Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I work from home. I get to spend time with my kids and I get to keep at least part of a foot in the door of my professional life. However… I have to say I am getting really tired of the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle hints, that this is not a real job.
I work from home. Apparently that means means my small and usually cold basement office doubles as storage room and all around junk collector. It also apparently means I’m free to run errands or do the groceries during my designated working hours. I don’t know how many times people have asked ‘oh, can’t you just work another time so we can…?’
The worst part about it is I now find myself doing it too. It is so easy to just stop at the store now rather than wait until I’ve picked to boys up from day care and do it with both of them in tow. I have a limited amount of time during which the boys are in care and I am supposed to be working, yet more and more of that time is being eaten up by my wife and mother duties.
I really don’t know how people make this life work. I know women who don’t use day care and work with their young children underfoot. Some days I can’t even seem to do it with child care. I’ve drawn the line in the sand about my office hours but I still feel like the beach bully is coming to kick that sand in my face. I’ve been trolling the Internet looking for advice but there seems to be a lot of denial about how hard working at home really is. I read about all the ‘great’ opportunities to make money on the Internet and all about how to keep your kids busy while you work but that’s it. No one seems to want to talk about the problems with motivation or time management or even other people’s perceptions of working at home. I’m not willing to work until 2am every night just to get something done – if I did my kids would be wishing I’d go work for someone else, I’m not a nice person on too little sleep!
I know I need to hold firm to my office hours but there always seems to be something demanding my time: either family is coming to visit or the groceries didn’t get done and we have no milk or supper needs to be started or The Husband is away and I’m exhausted from being up all night with the kids. Where does it end?
I long ago came to believe that the idea that as women we can have it all (career, family etc) is a total myth but even having part of it is a tough balance.
Pass the coffee I need to get to work … and it’s only an hour and a half later than I should have started.