Lessons Learned :: Transitioning to Work at Home Mom During COVID-19

I had somewhat of an awakening. I mean, who wants to see Mom walking around in her PJs all day looking like she just crawled out of a four day binger? 

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Over the last few weeks, many of us have had some serious changes in our daily lives. For me, the biggest change has been from spending the last 21 years of motherhood working away from home, to now working at home with my youngest kiddos right beside me.

Working from home has been my dream since the day my firstborn came into this world. Truly, all I’ve ever wanted was to be able to spend my days with my babies right beside me where I could watch them grow and keep them safe, while also providing shelter over their heads and food in their mouths. 

Let me tell you, having to leave them every day has never gotten any easier.

I have wished and prayed to be able to work from home for 21 years. Now that my oldest has graduated and moved away, my middle child is starting to drive, and my youngest just started preschool this year, I am finally getting to live my dream; even if only temporarily. 

The day I was told that I could work from home while the schools are shut down because of the Coronavirus, I couldn’t contain my happiness. I just couldn’t believe it. I danced around the house with my preschooler for hours. 

That first week, I took full advantage of the “easy-going” lifestyle. I slept in way past my usual 4 a.m. wake up call, and only got up when my little one did around 7:30 a.m. It gave me just enough time to get some coffee and head to my new “office.” I set myself up on top of my treadmill so that I could still have a standing desk, as I do at work, and could also be able to keep moving during the day. 

From there, I can log in to start my day and begin my work while also keeping an eye on my youngest and helping him when needed.

The problem is that I completely let go of my regular routine.

I stopped working out before everyone got up in the morning, so I lost that time alone to myself. That alone time is what always helped me get motivated for the day. 

I also stopped showering immediately after my workout, stopped getting dressed in something other than my PJs, and stopped being careful of what and how much I ate during the day. 

When I say I really took advantage of being at home, it’s almost an understatement. 

Around the middle of the second week, when I realized this was going to be a much longer arrangement than first believed, I had somewhat of an awakening. It hit me that this wasn’t really sustainable because it honestly wasn’t good for anyone. I mean who wants to see mom walking around in her PJ’s all day looking like she just crawled out of a four-day binger? 

It’s so easy to let yourself go when you never have to leave the house, but that’s not healthy. Not to mention my teenager decided to tell me I really needed to wash my PJs because they were starting to stink. HA!  

So here I am heading into week four now with a new mindset and daily routine plan based on what I’ve learned from my experiences so far. 

First and foremost, sleeping in is great but it should only be a weekend thing for me. I not only need it, but I crave, time to myself every day. The only way for me to get this in is to get up before everyone else as I did before. 

Second, I have to start my day off with my workout and shower. Otherwise, I feel lazy and out of it all day long. Time to add it back to my morning routine instead of trying to fit it in later in the day!

Third, having a standing desk is awesome and I’ve always enjoyed that. But over the past two weeks, I have learned that it is not wise to stand or walk all day on a treadmill barefoot or in just your socks. It is torturous on your feet! Trust me! 

Fourth, I need to take the advice of my preschooler’s teacher, and not let my kids, or myself, graze all day on whatever is in the fridge or pantry. Self-discipline is absolutely a MUST for working from home!

Finally, I have learned that working from home truly is everything I always imagined it would be. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not easy working with a little one running around and wanting your attention. But heck, even in the office people are always wanting your attention. In this case, your coworkers are just much smaller and want you to do simpler things like getting them something to drink or play kickball. 

This is a scary and stressful time for all of us.

Our household is keeping to ourselves and staying home as recommended. Although what’s happening in the world right now does increase my anxiety a great bit, there is absolutely no other place I would rather be during this time than right here with my babies doing what I can to keep them safe. 

I’ll take working from home over working from afar any day! 

Are you a working mom who transitioned from the office to home? What has your experience been like?

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Brooke Moore
Brooke is many things, but normal is not one of them! She’s a native of SC who was raised in Bamberg and has been living in Columbia since 2017. She’s a Mom of 3; JD (20), Alyssa (15) and Will (3). Brooke and her husband Chris married in 2014. Together, they’ve become avid advocates for autism awareness in support of their son Will. Brooke holds a Masters in Information Technology and works as an IT Security Risk Analyst. In addition to her love for writing, Brooke also loves running, bow hunting, and tattoos. She’s a Christian who’s definitely not without flaw, a survivor, and an advocate for survivors of domestic violence & sexual assault. Her greatest loss has been the unexpected loss of her Mother in 2016. Her greatest loves are God and her family. Her greatest accomplishment was walking away and her most valuable lessons learned are to never take a moment for granted and never judge a book by its cover. In her spare time she writes for her blog at BrookeMcAlhaney.com and feeds her social media obsession on Facebook.

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