How To Work From Home Without Losing Your Mind: A Working Mom's Guide To Snow Days

by - January 29, 2014

Featured on BlogHer.comWe've certainly had our share of SNOW DAYS this year and while the boys are peeking behind the curtains to make sure they haven't actually found themselves transplanted straight into heaven, I wait with held breath for the Noa-tears that came at our last bunker-down.  So far she finds herself content.

I am not brave enough to test my faith in snow tires when the police are urging people not to drive and I am blessed to be able to work from home when the need arises - if I've got a computer, internet and Photoshop, I'm golden.

I consider myself an expert at this point - the fourth day of not being able to of refusing to tempt fate since Christmas.  I've got the system for getting things done! 
1. Shower.  Yes, no one is going to see you except the family who accepts you in every variation of your yuckiest self, and no, you're not going to be surprised by any unexpected visitors (have you looked out the window?) BUT there is something about a shower that kick-starts your system and tells your brain that today is a day for taking care of business like a boss!

2. Get Dressed. I'm not talking about pantyhose and pencil skirts* - just don't get out of the shower and put your pajamas back on.  Wear something that resembles clothing: yoga pants, slippers, your 12-year-old's hoodie.

3. Eat Your Wheaties** Don't work on an empty stomach.  Just don't.  Even if you haven't gone to the store since last week and all you have is Raisin Bran. 

4. Make a Speech.  "Children, set down the video controllers and look at my face......I am not going in to work today, I am working from home. This means I am working. This means you will leave me alone unless you are bleeding. Are you listening? This means you will live in this room and I will live in that room and you will not bother me. I will make you lunch at lunch time but you will not come and ask me for lunch - I will call you when it's ready. You will respect my space and respect my job. You will not make a mess. You may come and smile quietly at me if you need reassurance that I am still close. You may write me a love note expressing how you didn't realize what a wonderful and present parent I always am until I removed myself - be sure to include many x's and o's.  I appreciate your understanding. I love you so much it makes me giddy. Now leave me alone. You may return to your Super Smash Bros Brawl. Good day!"

5. Prepare Your Drink Of Choice. I always bring a coffee with me when I go to work, why would home be any different? {Though it was tea with honey for me today as I hang on the tail end of a head cold that nearly knocked me on my back.}

6. Sit By A Window. There's just something about sunlight...or the grey swirling light that is pretending to be daytime but looks, instead, like a dying flashlight diffused through cotton balls.  If nothing else, constant glimpses out your window at Mean Old Winter will reaffirm your decision to stay home and dispel any guilt you might be feeling.

7. Make A List.  If I can see what I'm expected to accomplish I become highly motivated to get those things checked off. A job done is satisfying. Check.

8. Have A Joy-Project Waiting. The reward at the end of the work day is coming home to my family - but what if I'm already there? I want to have something special to look forward to besides the End Of Day Speech***. Plan to break open a new book, play a game, have a bath, give an old record-player a make-over...

Yes, this is my ideal joy project! {Come back on Monday to see what became of my 1919 console} 

Here's hoping tomorrow brings sunshine and clear roads.  If not, may your Snow Day be productive and fulfilling.

*      I wear jeans to work.
**    I've never actually had Wheaties.
*** "Dear children, look at my face. I am proud of you. You only interrupted me 64 times which is a huge improvement from the 97 times of two weeks ago and while you refrained from asking for lunch, you did tell me a bajillion times that you were starving to death. That's not your fault - I should have specified that there was to be absolutely no mention of food whatsoever. Thank you for not bleeding on the carpet and for not brushing your teeth and for fighting over your computer time.  And thank you, most of all, for preparing supper while I worked...what? Oh. No love letters either? I might as well have gone to work."

{Update: see that finished console here!} 

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  1. This piece was riddled with humour hahaha. This was a great piece (in my opinion) because it appealed to more than just one audience (NOT that every piece needs to). I liked that despite the fact that I'm not a mother of three, nor working from home because of a snow day, I enjoyed reading this article and found it funny and educational. Also--do you ever run out of things to paint?!

    1. It's nice to know that I'm keeping things appealing to the masses so to speak.

      And no - I do not run out of things to paint - the horror!!!

  2. Haha awesome! Those were valid points I'm going to adopt!

  3. # 4 is great any parents dream not to have your kids keep pestering you, but glad to hear they are normal and still pestered you.

    1. It doesn't matter how many times you tell them... ;)

  4. BAHAHAHAHAHA that was a good one...

  5. The end notes cracked me up.

  6. Love that your keeping a fun perspective on the work-from-home struggle! I like to employ an absentminded nod and murmur something sounding like "just a minute". Truly doesn't work for the little ones who just pat, pull or climb on me to get my full attention :)

    1. I remember those days well! I am happy to be through that - though part of me will always miss being always needed - even if it drove me crazy at the time!

    2. *sigh* yes, it's always nice to be needed by someone...sometimes just a bit less neediness would be welcome :)

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