I went to meet with a client last week. My outfit: beige maternity trench (“regular” clothes are still a bit snug), shirt with spit-up on the shoulder (trench covered up the baby barf), black pants and black Dansko shoes without socks. Sadly, this was a good day because I managed to do my hair and put on some lipstick. In my defense, I wore clean clothes and socks when I worked a conventional job. However, now that I work from home while managing two children under the ages of two, an ironed outfit, heels and lipstick are not high on the priority list. Last week, I outlined the pros and cons of having a conventional job and managing children. Today, I’ll point out the pros and cons of working from home.
I’m self-employed, which means I dictate my workload and schedule. I don’t HAVE to be anywhere at any certain time. I make up the rules and I love it. As an example, my three-month-old fell asleep in my arms today. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than a content baby sleeping in your arms. I usually jump on the computer when he goes down, but in that moment, I opted to sit on the couch for quite awhile and hold my adorable, sleeping baby.
Going along with that idea, my kids are the priority and work-related projects fit into our day, not the other way around. I’m able to head out everyday and spend quality time with my kids at the zoo, park or at playgroups.
Lastly, there is NO drop-off and pick-up. I worked full-time with my first child and loathed the drive from my Turnagain home to daycare in South Anchorage. The drop-off and pick-up routine got very old, very quickly.
That said, I do well with structure. A conventional job was motivation for me to get up and be ready by 7:30 a.m. Now that I don’t HAVE to be anywhere, we’re lucky if we get out the door by 10:30 a.m. A conventional job provides structure for the whole family which is a really good thing.
Work provides a much needed break for parents. There is a lot to be said for me time. At work, things stay where you leave them. You can have a meal without little fingers grabbing your food. You get to have adult conversation about things that are not related to parenthood. And, the biggest bonus, you can use the restroom alone. What a gift!
The decision to stay at work or to work from home is tough. I’ve done both, and both options are equally challenging in different ways. Here are some additional resources: