Working from home: It aint all it’s cracked up to be
A few years ago, if you would have asked me the “perfect world” situation I’d want for a balance between work and family I would have hands down said working from home.
Oh yea, the kids can play in the background and I can get my work knocked out while they’re eating and napping without the high costs of childcare and the guilt of missing their milestones. Now? Now I wonder who I was kidding.
I’ve been mostly working from home since September. Writing for clients at night after my kids are in bed. Getting in posts for my blog while Lil’ J is at gymnastics and my son is napping (today at least) and I’ve learned there’s no way I’m meeting my deadlines for the news station unless I just take the kids to the sitter and get it done at work, or while they’re out of the house.
There are many positives. Once you get a routine down it’s nice to close my laptop and say: “it’s time to be with the kids.” Mondays, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and weekends are (for the most part) family time. Wednesdays, Fridays, and every night from 8pm -2am is pretty much when I work. If I stick to the system it’s a very healthy and happy balance. Tuesday and Thursday mornings are times I get to hang out with my baby boy and do “fun stuff” like craft, or shop. If I need to catch up on sleep, or work, it throws off the balance a little, and I’ll work on the weekends, those mornings Lil’ J is at gymnastics, or when my husband is off.
If things get REALLY out of wack, sometimes I’ll attempt to work when my kids are home and awake, but it usually ends in disaster, with me getting frustrated about interruptions, my daughter feeling ignored, and my son injuring himself on something.
Despite the difficulties I must say I can’t imagine it any other way. I can’t imagine going back to an office and set hours five days a week. I can’t imagine my kids being in a daycare full-time. I also can’t imagine giving up all of the writing, reporting, and career-stuff I am doing.
This isn’t meant to be a brag-fest, but I guess words of encouragement and guidance to my 20-year-old self and anyone out there wondering…
-The grass is usually greener on the other side.
-Multitasking at work is easier than multitasking at home.
-Kids are way more demanding that I ever imagined.
-But they’re pretty awesome too.
-Once you find your groove, write down what’s working and keep at that schedule until you need to change it up again.
-Sometimes you’ve just gotta let things go… Like the upkeep of your playroom.
-Most of all, remember what’s most important. Have priorities and take care of those things first.
Have anything else to add?
And just because I think more people need to see this video of my brilliant dog, and adorable kids, here’s Snoop’s IQ test (and make sure you watch the cute montage with the kids at the end).
Tags: advice, Career, humor, tips, working from home, working mom
Omg, doing hair from home while watching Kal is much, much harder than I thought it would be! I could be in the middle of a braid and Kal is having a meltdown and I can’t get to him… I’m like, “Can I finish this braid please??”… or he’s pulling on my leg and saying, “Mommy. Mommy. Mom!” Yep, working from home can be a mess. I’d never be able to write for a living with a toddler at home, because that requires my focus/brain, so kudos to you for what you’re able to accomplish with those two! I’m impressed. 🙂
Girl I don’t know how YOU manage to do that!! My kids are the WORST when I’m talking to other people. My clients would have to sit in silence, or talk to miss J the entire time they were here. Haha.
Working from home is hard, but being away from the kids or being broke is harder 🙂 I don’t work, and we have made a lot of sacrifices for me to be able to stay home, especially while my husband finishes his degree. But I’ve tried to work from home and it is not easy, so props to you!
And that video is ADORABLE! My husband is not an animal person, but someday I’m going to convince him to let me get a dog…I can tell the bond your kids have with snoop is unbreakable and amazing, would love to have that for my littles 🙂
There’s no easy choice is there? Good for you for workin what you’ve got!
Good luck with workin your hubby for a pup! Snoop is really a part of our family. I’m not sure we’ll ever get another dog. But I’m glad we have him 🙂
I wish I could say I’m kidding, but I can’t look at those photos. I’m too freaked out. Is there a link without them? When I look at them, my skin crawls and I get anxiety. I wish I were joking. Still love you though. As usual, the kids are gorg (despite the freaky pics).
You are cracking me up! We’ll just chat about the post over the phone. Lol. Sorry for freaking you out!
Working from home definitely has its pros and cons like anything else in life, but I do enjoy it for now. I agree that sticking to a schedule helps big time. Love the funny pics of you and the kiddies.
Thanks ma! I know you’ve been doing it some time now! Share your wisdom wise one!
I have to agree! Before having kids I always thought working from home would be ideal. Well, now with 2 kids and 5 years of working from home with them I STILL think so, but it’s definitely not as pink and rosy as I thought. Lots of sacrifices, time management, trial and error, but I LOVE it. I love being with them, having a flexible schedule, working when I can but giving the best of my time to my kids. There is no way working outside the home would work for us because I’d be spending most of what I earn on childcare and commute anyway. So this way our expenses are minimized and what I make is actually profit – even thought it’s not a lot. Raising our kids is way more important to us than any job I could have anyway. But they’ve finally pushed to follow what I’ve always wanted and didn’t have the guts to start – photography. 🙂
Exactly all of this! You hit the nail on the head by saying its great, just not all flowers and roses as I expected.
awww love this post Jen, as always 😀 Thanks again for the advice today!
Thanks mama! Great connecting! Keep in touch. I can’t wait to see where you land!
I definitely prefer working from home and have been doing it for 5 years come this fall. Now with #2 on the way I’m definitely looking into getting a mother’s helper a couple times a week. I’d like to be able to designate strict work-days and family days but know that the lines may blur depending on unexpected events. The ability to be flexible is key. I used to a strict-schedule follower, but now I’ve learned having more wiggle room and selecting work relationships that honor this works best for me!
I’m wondering though, did you not have a helper before?! Share your wisdom oh wise one!
No regular help but Nia starting school fulltime last fall helped immensely (our city has subsidized universal PreK) and I was able to take on more work as a result. With two soon and my husband’s intense travel schedule I know I’m going to need a helper!
I wish I could work from home but law enforcement hasn’t figured out a way yet!!! Just look at the lessons your children are being taught just by watching you “hustle” as you say! Your daughter sees a self motivated woman to model herself after. And your son is being shown that women are strong! Kudos and hats off to all the stay at home, work from home moms! You are awesome!
Ok this made my day! Thanks for your sweet words!
It would be awesome if LEOs could work from home. But we are so grateful for you protecting us out on the streets. YOU are awesome!
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