The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Living the Dream as a Work at Home Mom

How today was intended to go:

6:15AM – Wake up to the sun streaming in through the windows the birds chirping. Lie in bed reading social media on my phone for half an hour before showering.

7:15AM – Drive happy teenager to school who is grateful he’s getting a ride and didn’t have to get up early to take the bus.

8:30AM – Breakfast at adorable hipster crepes and coffee restaurant with old friend from college and his new baby.

10AM – Show new builds to fun clients I haven’t seen in awhile.

11:30AM-2:30PM – Catch up on paperwork/emails.

2:30PM – Help boys with homework.

4PM – Start dinner.

6-7PM – Take a lyra class in Tempe.

How today has actually gone:

3:13AM – Gray wakes me up. I have a headache from the 3 glasses of rose I drank the night before because real estate makes me want hang myself. He has a 102 fever. I give him the literal very last drops of children’s Advil we have in the house. On the upside, it’s not expired, for once.

6:05AM – My friend from college texts me to say he’s excited for breakfast. I reply that I’m bailing because my kid is sick. He probably just thinks I’m a flake.

7:15AM – I drive the teen to school. He is surly and when his phone buzzes and I ask him who he’s texting he snaps, “NO ONE, MOM! NOT EVERY TIME MY PHONE BUZZES I’M GETTING A TEXT.” I stop at the grocery store on the way home to stock up on children’s pain reliever/fever reducers. While I’m in the utter wasteland of cell phone service that is my grocery store of choice, I get frantic texts from two different clients with two different urgent issues.

7:40AM – I get home and check in on the sick 10 year old. My cell rings with a school prefix number. I answer it, expecting the ‘Your child is absent’ notification. Instead it goes like this:

Me: This is Elizabeth.

Jonas: Mom, I need you to bring me a lunch.

Me: Jonas? What? Why?

Jo: I just need you to bring me a lunch. 

Me: Dude… right now?

Jo: Yes. 

Me: Is this for the field trip you told us was last Friday and then this morning you told your dad was tomorrow? Because we need to have a discussion about being responsible and giving people notice-

Jo: Mom. Make me a ham sandwich and whatever sides you want, I don’t care, and a capri sun and bring it to school. 

Me: Well-

Jo: Just make me a lunch and bring it to school.

Me: OK.

I have the epiphany that although he might be the smallest kid, Jonas is probably The Godfather of the first grade.

7:50AM – While I’m searching the fridge for ham (we don’t have any and I’m nervous this will displease Him) my phone buzzes with a text. It’s my mom’s neighbor. She’s watching my parents’ dog while they are on a cruise in the Bahamas. She needs me to come let the dog out because some clusterfuck with the yard guy has happened and Princess Sophie the spoiled lapdog refuses to go in the backyard while the help is there or something. I text her that I will drive over there in the next couple of hours and let her highness out.

7:57AM – My phone rings with an unfamiliar number.

Me: This is Elizabeth.

Caller: *Garbled*

Me: Hello?

Caller: I’m trying to reach Elizabeth Newlin.

Me (yelling): This IS Elizabeth Newlin! Hello? Hello? Can you hear me?

Caller: Yes, is this Elizabeth?

Me: Yes, this is Elizabeth… *longish pause* who is this? Is this Mary Rose? Because I’m going to let the dog out in a little bit, I’m just in the middle of-

Caller: Ah, no. This is Cindy with Cartus Relocation Corporation. I’m calling about the Ramblewood file.

Me: Oh! I’m so sorry for my unprofessional response! It’s chaos here. I thought maybe you were my mother’s neighbor about her dog. Or maybe my super demanding 7 year old. And my house is a total dead zone. Sorry. Yes. The Ramblewood file. What can I do for you?

Caller: *heavy sigh*

8:15AM – I drive a sack lunch up to the school. The secretaries raise a judgmental eyebrow at my obvious lack of preparedness (and bra). I haven’t brushed my teeth yet either.

8:23AM – While I’m driving home the other agent on the Ramblewood file calls me and asks questions I don’t have answers to. I promise him text responses as soon as I get back to my laptop. This is a lie and we both know it.

8:28-9:32AM – I shower, iron a dress, and negotiate a contract with a husband and wife separately, while texting with the listing agent and putting on eyeliner. At one point I answer the phone with toothpaste in my mouth and say, “Hold on, I need to spit.” Because I’m a lady and a professional.

9:35AM – I dash downstairs to give the sick kid more meds. I’m still intending to show new builds at 10AM. Within minutes of drinking the Advil Gray says, “I think I’m going to throw up.” and pukes into the bowl he has in his lap. I walk him to the bathroom (he pukes twice more while I’m holding the bowl. I almost throw up in sympathy.). I text the clients that I won’t be meeting them at new builds and call and beg the sales agent to allow me to represent my clients despite the fact that I won’t be meeting them at the sales office on their first visit as required. He takes pity on me and relents (probably because he can hear the puking in the background). I answer emails, texts, and phone calls while waiting for Gray to feel a little better.

10:30AM – It’s late enough I feel super guilty my parents’ dog is still inside. Gray hasn’t puked in quite awhile and is sleeping on the couch. I decide this is the best time to drive the 23 miles to my parents’ house to let Sophie out.

11:03AM – I get to my parents’ house and unlock the door. Sophie does not come running. I call her name while walking through the house. When I get to the back door, there she is, outside, eagerly wagging her tail, wondering if I will let her in. I shake my head and text the neighbor, “I drove over to let Sophie out and she’s already out.” She texts back, “Oh yeah, John went by earlier.” My head explodes all over the inside of the house. I just drove almost 50 miles, while my kid is home sick alone, my clients are stalking me, and I have at least 300 things I’d rather be doing, FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER. I wish this woman was standing in front of me right now so I could punch her in the boob. I call my sister and yell at her not because any of this is her fault, but because I need someone to feel my injustice. Then I felt guilty for yelling.

11:30AM – I stop at Paradise Bakery on the way home, and instead of getting a salad, I get a sandwich, chips, and a cookie because I will probably get sick soon seeing as how it’s scientifically impossible to hold a bowl full of a sick person’s vomit without getting sick yourself, and I’ll need calories to keep my strength up.

1:30PM – Gray has a 103 fever and pukes up the Tylenol I give him.

2:35PM – Jonas gets home from school. He doesn’t say thank you for the lunch. He says, “I hate cheese and you shouldn’t have put it on my sandwich.”

It’s a glamorous life.


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