“What do you do?”
“I’m a freelance writer.”
“Oh, I work from home.”
Crickets. Then a snide smirk.
Yep, that’s the what usually happens when people ask me what I “do”.
When people hear you work from home it can go two ways. One is that they think you really do nothing all day but surf social media sites. Two is that they think working from home is a dream. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part it is great. Especially coming from a unique schedule where I used to get up at 4 a.m. for my 9-5 gig. People love the idea of working from home for many reasons. The biggies are that you can mainly make your own schedule, take vacation whenever you want, and can stay home when your kids are sick. Everyone wants to be on team work from home. But, like anything, it has its drawbacks. Drawbacks like not getting a steady paycheck because some weeks there ain’t much out there and you spend a lot of time cleaning your closets. Drawbacks like trying to balance the kids at “Camp Mom” while trying to be somewhat productive.
I started thinking about all of these pros and cons over the past few days when my kids had two snow days in a row. This after having a three-day weekend the previous week due to yet another snow day. The kids thought it was the best thing since “Frozen” came out. Me? I was hiding like Elsa when my kids kept asking me if I wanted to build a snowman. So what does a day look like when you work from home and unexpected days off arise?
6:55 Kids wake up even though there’s no school.
7:10 First round of “mommy let’s play a game” happens
7:11 Mommy makes a cup of coffee
7:30 Switch games
8:30 Mommy tries to get work done while kids play “nicely”
8:40 First round of “I hate yous exchanged” and “Mommeee” come from playroom
8:41 Mommy says go back and play and work it out until she’s done
8:45 “Mommy are you done working yet?”
8:50 Kids go back to playing and mommy goes back to work
9:00 Dance party karaoke begins
9:10 Mommy shuts down dance party karaoke because kids not get a permit
9:15-10:00 Kids play nicely and Mommy actually gets work done
10:01 Mommy plays for a bit
10:30-11:30 Mommy gets more work done! Yeah!
11:30-12:30 Prep, make and eat lunch
12:30-2:00 Playing & reading time
2:00-3:00 Mommy back to work, kids are once again trying not to kill one another
3:00-3:30 Cleaning the breakfast and lunch dishes to get ready for the dinner load later
3:30-4:30 Google Justin Bieber facts for daughter who is writing a book while trying to fix Baby Alive’s diaper and explain to daughter number two why we can’t feed her doll milk
4:30-5:45 Prep, Cook & eat dinner
5:45-6:15 Clean up
6:15-6:30 Sit down & chill out
6:30-7:00 Prep for day ahead, make lunches, pack snack etc.
8:00 Down to start the bedtime process
8:45 Mommy pours one…okay two glasses of wine…and tries to get more work done
9:30 Time to shut it down, watch TV and pray there’s not another snow day tomorrow
At some point it’s time for bed.
Trust me, I know it’s hard for parents who work outside the home too when a snow day pops up. I’ve been there before. Working from home brings a different set of challenges. In a nutshell you get an unorthodox work day interrupted by various rounds of games and dance parties, but you do get to stay home.
Kids’ scheduled days off when you work from home are also like trying to solve a Rubix cube. You work around the kids and hopefully send them to Grandma’s house for a few hours so you can get stuff done without Justin Bieber playing in the background.
Would I trade working from home for working a regular 9-5? Probably not now. It’s nice being your own boss even when your little bosses are around unexpectedly.