Diaries of a working mom Chapter 9: Working from home

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When I tell people I work from home, I get a wide variety of reactions, ranging from “you are the luckiest person on earth” to “how in the heck can you do that with a kid there?”. Most people are shocked that I have no intention of ever going to an office, at least not my own office.

I have to say, for me, for the time being at least, I absolutely love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. I am not one of those people who showers, gets dressed, and “goes to work”, then takes a lunch break, then “goes home”, all in the confines of my home. I flow back and forth between work and the rest of my life throughout the day.

I love that I can roll out of bed and use the time I’m most thoughtful to do something important. I love taking a break when I need to rest my brain to shower, workout, or run to the grocery store. I love that I can work with clients in all different time zones by working earlier and later but doing personal stuff during the day. I love that I fill up my gas tank less than once a month. I also love the days when I have meetings around Denver or hop on a plane to visit a client. I love being able to crank through work for hours with minimal interruptions.

I’ve loved working from a home office for ten years now, but now it is even better because I get to take a break and see my little guy. I can check in on him throughout the day and communicate with the nanny on how he’s doing. I went back to work after my maternity leave really fast, and that was much easier on me because I was able to be around and be involved.

In talking with other parents, I’m starting to notice a trend. Women with kids seem to love working from home, men with kids most often want to go to an office. People without kids are a mixed bag. I have a theory about this….

Moms who work from home usually have some kind of childcare, in or out of the house. Dads who work from home often have wives who are taking care of the kids at home – at least the majority of the ones I’ve talked with about this topic so far. My theory is that it is harder to put work lines around a spouse than it is around a childcare professional… and it is therefore a lot easier to work from home if you have professional childcare for your kids… or don’t have kids at all.

My personal experience with this is every Thursday, when my husband is usually home as Mr. Mom. Thursdays are a whole different type of day for me. There isn’t the routine of the nanny showing up to “kick-off” the day. And of course my husband and I talk a lot more throughout the day about childcare and many other topics than I talk with the nanny on one of the other days. I’ve tried various tactics for making Thursdays easier on all of us, but it has been a challenge. I absolutely love having him home one day a week so we are going to figure it out (I have a few more ideas to try), but I can see why dads are challenged with this! One dad recently expressed to me that he needs to go to his office because while he wants to help his wife with the little things when she asks, it really does distract his flow. I totally get it.

I’m bullish that this working from home thing is going to work for me for years to come, but I know there will be challenges along the way. The first will be helping the little guy understand “mommy’s at work” when I’m right there in the next room.

I believe it is possible. I know a couple who have two kids and both work from home. They have a live-in nanny and the kids have grown up understanding their work. The parents love it. They get to spend more time with the kids since they see them on breaks and save all the commute time. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me!

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