Work-at-home moms, in some ways, have it made. No commute, no uncomfortable office clothes, no interruptions from chatty co-workers. But there are nonetheless challenges, which we confront head-on—well, mostly. Here are 19 lies all work-at-home moms tell themselves:
1. I’ll do a little work, and then I’ll take a shower and get dressed.
2. I can use the time I would have spent commuting for exercise.
3. The babysitter is not dressed all that much nicer than me.
4. It’s 11 a.m. I’ll just take a quick break, and then I’ll shower and get dressed.
5. It’s fine to make myself this rather elaborate lunch, plus lunch dessert, because people in offices spend a lot of time going out to lunch.
6. I’ll just close my eyes for a minute.
7. It’s important for me to read all the blogs because I need to be current on the zeitgeist for my work.
8. No one will see how dirty my hair is on this Skype call.
9. It’s efficient to integrate one’s work life and home life. Whoops, just sent the diapers.com order to my boss.
10. It’s fine to knock off at 3 because people in offices spend a lot of time chatting at the water cooler.
11. It’s 4 p.m. Okay, yes, I should have shut down the computer an hour ago instead of futzing around on Facebook, but now I really am going to shut it down, shower and dress.
12. I don’t need in-person contact with other human beings for good mental health. Facebook is a perfectly good substitute.
13. Yes, it does feel like the walls are closing in on me, but if I just keep working, that feeling will probably pass.
14. It’s 4:30. There’s no point in showering or dressing now, and probably no one will notice.
15. If I put my kid in front of the TV to conduct this interview with a guy who couldn’t talk to me during the hours I actually have child care, my kid probably won’t roll off the couch, hit his head, and scream bloody murder, forcing me to end the call with the guy I’ll never be able to get ahold of again.
16. It’s actually quite comfortable to barricade myself in the closet with my laptop and phone to muffle the screams of my children pounding on the office door.
17. My colleagues think I am a “still waters run deep” kind of contributor to conference calls. No one could possibly know that I’ve muted myself for the last six years so they won’t hear the squeals of a child running a train over my head.
18. I am absolutely not a shut-in with witchy hair.
19. Okay, I didn’t go outside today and I’m getting rickets from vitamin D deficiency, but I will go outside tomorrow—right after I’ve showered and dressed.