Working from home is tough

Working from home is tough

Yup, I said it. I think it’s tough to work from home because I haven’t really set up a schedule for myself or the toddler yet.

The only routine we have is when she wakes up, her nappy gets changed into a panty; then she gets her porridge to eat and watch a little television. From there, no routine.

Oh, the routine then starts after I start cooking (at night); she gets dinner, we get ready for bed, read a book and lights out.

Currently, my toddler is home with me after I got retrenched. I started working from home in June after getting a freelance gig. Two more gigs followed. I’ll put her in a creche (nursery school) when I’m back on my feet financially.

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She grabs my pen when I try to write (do admin) and she gets emotional if I’m working on my cell phone (I do my emails and research from there). I’ve had some tantrums and then I throw tantrums and then realise me throwing tantrums doesn’t work on the two-year-old.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t think on work when my toddler is around, even if she’s occupied with something. Is it a mom thing or just a me-thing?

I still love my child and I’m sure she still loves me. At the end of the day, we can hug and kiss each other.

motherhood retrenchment
Myself and Princess. (Image: Leslie Javan)

I miss having my parents and other family members around. They’re all in Cape Town (we’re in Joburg). And I have to let go of the office mindset because I’m on my toddler’s time, not my own. That’s why it’s good to get up more than an hour earlier than she does.

I’ve tried waking up one hour earlier than her and it doesn’t work. I don’t get as much done as I should.

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Besides that, we are good. Work is going slowly, but it’s going.

My toddler is growing quickly (she’s been using the toilet instead of her potty for potty training). She can say a few sentences, but I realise that she sometimes want to baby talk with me. Why? I don’t know. She makes these noises and if I don’t get her, she’ll get emotional or I’ll get emotional.

loneliness mothers mommy

Another milestone is that she can draw things on paper that looks very close to the thing she says it is. And she loves building with her blocks – like a house that looks it’s a couple of storeys big and that it has a big bridge on its premises. I’m always in awe.

She still loves dressing up. And if she doesn’t like something, she put up a big fuss if I’m trying to force an outfit on her. I feel like I can’t go out to buy my child clothes, lol. And she’s only two now!

Lastly, if it wasn’t for my toddler I probably wouldn’t have known the abilities I have. Most things I do because I want to show her it can be done; she’s my inspiration and my motivation. With her around I have to think creatively; I have to change how I do things.

Even if it’s tough, I’m still trying. I have no urge to give up.

Have any of you gone through a tough time lately? How are you dealing with it?

Thank you for reading!


  1. It can be so challenging to manage work and family – particularly if you are working from home with a toddler. Best of luck to you! I hope you find some tricks that make things a bit easier.

  2. I am a WAHM also, and it is very hard. I have felt recently that I really need to only pick up my phone certain times during the day to deal with work stuff, as that is the biggest challenge to me being present with my kids. <3

  3. It’s really tough to try and work with a kid climbing all over you wanting attention. Today I am putting Nicky on a screen because I need a break. Even though my mom is here he is on top of me. I think you must try and also line up some play dates, they have also helped me. Or go somewhere for coffee with your computer where there are childminders to look after Princess.

  4. It’s super challenging to try to work while caring for your kids full-time. It’s great that you are still feeling really motivated though. Great sign that you found something that you love! Good luck!

  5. Mira is cute! I am sure you will find your groove soon with working at home with a toddler. But I must say enjoy this time it is very precious when she is that adorable

  6. Good ideas Heather. Thank you, everyone, for your well wishes. Luckily Princess’ dad and I are taking turns to take her for a walk; that helps.

  7. Working from home is tough, I worked from home when I was in Richards Bay and I somehow managed a routine and got plenty of stuff done. However, from experience, I realised that working from my own home is much better than working from someone else’s home. It’s difficult to live with someone else (like a relative) and still want to work from home and have kids. As women, other women expect us to prioritize household chores instead of household finance. They do not understand the work from home concept, even if you explain it a million times to them. This my friend, is so frustrating.

    So, although it is tough, it will work out because you’re parenting in your own way and doing your daily tasks in your order; not someone elses. Best of luck to you dear.

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