Most moms are pushing to be home. Pushing to fill in a financial gap with any talents or skills they own without leaving their babies. The dream is to bring in the paycheck, while never dropping the kids off at daycare (for most). I think we have an innate desire as women to help our husbands and partners provide financially, while still nurturing and caring for our children. But, as I’ve been working from home for a few years now, I ask myself, is it really better?
Here’s the problem I see. We bring our work into our home without our children’s consent. They didn’t sign up to go to work with you each day. Bringing work home enables me to bring in extra cash without setting foot in an office or relying on someone else to care for my children, but it does put pressure on me to complete and manage things at any opportunity. And I mean any. While in the bathroom I’m checking emails. I set the boys up with breakfast, and I do a quick social media check. Are they playing a fun game? Great, I have 5 minutes to do some editing. I’m playing this silly hopscotch game where I’m hopping around from work to home and back again.
The grass may not be greener on the other side. My mind is at work and at home. Sure, a home office is a good idea, where I can check in and check out. But I can still hop in and hop out at any gleaming moment. I can Bring my laptop out or use my phone. Once we commit to working from home, there’s an extra weight your carrying around your house. Its not the pull of hands on your shirt to get a sippy cup, its a heaviness in your mind.
This year is a new start. A fresh 2017 where we can set new goals and proceed with better vision. I have this inkling that there is something sneaky telling us that working from home is the dream. Its not a perfect solution to solve our financial needs while allowing us to still be full-time moms. Without leaving, we don’t get the opportunity to close the door on work and open the door on family. There’s no door. If our work is blue and our home is red, they both start looking purple because their mixing in the palette of life. My heart is telling me to find a separate work space and time because the dream of working happily from home with my children doesn’t taste as good as it looks. There’s a caution we work at home moms need to take in stepping into the territory of merging home and work.
How do we accomplish a separate working time and space as moms? If we don’t make a specific plan, it won’t happen. Here’s mine:
First of all, this is a very difficult question to answer for anyone. Everyone has a different job and demands. I personally, push things to nap time and the evening as much as possible, but I’m quickly bursting through those times, and I will need to find more.
One plan of attack I have is the YMCA. We are fortunate to have a membership there, and my boys absolutely love going. I can get some exercise, then sit down where I can still see them playing and start crossing things off my list.
No YMCA near you, or not in your budget? Next step is to connect with other work at home moms to trade child care days. Do some searching and connecting on Facebook and start reaching out. Set up planned office hours with each other. Your children will gain some new friends, and you will get some peaceful work time!
Or, just forgo all the sleep and drink all the coffee. You’ll survive, your children will be happy and you’ll still have a job.