Work-from-home moms are like red velvet cake. I’m serious. Stay with me here and I’ll get through it fast because this analogy breaks down quickly. Red velvet isn’t quite chocolate and it isn’t quite vanilla. It’s somewhere in between – mildly chocolate with hints of vanilla. Lots of people like it and it may even be their favorite flavor, but it’s still its own special breed of flavor limbo.
That’s sort of how I feel as a work-from-home mom. Flavor limbo. Life limbo. Even though I love my work-from-home job as a software designer and prefer to work from home at this point in my life (I also enjoy the athleisure wardrobe that comes along with it), sometimes I feel like I don’t really belong…anywhere.
I don’t go into an office, which means I don’t have all of the annoying things about office life like the daily commute, the open office floor plan, or the morning rush of trying to get myself ready and also dressing a small person who has decided he hates everything in his closet. But that also means that I don’t have the office camaraderie with other working moms or the general chit chat, however banal it may be, with other adults. Seriously, there are some days where I don’t even talk to someone over the age of two. My vocabulary may suffer at times.
I’m not a stay-at-home mom, either. I’m not spending my days chasing around a wild child, mopping up spills, cleaning up toys, or stuffing said wild child and all his paraphernalia in the car to go to the park or the pool. But I also miss out on socializing with and meeting other moms in the same boat.
I’m somewhere in the middle here. Flavor limbo.
While my work schedule is somewhat flexible, my son goes to daycare every day and I can’t just pull him out to go to a 10 a.m. playdate whenever I feel like it. Nor do I want to. He loves his daycare and he needs the consistency there. Plus, we pay good money for it. And most days, even though I work from home, I work a regular “day job” schedule. I have to fit all of my stuff in the hours my son is at school. So daytime play dates, while they sound fun, aren’t practical for me.
But for all of the “struggles” of the work-from-home mom life, I still prefer it over my previous days of the working mom rush. Sometimes when I see mid-morning play date invites pop up on my Facebook calendar, I wish I could be there. And sometimes when I remember what it was like to have regular, in-person contact with other adults, I wish I had more office time. For this ambivert, the perfect mix would be sometimes in the office, but most of the time at home. However, given a choice between full-time work-from-home life or full-time office life, I’d pick work-from-home life every single time.
So while I sometimes feel like I’m stuck in limbo, overall, it’s still a good place to be. Besides, red velvet has always been one of my favorite flavors.