When you work from home, everyone- including your best friend- thinks that you get to sleep in, go to the gym, and lounge around all day with coffee or a cocktail from your couch with your laptop and phone. Oh and the hours and hours of the joys of scrolling through social media posts... There are so many benefits to working from home but there are also some challenges.
First of all, you are on the clock 24 hours a day. You don't work 9-5, you work 24 hours a day. As I am giving my baby a bath at 9 pm, it's nothing for me to get a phone call about a Facebook post or sponsorship opportunity from someone I work with. He pretends like he doesn't hear the teething (screaming) baby in the background or the loud clanging ice cubes in my glass. He proceeds to tell me about what he needs me to know about work. What people also don't realize is that when you work for a shopping center or bar you wake up at 3 or 6 am and immediately check Facebook for reviews, comments, or any other posts that need to monitored, addressed, or taken down.
My husband thinks I live on my phone. I don't enjoy social media as much as he thinks I do. But when my phone goes off, whether it's breakfast, date night, or bedtime I'm all over it. My sense of urgency is an issue in our marriage but good for my career. Nothing is ignored or goes unnoticed, except for him.
And when we are on vacation or out of a wi-fi area my world falls apart. It seems that is the time when I am needed most. That's when the child or dog throws up in the car and my employer can't figure something out online. Yes, I answer my phone as my child throws up into my car seat.
Don't get me wrong. I love my job. But this morning as I worked- I held a baby, and coughed and sneezed into an entire box of tissues as I typed away, posted to social media, and sent numerous emails. The nice thing about working from home is you don't get sick days. I didn't have to take off work but I also didn't have a choice. I begged my 9 year old (it's summer!) to entertain the baby while I uploaded a few photos and answered a phone call and rubbed Aquaphor onto my chapped face.
The pros? I didn't get a shower today (it that a pro?). I didn't get dressed. I made an extra pot of coffee and my laptop got so hot I have scabs on my thighs. But in between chatting online and checking on an Instagram post I changed my baby's diaper, rocked her to sleep and played blocks with her (she has learned the word pineapple!). I also made my 9 year old a turkey and cheese lunch with heart shaped cookie cutters, played basketball with him (he has a killer layup and crossover), and helped him find his fidget spinner.
While they don't get my undivided attention all day long, they get me all day long. It may not be great for them, but it's perfect for me. In fact, the youngest loves me so much she cries when I leave her in childcare at the gym. It's pretty bad when the childcare worker approaches you 5 minutes after leaving the 17 month old in the childcare room and asks if she has asthma because she is crying so hard she can't breathe. Did I mention I wasn't working out? I work for the gym and was simply trying to get some photos of the new equipment.
Working from home requires a great deal of time management, boundaries, and sacrifices from a family that constantly forgives you over and over. But if your motive is time, it's the most rewarding job you will ever have. Especially if you love what you do.