his mother he’s no longer constipated.”
Balancing everything felt like an unattainable pipe dream. It just wasn’t possible, I told myself. We need help, we need employees. You really can’t do it all. I can’t have beautifully groomed children, a spotless house, and happy customers without sacrificing something. Like sleep.
And then, I hired a Mother’s Helper.
In some ways, it felt like admitting failure. Other moms seem able to do it all, why can’t I? But then I had to smack myself. Correct me if I’m wrong, history buffs but isn’t this really the only time in history where women have been so isolated? Throughout the annals of time, women worked together, gathered together, lived together, and helped each other. Now, in our advanced society, our modern technical age, we live in little boxes, with little rooms inside. Having help is no longer the norm. Living and working together is no longer the norm. We are, for the most part, very much alone.