Hard Truth About Working at Home with a Baby
I was one of the lucky moms who got to work from home. I got to contribute financially to my family, and at the same time spend precious time with my baby. Dream come true, right? Well, it’s much harder than it sounds. What most people don’t understand, is that working from home meant my baby controls my schedule.
The other day, I had a conference call at 9:30 AM for 30 minutes. Perfect! That was just in time for Zoe’s first nap, so I could take the conference call without her cooing in the background. I woke up that morning confident that I could tire Zoe out in time for the call and that I could give everyone my undivided attention during the meeting.
9:20 AM: I received a text from my manager that the meeting was delayed 15 minutes. Okay, not the end of the world. Zoe was already sleepy so I was in the process of putting her down for her nap, but perhaps she could still sleep through the whole meeting. 45-minute naps are not unheard of, right?
9:43 AM: Another text. They need another 10 minutes. All right, no worries.
9:55 AM: Yet another text. The meeting is now at 10:15 AM. Most likely Zoe would be awake by then, but that’s okay. She may be playing and cooing in the background during the call, but my coworkers are pretty used to hearing baby noises by now.
10:15 AM: The meeting finally started, but surprisingly, Zoe had not woken up yet. I anxiously looked at the baby monitor like it was a ticking bomb, hoping that she would by miracle sleep another 30 minutes. But 5 minutes into the meeting, Zoe woke up screaming like someone was about to take her hostage. I put myself on mute, threw the phone on the ground, and ran to grab her. With Zoe still in a bad mood and howling in my ear, I sprinted back to get my phone and tried to listen to my coworkers as much as I could.
Man did Zoe wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I tried distracting her with different toys, laying her down on the ground, walking her around the room… Nope, she was not having it. I strained to hear my call, and prayed that nobody would need me or ask me a question. Taking myself off mute would be a horrible idea right now.
However, I knew that I would have to speak eventually. There were topics on the agenda that needed my input, so my plan of action was to get Zoe to be quiet immediately. I whipped out the magical boobs… Or at least, they were magical when Alex was an infant. It didn’t matter what was bothering him… As soon as I popped him on my breast, the world was a better place. Zoe, unfortunately, does not share the same sentiments toward my milk jugs. I tried nursing her, and she just seemed to get angrier. Panicking, I started walking around the room again with her while trying to nurse her at the same time. Wait, there is hope! She finally sucked on and seemed to have quieted down for a few seconds!
Luckily, I was able to speak a few sentences while frantically pacing around the room feeding my daughter. Just as I spoke my last words, I could feel my let-down reflex happening, so I quickly pressed the mute button again just as Zoe pulled off my breast, angrier than ever. For those of you who do not breastfeed, let-down is essentially when you turn on the faucet and the milk really starts to flow. Unfortunately for Zoe, my let-down is quite forceful, so instead of a faucet, think of the Hoover Dam opening its gates and all the water flowing out. Zoe quickly pulled off so she wouldn’t choke on my milk, which left my boob uncovered, shooting milk everywhere. I was holding Zoe with both arms, and had the phone wedged between my ear and my shoulder, so there was no way to somehow pull up my bra.
Just when this is all happening, Bliss (our dog) walked into the room. She got sprayed in the face by my breast milk and she got excited thinking I was playing with her. She chased me around the room, jumping and licking at my breast milk as it sprinkled the carpet, the sofa, everything. My coworkers, clueless about what was happening, continued their deep discussion, and all I could do was listen and try to remember what was being discussed as much as I could over Zoe’s cries. I was sweating as if I had run a marathon, and my arms were burning from holding Zoe for the past 20 something minutes. Finally, my let-down stopped and Bliss calmed down (though she continued to lick the carpet whenever she found a spot with milk on it). I figured we drink cow milk, so it should be good for my dog to drink my milk right?
At least, there was peace and quiet. Zoe popped back on my boob and started nursing again, and I could sit down on the sofa and relax. I turned my attention back to the call when I heard, “Okay good call everyone, let’s get back together again after lunch.” Seriously?
What are your experiences with working from home?