Working at home is still working. You are not on vacation even if the dress code and hours are at your will and you can sip ice tea while working on the porch with your laptop. The desire to work at home may be strong but you must prepare yourself for the challenges it will bring. Most moms decide to work from home to benefit their families. However, I have seen families not benefit from this switch of venue for the working mom. For some the stress is too great or the freedom is too vast. You need to understand what you are getting into as working from home is not always as cushy as it sounds.
Challenges for the Work at Home Mom
Home is where the heart is. It is also where crayons find a way to mark walls and kitchen sinks overflow and dogs end up with painted toe nails all while we file an expense report. A home is filled with laughter, noise, tears, tantrums and chores. Have you tried to talk on the phone with a child running around? How often do you need to remind your little love bug that you are on the phone so no throwing the broccoli or feeding the fish gum? These noises and interruptions that only a mother could love like PB & J’s in the toy box will occur while you finish accounts payable on your laptop. Are you someone who can handle interruptions throughout the day? Are you someone who can manage finger painting on the walls during a conference call?
Do not underestimate the power of not interacting with other adults on a daily basis if you are used to working in an office. If you are used to staying at home with your children you possibly have already faced and conquered the isolation that may occur. If you are an outgoing person the feelings of isolation may be difficult. If you are introverted you may work 12 hours a day and weekends from home for so long that the next time you leave the house your shoes are out of style. Neither situation is healthy. Balance is the key. Set your office hours and stick to it or working at home will be counterproductive to family.