Hardest Thing About Being A Stay at Home Working Mom

I was asked recently in an interview what is one of the hardest things about running a company from home.  It took me a few minutes, because there are a lot of things that are challenges – and being tired all the time certainly tops the list — but I really had to think about what was hard.  What really is hard is mentally shifting gears back and forth throughout the day.  When I was a full time working mom, and also when I was a full time stay-at-home mom, I had one focus throughout the work day. Then I would shift gears when I would come home from work or go out from the home.  It only required one major shift in my thinking. What happens now is I am typing on the computer, trying to compose this blog, and the batteries in my son’s headphones are dead. So I pause and change the a batteries.  I type a little more, thinking about what I am doing, and then my other son hands me a sticky wrapper from his lolly.  He then proceeds to spit on his shirt. I balance my computer on my knees digging around the rubble at the bottom of my car until I find wipes.  I wipe off my now sticky keyboard, wipe off his sticky face and pause to enjoy his four-tooth smile. Thankfully he is confined to his carseat or he would be pounding on my keyboard in delight.  I think have to bring my focus back to what I am doing. When I am doing accounting or technical writing, this is really difficult on my brain. By the end of the day – after taking breaks to read Dr. Seuss, to change a nappie, to replace a broken crayon from the crayon box I am shot. Trying to focus on my clients while my toddler screams at his baby sitter “Get Down! Get Down!” and I am trying to talk while my brain is wondering, “Get down? Get down? Who is up? Is the baby up and wants to get down? What the hell is he on in the living room? Is Anna on something? What the hell is going on in there.” Meanwhile, my coaching voice is strong, confident in its direction as I crane my neck around the hall to see what is going on. My son was in his high chair and wanted to Get Down.  I was almost having a nervous breakdown worrying on the phone. Most of the time I can close my door for my coaching calls of which I only do 3-4 a day. All other times I am available for my kids to come in and color, talk, eat or snuggle.  It is hard to pull my focus away for the 15th time my two year old stands at my door and says “hi, hi, hi, hi-eeeeeeeeeeee.” But I put down my pen and pause my calculations and grin back at my son like an idiot.  Satisfied, he toddles down the hall to torment the dog as Anna follows. It is hard to focus on my work when I want to follow him and play trains.  But I do it because it pays the bills. Going back in forth in my mind from Mommy to Coach to Company Owner to Mommy to Coach to Mommy to Company owner and back again during the day is hard.   At the end of the day, I switch gears to Mom and Wife which is a whole ‘nother blog in its own!