Apr 8, 2016

The Ballad of a Work-From-Home Mom


Bulan lalu, Miund tau-tau message gue untuk bilang, "Laaaa... we want to feature bloggers' essays di bagian Lifestyle-nya The Jakarta Post online. Elo mau yaaah!"

Glek. Awalnya gue, si forever-krisis-pede ini, reluctant BANGET, apalagi kalau diminta nulis rutin. But then I bite the bullet, dan tadaaaa...! Jadilah tulisan pertamaku untuk The Jakarta Post. Pamerin dikit di sini boleh, ya. Boleh, dong. 

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The Ballad of a Work-From-Home Mom

Whenever I tell my full time working-mommy friends that I am a WFH—work-from-home—mom, they would squeal with delight and envy. Little they realize that being a WFH mommy means…

My work uniform is daster

I heard several famous mommy bloggers treat their “working hours” seriously, although they work from home with no one to impress with their appearances.

They’d shower every morning, dress in their boyfriend jeans and Commes des Garçons shirts, put on some make up, and sit daintily in front of their laptops, in their straight-out-of-Design Sponge home offices, ready to seize the day before 9 a.m.

I love that idea. Tried it. Didn’t happen. Well, I got to the showering part, but I couldn’t make myself dress properly, let alone put on make up.

Not always because I’m lazy. It’s also because of the sweating. Have you realized that when you have kids from infant to toddler age, you will always sweat at some point during the day, trying to catch up with their Energizer Bunny stamina?

I soon discovered that I work best and most comfortably in sleepwear. Specifically, daster.

I once tried breaking this habit by limiting the number of sleepwear I own, so I wouldn’t get tempted to wear them during the day. So I threw some of them away, saving only the most decent ones for sleeping at night.

But after a month or two, I realized I desperately need my dasters back to work comfortably and productively.

So one day, I gave up and went back to the very glamorous sleepwear section of Matahari Department Store, and bought a dozen of their latest collections for my working attires. 

Nevada, do endorse me.

Things can be a bit lonely (and so I talk to flowers)

Working from home with no adult interactions can be lonely from time to time.

There were days when I miss real, adult conversations. For instance, conversations that use full sentences, instead of short directives such as, “No putting the Playdoh in your ears!”

One morning, while walking around my neighborhood, I spotted a new flower bloomed from my neighbor’s front yard, peeking from the fence. I remembered talking to plants is actually good for them, so I started to talk to the flower. Nothing too crazy, just simple talks like, “My, my, such a pretty flower! Hello, pretty flower. How are you this morning…” until I realized my neighbor’s maid was staring at me from behind the fence, ready to call the security guard.

It was at that point I decided that coffee time with an adult is called for, stat.

All of my makeup is expiring

I am not a big makeup person. And not having to go to office means I have even LESS need to wear makeup. However, thanks to the strong makeup trend on social medias for the past few years, I ended up having way more makeup than I need, anyway.

Therefore, naturally, almost all of my unnecessary makeups are expiring for being underused. So if you see me at Alfamidi sporting a hot pink lipstick and full eyebrows, it’s not because I’m having an early midlife crisis and trying to seduce the cashier. I’m simply trying to use up my poor, underused makeup before they turn into fossils.

My laptop is badly bruised

My toddler son sees the laptop as The Enemy, because every time the laptop is open, it means that mommy is going to ignore him.

Therefore, from time to time, he will always try to get rid of The Enemy, from throwing a tantrum whenever he sees me with The Enemy, to literally throwing it away.

Three times my laptop was pushed from my bed or desk to the floor, three times it survived, with ugly dents as its proof of survival.

Always being asked, “Why do you have a nanny?”

Whenever I say I “work from home”, most people assume that “work” is an online makeup shop or an arts & craft blog, so I must have tons of time to care for my son.

So when I tell them I have a nanny, they would cocked their head, give me a judging look, ask “But why?”, then look at me as the mom-version of Kylie Jenner who is rumored to not know how to do laundry.

They don’t realize that I really work work. I still have to report to a supervisor, manage my team, hold Skype meetings, do interviews, meet deadlines, copy edit, and write.

And, of course, I still want to maintain my hobbies and social life. Who doesn’t?

And I suppose they would look after my son while I do all that?

Bad eating habits (thanks to you, Nadiem Makarim)

People usually assume that we, the WFH clan, have better control over out diet, because we don’t get tempted by gazillions of food vendors that are right outside our offices.

Well, I bet that was once true… before Go-jek arrives. Once the Go-jek and Go-food era begins, all sorts of delectable, exquisite junk food are literally just a click away, wherever and whenever I crave for it.

Damn you (or love you), Nadiem Makarim!

It’s the best kind of work in the world

You know I have to eventually say this, right?

But I’m not saying it to sound appropriate. I’m saying it because it’s true.

At times, a part of me still thinks that I should be working in a real office—preferably in a high-rise building—on a real desk, wearing crisp, white Zara shirt and MAC Ruby Woo lipstick, sporting an employee ID card around my neck (I’ve always wanted to have one of those!), having colleagues that actually have faces and an Office Boy to take my lunch orders.

Instead, I am typing these words on my bed, besides my son who is sleeping while holding onto my boobs as his lovey. In lieu of working in crisp, white Zara shirts, I work in dasters, almost always near my son, with amazing time flexibility—I can go to my dancing classes whenever I want!—and marvelous ability to have that elusive working-and-parenting balance.

