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).