The View From Home

This post is part of the #YourTurnChallenge – learn more here.

Life as a WAHM with Teens

The adventure of a work-at-home-mom of teenagers is a curious, tiring, beautiful thing. From my office doorway I can see the traffic to the bathroom, hear their music cycling through Pandora, smell the teenage cologne applied by gallons, and feel the thunder of their oversized feet throughout the house. They don’tneed me to stay home to care for them – but oh, what a view this life gives.

They see business in action. Whether it is my frantic search for a file, a jubilant celebration for a fulfilling project, or a call for calm before I Skype with a client, my kids witness work in action. They know it isn’t always pretty or easy, but they see the dedication it takes to make work work.

They see me learn. Adulthood is not the end of learning. And if we’re doing it well, we keep learning in a way that moves us forward in our careers with a sense of enthusiasm. Too many youth think that high school leads to college which leads to a job which leads to a plateau of life and learning. Teens who are around adults on the job – especially adults who enjoy their careers – see that consistent learning makes it all a little bit better.

They see real life. They see me deal with clients who stretch my sanity. They witness the challenges of meeting professional commitments when one child has an ear infection, the puppy is destroying everything from my best bra to their library books, and the smoke detector is playing tricks on me. It can all be a real pain in the backside – but it is real all the same.

They see the joy of the job. Like most parents, I want my children to find paths that are fulfilling. I want them to get excited about their endeavors and make the efforts required to rise to the occasions. There is no better lesson than to see a parent truly enjoy what he or she is doing – and see it as an opportunity instead of a chore.

I see them.  I see them when I break for coffee and realize they just made a fresh pot for us to share as they grab their homework. I see them when they peek around the corner of the office doorway and wait for me to beckon them in with a tilt of my head so they can ask the persistent question of teens: What is there to eat?

I see them. When the trials and triumphs of teenage life spill forward I see teenagers at my door – my own and their friends who are my bonus kids – and I know I need to pause. These are sacred moments in life when teenagers seek you out to share a laugh, ask a favor, or bring you into their secret world.

I see them. I see these teenagers balancing school, friends, work, sports, and everything in between. I am present in between these cracks of time – when they transition from one activity to the next. And I am privileged to catch these glimpses from my under-decorated, book and file cabinet laden office.

There is no office with a better view than that of this tired (exhausted), challenged, grateful work-at-home-mom


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