You know how most people think work-life balance is as mythical as the unicorn? Well, I didn’t just find the unicorn. I am riding it.

I am living every mother’s dream, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

 What every mother feels inside: berantakan, capek, kucel, mabok, tapi hepi (but actually, I look high here)

21 comments:

  1. Honest as always, mba Lei
    Pada satu titik, saya yakin yang namanya seorang Ibu pasti sangat menginginkan untuk bisa seharian di rumah bersama anak-anaknya. Bisa bekerja dari rumah justru yang paling ideal. Tapi (sepengamatan saya) ga semua Ibu berani dengan lantang mengakuinya, selalu berusaha memberi alasan pembenaran A-Z, misalnya tentang aktualisasi diri untuk bekerja kantoran. Saya yakin memang balik lagi ke kepribadian dan tuntutan kehidupan masing-masing sih ya..
    Semoga dgn masuknya artikel ini the jakarta post makin banyak Ibu atau bapak-bapak sekalian mendapat sudut pandang baru tentang WFH.

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  2. Suka tulisannya Mbak. Selamat yaa! :D
    Bagian si gojeknya bikin ngikik :P

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    1. Hehe tapi bener banget Mas Dani, aku menggendats dan membokek banget gara-gara kutukan Gojek :D

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  3. Jadi, rutin nih nulis di Jakpost online-nya? Waduh asik bakal ada bacaan baru nih :))

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    1. Hahaha enggak juga kayaknyaaa... rutin nulis di blog aja nggak sanggup sekarang, apalagi di JakPost, tolooong :(

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  4. Selamat untuk tulisannya Kak lei. Bagus seperti biasanya. Meski tema x Mom, Y Mom, dan Z Mom bukan ada di list teratas tema tulisan Kak Lei yang saya ingin baca di media lebih yang luas dikenal di luar blog. Mengapa? Karena bakat menulis dirimu dan kemampuan menangkap gejala sosial sangag istimewa untuk menulis tema tema yang lebih besar dan menginspirasi. Semoga di lain kesempatan yaaah. keep writing kak Lei.

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    1. Ah, terimakasih atas observasinya, ya! Kok bener banget. Kalo ketemu aku aslinya, aku tuh nggak terlalu banyak ngomong, dan sebenernya introvert sejati. Tapi aku hobi banget observe ini itu, make mental notes of everything, trus akhirnya jadi tulisan hihihi. Thank you!

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  5. why do you have a nanny?

    to keep you still 'waras' lol. Having a 24-hours-tod-around-you (plus a baby for me) is never been easy.

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  6. Ternyata di belantara drama IRT versus ibu bekerja yang rauwis-uwis bak DC versus Marvel, tulisan kak Lei yang ini ngebuka pandangan baru soal profesi seorang ibu bekerja di rumah. Syuper duper lop!

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  7. tulisannya kereeeeeeen... :) ditunggu episode berikutnya..

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    1. Hihihi makasiiih. Doakan ada waktu nulisnya niih :(

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  8. ahhh couldn't agree more Lei, udah setahun menjalani profesi Online Freelancer, i must say, this is the best decision i've ever made in my life. Tidak selalu indah, naik turun income juga kadang bikin pala cenat cenut terutama karena masih bahu membahu sama suami dalam urusan keuangan keluarga tapi faktor fleksibiltas jam kerja sama bisa bebas dari kemacetan jekarda memang yang paling bikin bahagia. Kalau aku karena ga punya nanny jadi anak tetap dititip di mertua, dan bener banget pas temen2 (yang masih pada kantoran-maupun yang IRT sejati) denger itu gw berasa dijudge abis, they just don't understand that what we do is "the real work" yang butuh konsentrasi dan komitmen.

    Eh satu lagi, yang bagian lonely itu bener banget ihhh...kalau dirimu ngomong sama bunga, aku suka ngomong sama kaca dikamar, ga ngarang, beneran ngomong seolah2 ngomong sama temen kerja. hahahaa...kemudian atut sendiri tiba2 dibelakang gw ada orang lain beneran :D, org kantoran brekie nya dengan lunch, ngobrol-gosipan cantik, aku brekie nya nyuci piring, jemur baju, nyapu hahaha

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    1. Hahaha, Ura, bener banget, lho. Soal income, Alhamdulillah aku digaji bulanan, cuma kerjanya memang remote alias bisa dimana aja. Dan meskipun begitu, yes, konsentrasi dan komitmen tetap diperlukan. Malah kalau nggak kerja di kantor, konsentrasi berpotensi makin kacau ya :D

      Iyaaa, aku break lunchnya juga beberes kamar, hahaha. T suka heran karena aku bisa ngendon di kamar seharian, tapi kondisi kamar kacau berantakan melulu!

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  9. Kak Lei, kemarin aku sempet liat di kantornya FD lagi duduk pagi-pagi. Pengen nyapa tapi bingung takutnya SKSD hehehe.

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  10. Ahh suka dg artikel ini..
    Tyt ngalamin jg yg namanya lonely yaa.. Tossss dulu hihihi

    Krn lonely trs jd suka bawel kl suami plg kerjanya kemalemen.. Biar ga senewen ngomong ma tembok xixi

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