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  • Rachel Chin

Why is his mouse clicking so loud?

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

A day in the life of working from home with my spouse and kids.

First off, let me say that I am extremely grateful that both my husband and I still have jobs, and that we are both able to work exclusively from home during this pandemic. I am truly thankful to have all my family safe at home with me.


That said, being at home with my family all the time can get a little nutty. It’s sometimes cozy, frequently annoying, and often just flat-out hilarious.


My husband and I take advantage of the quiet morning hours by getting as much work done as possible before our three kids wake up. We often have coffee together in the wee hours of the morning, watching the news while we each catch up on work emails, sitting with our laptops, on the couch. Sounds cozy, right? It is.


Until my husband starts clicking his mouse. It sounds like an industrial stapler, echoing through the house. And why does he have to type so hard?


Him: *click* *click-click* *tap- tap- tap- tap- tap- tap- tap*


Me: trying to respond to an email or listen to a news story, but I just *can’t* because the noise of the all the clicks is too loud for me to think or hear the tv.


And trust me, it goes both ways. I know my husband loves me because he prepares the coffee pot each night so we’ll have coffee together in the morning. But more than once, as we’re sitting there on the couch, he’ll jump up and grab the tissue box and wordlessly hand it to me. Apparently, I need to blow my nose. I know he’s been silently stewing about it, just like I’m internally rolling my eyes at his clicking.


So there we are, clicking and sniffling and drinking coffee together while we get a few precious (semi) quiet hours of work done.


Until the kids wake up.


Or more accurately, until I go turn the kids’ tv off and make them brush teeth and eat breakfast and do chores. This inevitably begins a long tirade of complaining and whining about one thing or another until they finish with their chores. My husband long-ago retreated to the office with the door firmly closed, and I’m back on my laptop at the kitchen table. The kids are supposed to do some non-electronic playtime or crafts now, but it takes another hour or so of one of them complaining and a couple of them fighting before they can even think about doing something quieter.


If you have kids, you know what it’s like. They can argue about *anything* from “he pushed me” to “he made me shoot a rocket onto the roof.” I kid you not, this is exactly what I heard this morning.


Unless it’s on fire, I don’t have time to deal with a rocket on the roof, so I spend ten minutes lecturing them on use of the rocket and their loud voices, and then make them come indoors. They opt to practice water-bottle-flipping in my bedroom next.


I don’t know about you, but water bottle-flipping has become a pretty big sport in our household lately.


Me: “That’s fine. Just be sure you have the lids on securely if there’s water in the bottles.”


Them: “Ok, mom”


Five minutes later, one of them comes out of the bedroom to tell me the lid came loose from his bottle and there’s now water on the bedroom floor. The floor is tile, so I respond that it’s probably not a big deal, just get a towel and wipe it up. At his insistence, however, I go look at the floor and realize that the lid didn’t just come loose, it came off entirely upon impact and there is now water strewn alllllll over the floor under the king size bed, with the cap resting dead center in the middle, where none of us can reach. *sigh*


I spend ten more minutes cleaning that up.


Meanwhile, the kids have moved on to the stairs, where they’re using couch cushions as sleds and screaming while sliding down the steps. I walk out of the bedroom just in time to catch one of them as he careens off the cushion, tumbling sideways down the stairs, straight for me. I catch him right at the bottom step, just before he can collide with the tile floor and crack his head open.


Me: “Are you ok?”


Him: Cannot stop laughing.


The other kids: “MOM, can you catch me, too?”


After another 10-minute lecture on how hurling yourself down the stairs is not a safe sport, the kids finally settle down with some quieter craft projects, so I now have a few minutes of calm to get some more work done.


I get a good half hour of work in before the kids come down asking what’s for lunch. I remember I have a noon Zoom call for work, so I let the kids make their own lunch, knowing full well it’s probably going to be chips and cereal.


My husband has the coveted office until 2:pm today, so I close myself off in the bedroom for my call, which will be mostly spent on “mute” so as to not alarm my office-mates with the amount of screaming going on in the rest of the house.


One o’clock starts quiet time here, and I just finished my Zoom call, so I venture out of the relative safety of the bedroom to check on the boys. They’re pretty settled, thank goodness, and their electronic time starts soon, so I am able to finally sigh with relief that maybe the day has calmed down. Two seconds after I allow this thought to enter my head, one of the kids yells down that the humidifier just got knocked over and they need help NOW.


I’m thoroughly exhausted by this point, but luckily my husband just finished up with work for the day and offers the office space to me. I throw him the towel (to clean up the humidifier spill) and bolt for the office, with a fleeting thought about how I quite literally just “threw in the towel.”


And that’s how the days are done, lately. Sure, there’s more after that.


I get my work done.


My husband takes the kids to the park.


We make dinner.


We haggle about what movie to watch for movie night.


We also snuggle. And laugh. And sing.


Somewhere along the way, I remember that I appreciate my family, and I’m so glad we’re all home together.


But they sure are a zany crew.


Now where did that rocket land, again?

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