My son was born during the level 5 lock-down of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’m lucky, I work for a company that supports mothers and so I had 6 months of maternity leave.
But then I had to start working from home. With a 6-month old baby.
It was such a difficult change. I needed to:
- Catch up on work that I’ve missed
- Stay up to date with the current workload
- Attend meetings
- Be a leader to my team of 7
- Breastfeed my son every 2 to 3 hours
- Keep my son entertained when he wasn’t sleeping
- Keep the house clean (we still didn’t allow visitors or helpers due to the pandemic)
- Take my son for check-ups and vaccinations. (I had to go alone because the doctor’s offices only allowed one parent. And because I was breastfeeding, I was that parent.)
I quickly realised I needed help.
As soon as the pandemic restrictions lifted a bit, we found a nanny. A wonderful person sent from heaven to help us out.
Once I had help taking care of my son, I could settle into more of a routine. And I could focus more on work.
And I could see all the benefits of being a work-at-home mom.
Even though my nanny is wonderful, I still prefer to keep an eye on things. I like to make sure she is doing what I want her to be doing.
So, working from home means I can do that.
It also means I don’t have to put my son in daycare. Where I have to trust strangers.
And I’ve heard so many stories from parents that don’t have an alternative to daycare. Their babies are sick all the time, and it sucks to drop them off in the freezing cold during winter mornings.
Not only that, it’s such a rush to get ready in the morning and get everybody out of the house on time.
My son can sleep as long as necessary because I can look after him. I don’t have to leave the house to work.
I can pop out during a break at work to take my son for his check-ups and vaccinations.
If I was working from an office, I would have had to take leave.
I can help take care of him when he’s not feeling well, once again without needing to take leave.
(Depends on the situation though — there has been a time or two when he was so sick I had to take leave.)
There’s no commuting time. Before the pandemic, I spent two hours a day commuting to and from work. That’s two hours a day I now get to spend with my son.
Because most important of all, working from home means I get to be a part of this day-to-day life.
I can see the cute things he’s doing.
I can see how he is developing (it seems as if he learns something new every day!).
And I actively take part in his day whenever I have a break from work.
And THAT is priceless.