After my son, Andrew, was born, I faced a question as fraught as formula versus breast milk. Could I climb the career ladder in sweatpants?
It started when an acquaintance questioned why I was sending Andrew to day care. “But you’re a writer. You can work from home,’’ she said. “You
wouldn’t need child care!’’ For a nanosecond, my heart fluttered. I could be a stay-at-home-working mom! I’d stroll with other moms, then toil while he napped. We’d play until dinner, and then I’d work all night —leaving just enough time to take a quick shower and go insane.
Moved by devotion to parenthood and career, I seduced myself into thinking I could be mom and employee at the same time. Working from home seemed like just the answer. And it was the answer, thanks to increased flexibility and no commuting time. But I didn’t give up my day-care slot. I couldn’t nurture a career and a baby, so I cobbled together an arrangement that (usually) suits me: I’m a work-at-home mom. Andrew attends care part-time, and my mom helps part-time. My office wardrobe is culled from the Kurt Cobain collection and I go hours without speaking to humans. Most days, I’m happy.