It’s been one of those days where I thought to myself, “This would make a great mocumentary film.” Mom wakes up, makes a cup of coffee, has her morning devotions—then walks in her husband and stay-at-home daddy to say things aren’t looking so good on the health front. He thinks he’s come down with a stomach bug. He looked like he just needed to get back in bed, so I told him it was ok and I would plan to work remotely. Then cue crying toddler in the background. I started thinking to myself, “This may be a two-cup-coffee kind of day.” Here we go!
After I got my daughter dressed, I decided I would take her with me to go get my laptop. Then cue brothers who walk in and express an interest in going with us for an early morning adventure to the office to retrieve the laptop. Cue Papa returning to bed and getting some much-needed rest.
As I’m walking into the office with my three kids in tote, we walked alongside one of my colleagues and our company’s diversity and inclusion manager. I introduce him to the kids in the elevator, forget to let my oldest hit the button for the 11th floor, dealt with a minor meltdown and then we all made our way into the office. I knew more than anyone, he understood the need for working moms (and dads) to have the flexibility to step in and fill in when our other full-time job calls us on sick days.
I gathered my things and looked at the time and thought to myself, “I bet both of my bosses are already here in the office. I’ll go by and say hello and share my change of plans for the day.” We had a nice exchange, checked in and then we headed back to the elevator lobby.
Then exit Working Mom with her three kids in tote. We made our way through the lobby with a few smiles and I chuckled as I saw corporate people still waking up for the day. I got home, we had breakfast and I had that much needed second cup of coffee. I had an hour to get the preschoolers ready for school which meant I need to pack lunches, gather bookbags and everything else I don’t do on a regular basis except on the weekends. I was flooded with thoughts of appreciation for my husband and all he does to support our family as a stay-at-home dad. As I finished up making their lunches, I turned around and as if it was slow motion, I watched my youngest come around the corner with a curious look on her face. She had poured fish food all over the living room floor. Every. where. I got most of it vacuumed up just in time to get my laptop booted up for the day, grabbed the kids and we headed to the car to drive over to the church for their Parent’s Day Out program.
As I was heading back to the house with my eldest, I was listening in on a conference call. When we got home, I explained to my oldest I would need to finish listening to the call and then I would help get him situated with a movie because his school lesson may not happen with his father not feeling well. He graciously went off to play and I tuned back into the call.
After it was over, I popped in a movie for him because his daddy was still asleep and sometimes sick days mean we have to adapt and be flexible. I worked on a few projects I had going for work and then we took a lunch break after his movie was over. My son thought it would be fun to have a winter picnic, but given the cold temperatures outside we put a blanket on the ground and ate our lunches together on the living room floor. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the one-on-one quality time with him. His daddy was also feeling a little bit better at this point, so he joined us for lunch and then the two of them went off to do his schoolwork while I pressed through some of the rest of my work tasks for the day.
At closing time, I had a solid draft ready for a document I was working on, a second draft of a blog polished off and ready for review and several other items that I had pleasantly been able to press through with the dedicated focus of the afternoon. I did have to stop mid-afternoon to pick up the precious preschoolers at the end of the school day. It was sweet to see the youngest waking up all cuddled up in her nap mat. That moment made up for the morning fish food incident. My middle child was excited about his Valentine’s Day party.
I squeezed in a quick workout before dinner and then it was time for my husband to leave to teach his online course over at the college. His energy had significantly improved, and while he wasn’t 100% we were both glad his students wouldn’t have to worry about catching whatever he had since they were all online.
The kids and I ended the day playing “The Squirrel Game” and at one point I walked into the play room and all three of the kids were hugging each other. A sweet moment that no camera could capture as perfectly as the memory in my mind. During our evening prayers, my eldest shared that he was thankful I was able to be home with him for the day. Me too, Buddy. Me too. It’s certainly not every day I have to pull double duty like this, but when I do, it’s a blessing to work for a company that understands and trusts I will give my best effort as an employee and as a parent when I need to.
Insert closing music and a blog post written reflecting on a day where it’s important to stay positive, roll with the punches and put that fish food container up so high your toddler daughter doesn’t get a hold of it ever again!