16 Acceptable Snow Day Behaviors for the Working Parent

I may or may not have done – or be currently doing – all or some of the items below. Let’s get real:

  1. No bra, no makeup. Often no clothes. (But note: clothing is recommended when going outside to shovel)
  2. Lifted all restrictions on the kids’ screen and TV time
  3. Shaken your fist in rage at Mother Nature
  4. Threatened children with cookies/toys/violence should they utter a word during your conference calls or break their bones while jumping up and down on a creaky bed upstairs and directly over your work area
  5. Mandatory slippers
  6. Excessive Facebooking and Twittering
  7. Realized you’ve been sitting at your desk for 4 hours straight, jumped up (creakily) to do squats and a plank. Then sat back down for another 4 hours straight
  8. All day snacking (no meals)
  9. Worn headphones to drown out sounds of the children talking/fighting/playing/asking for lunch
  10. Banished kids outside in sub-freezing temperatures armed with shovels and snowballs
  11. Amateur homeschooling efforts
  12. Nervously and obsessively tracking weather.com to see when the snow will come to an end
  13. Pining for your colleagues’ faces
  14. Taking conference calls from your bathroom while hiding from children
  15. Jumping every time you get a text or a call for fear it’s the school announcing that tomorrow is another snow day (nooooooooooooo!)
  16. Lacing your hot cocoa while chanting repeatedly “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere”

Good luck fellow parents; may the force be with you.

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Confessions of a Working Mom

Not every working Mom wipes the snot off her shoulder, slaps on some lipstick, ruffles her Mommy hair and heads off to an office every day (but if she does, here are 20 ways to spot her.) Many Moms are lucky enough to work from home. Flexible hours. No commute. Serenity. Productivity. Right? A lot of the time, yes. But not always.

Whether you are working around your kids’ school, snack or nap schedule, or stuck at home on a snow day or with a sick kid, the truth is that kids and conference calls just don’t mix well – much like oil and water.

Try delivering a presentation over the phone, actively participating in a meeting, taking notes, or answering an important phone call from a client with a kid—or worse, kids—in the same room. Because the second you turn your back, speak up to make your point or try to focus, chaos, hilarity or whining inevitably ensues. It’s that sixth sense that kids have, knowing precisely when and how to exact the most torment.

I remember a few years back, stuck at home on our fifth snow day, participating in back-to-back conference calls and meetings with two kids suffering from cabin fever and excessive TV exposure. By this point, I had tried every possible form of entertainment, distraction, bribery and threat. I was literally in tears, weeping and begging them to leave me alone with promises of chocolate, new toys, trips to Disney—anything to get them to go the eff away so I could get some work done. It wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t proud but such is the reality of working Mommihood sometimes.

Looking on the bright side, as I like to do, I polled some of my working Mom friends, to unearth their stories and remind myself that I am not alone. Here are some of their confessions:

How about giving my son my iPad to play games while I worked on his sick day…until he downloaded $250 worth of upgrades to his games. To be fair, he didn’t know – it kept asking him if he wanted to purchase and he couldn’t read but he knew the word yes and he could see he got more coins to get better cars.

I remember one time being on a conference call and having the phone on mute and literally chasing my daughter down the street …

You mean like when my toddler cut his own hair? Not in the back or side but directly in the front? I didn’t even know it was possible to cut a whiffle…until he basically scalped himself (with safety scissors of course..I’m not THAT bad.)

I once was interviewing someone via the phone when my daughter yelled “Mom you need to clean the bed and the floor again, I couldn’t get to the bathroom quick enough and I threw up again.”

I remember my husband got held up in a meeting at the end of the day and I had to lead a hastily scheduled, late day, project kickoff with a client. I gave them coloring books and put on a show and a load of other things to keep them busy – all of which did not hold their interest. I vividly remember having to lock my door while they were banging on it and yelling my name to come help with something. It wasn’t long – maybe half hour tops – but I came out to my then 18 month old painting on the wall and my almost 5-year-old climbing on the kitchen counter to get a snack with crackers all over the floor.

I’ve been on the phone with patients with 3 kids screaming in the background … to the point where I had to put the baby in her playpen and lock myself in my room.

I was on a conference call once and my #2 came up to me and said, “Mom, I just went poop.” I tried to ignore her. Eventually she was screaming, “Mom, I just went poop!”

So much for “having it all”, eh? What stories do you have to tell? Please share and let’s get all confession-y together.

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