After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that it is nearly impossible to work from home with a 17-month-old toddler. But if you ARE going to do it (or attempt it), you need the right uniform. It’s called the WFH Mullet: Business on top, sweatpants/yoga pants on the bottom. (WFH = Work From Home.)
Jill sporting her WFH mullet.
That pearl of wisdom came from my friend and Cheddar’s Head of Revenue Operations, Peyton, during a particularly low point in my week.
I had turned my attention away from my daughter for literally 30 seconds to respond to a message on Slack and dial into a conference call. In those few seconds, my daughter somehow made her way into a different room (down a step) and grabbed a dangerously sharp picture frame (which was out of her reach YESTERDAY). While I’m thrilled she’s growing, and feel incredibly lucky that she’s still in one piece, I was reminded that I cannot take my eyes off this child for a second — for anything.
I was also left feeling like a failure, both as a mom and a working journalist. What is this “balance” thing I’ve heard so much about?!
But before I get to a really dark place — it is Friday, after all — I turned to an amazing group of moms for a little support and advice. They’re the Cheddar moms, or #CheddarMoms, as we refer to ourselves on our Slack channel.
Now more than ever, we’ve been leaning on each other for a little encouragement. So I posed the question to our group: How do you manage to work and watch your child? Can it even be done?
Here’s what I got:
- Forget everything you've read or believe about screen time. Give them all the screens!
- Set up a spot for them in your “office” with crayons, paper, you name it.
- Create a schedule with your partner. Set up work calls for different times. Remember, you’re in this together!
- Turn off news notifications if you can.
- Develop a support group (like our #CheddarMoms Slack Channel).
- And my personal favorite: Wear a WFH Mullet.
So here I am, business on top and comfy on the bottom. I’m sitting backwards on my couch (because of good lighting from the window) waiting to go LIVE on Cheddar News about potential medical treatments for coronavirus. I’m trying to focus on the positive: more time with my daughter and husband, technology that lets me work from home, an AMAZING team at Cheddar — and of course, not having to wear Spanx for the foreseeable future.