By Fredrica Syren:
I work from home so I can be home with my kids while they are young. When I tell people this, they either envy me or think I’m crazy. I did not always work from home, though. When my oldest was 10 months old, I started working part-time and then full-time for a while. Once my second child came along 3 years ago, I started working from home.
The fact is that working from home or being a stay-at-home mom is not for everyone. I don’t ever want anyone to feel guilty when talking to me because they chose to go to work outside their home. I’m not a supermom or a superwoman. Sure I tell everyone that my commute is great and I can do it in my pajamas or sweat pants if I choose. I love that I don’t have to rush off each morning or be stuck in traffic. However, working from home requires dedication and motivation, and — if kids are around — lots and lots of patience. I can’t turn on the TV for a favorite show or the news. I can’t spend time chatting with friends. And I can’t take a nap. It’s a balance for me to get work done between caring for kids, picking them up from and dropping them off at school, and making breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners. So I have to be ready to work and to get as much done as possible in the little time available during the baby’s nap and after the kids are asleep at night.
My office is located anywhere in the house, with my laptop, my mobile device and, of course, the wireless Internet. On a really nice day, I have a great view from my office because it’s outside in the garden. I can attend “meetings” in my underwear if I wish. I can have a lunch date with my kids, which is fun because they think everything I say is funny, rewarding me with endless hugs and kisses. Sometimes, though, I have to trade in my lunch hour for a quick shower or do other things I need to accomplish.
For me, working from home is a great option because I’m a good planner and self-starter who can focus well during the times I have to work. I’m not bothered by dust bunnies or dishes. I’m good at turning off the outside world, and I’m ok with putting work off until late at night because of attending the kids’ activities or tending to them when they’re sick.
Sure, things get a little hairy sometimes when I’m pressured by a deadline or emails or phone calls. There are days I’m just dying for an adult conversation. And I don’t get sick days. But, for me the choice is right. That said, it does amuse me when people just assume my life is easy because I’m a stay-at-home mom and work from home. I have never worked as hard as when I work from home.