At Home with the Boys: The Story of a Working MommyEmployee Journals
Being a working mom is a lot of work. I started my RareJob journey 4 years ago and I was actually pregnant with my youngest when I applied as a content developer for the company’s Material Department.
Before I worked at RareJob, I was a full-time mom to my firstborn son. Caring for my baby, breastfeeding, doing chores, and recovering from a CS birth were all unique challenges in themselves, but I consider that time as a walk in the park compared to my life as a full-time employee and a mom of two toddlers.
When I started working at RareJob, my schedule was hectic. A typical workday would start at 6 am. Within an hour and a half, I had to finish feeding the kids breakfast, preparing milk bottles, clothes, diapers, and everything else they’d need while I was away at work. I also had to tend to my personal tasks which are taking a bath, dressing for work, and finally rushing out the door with just enough time for my morning commute. I had to make sure I made it to the office in time for the latest shift at 10 am.
After a quick breakfast and a long-awaited cup of coffee, I’d start with work. My main responsibilities are to work on the Daily and Weekly News articles, so I usually coordinate with project members and do routine tasks in the morning. In the afternoon, I spend most of my time writing or editing materials. There are also times wherein I’d attend meetings and consultations. But no matter how many tasks I had for the day, I always made sure I clocked out at exactly 7 pm. My commute from work usually takes 2 hours, and I still had tons of things to do when I get home.
As soon as I enter the house, I am back to mom mode. After a quick change of clothes, I’d start washing bottles, putting away toys, clothes, and other things. I put the kids to bed at around 10 pm. After story time, I can finally end my day at around 11 pm. After five to six hours of sleep, the next day would come in a blink of an eye and I’d do these all over again.
Being a working mom is exhausting. I always felt that time was my greatest enemy, that there always wasn’t enough, and I find myself constantly wishing that a day had more than 24 hours. With all my tasks as a full-time employee and a mom of two, there wasn’t any time left for me.
Another adversary was mom guilt. I felt torn between wanting to earn a living and wanting to be with my kids. I used to wish that I could work from home. I never imagined that that wish could come true.
Being a work-from-home mom is harder.
When the WFH scheme was announced, I was ecstatic. My wish finally came true! Now I get to wake up at 7 am (Hooray for another extra hour of sleep!), do my morning chores at a more relaxed pace, eat breakfast with my husband and kids, and then time in for work. Not having to deal with the stressful morning commute was such a great relief as well.
I guess the biggest challenge, though, is the clear definition of roles. When I worked at the office, the distinctions were clear. I’m Mama at home, but I’m Iza at the office. But now, these two roles are all mixed up! Imagine having to type an article with a toddler asleep on your lap. Or shushing noisy kids shouting “Mama!” while my boss and I are in a conference call online.
I really struggled with a different kind of guilt when the initial high of the WFH set-up died down. I felt guilty that I was spending some of my working hours doing mommy tasks. But I guess it can’t be helped that balancing work-related and mom-related tasks is an inevitable part of this kind of setup.
I’m grateful to my superiors and teammates who have been very understanding when I shared this concern with them. I assured them, though, that I continue staying at the top of my game and that despite the mommy tasks that I have to squeeze in during work hours, my productivity and efficiency as a RareJob employee will not suffer.
Being in both setups is like experiencing the best of both worlds!
I really can’t thank RareJob enough for the opportunity to continue working despite the pandemic. I consider the WFH scheme a blessing because I get to earn money while staying home safe with my family. I know a lot of people who’ve not been able to earn a living during the ECQ. I also know many others who are spending the lockdown alone, away from their loved ones.
But I can’t deny that I miss working at the office. I got to read books or play games during lunch breaks. I got to have conversations that weren’t about dinosaurs, monster trucks, or superheroes. I also got to pee in comfort and peace without toddlers banging at the door asking for the 547th time if I was done!
Both setups have advantages and disadvantages, and it is really difficult to choose which one I’d prefer over the other. I guess the best thing I can do for now is just to savor this unique experience, learn from it whatever I can, and cherish every moment I get to spend with my family during these uncertain times.
Take it from the Top: A Veteran’s Eye View
As the company enters its fourth month with majority of its workforce working from home, business continues as usual in what is now considered as the ‘new normal’. As employees ease into the remote work arrangement, top management continues watch over the company to ensure business continuity.