Monday, February 3, 2014

Parenthood: Week 36 - Working At Home

I got to admit, the first time someone told me that they worked from home and sent their child to daycare, I didn’t get it. Isn’t the point of working remotely staying home so you don't have to pay for childcare? It’s a baby, it’s not like, they need constant attention. They sleep ALL the time, so what’s the deal with this “childcare” thing? You might as well go into the office if you can’t work from home and take care of your kid.

When Diana was pregnant and we mentioned that she would be able to work remotely and that even though I have a great situation with my prep time at school, I still needed to do work at home sometimes, there were two responses. There was my initial response equated working from home with saving money on childcare and the smarter answer from people who had worked from home themselves: childcare is essential for working at home to be productive.

We have someone who comes in and watches Ollie during the week when Diana is working remotely at home. There are great benefits to this situation. The commute from the kitchen to Diana’s office is quite reasonable and she is able to check in on Ollie during breaks. There are also challenges which I’ve been learning about first hand over the past couple weekend.

Doing grades requires a lot of time outside of school. Usually I lock myself in my office and type away, but that was before Ollie. The first weekend I got started with grades about a month ago we decided that we would switch off watching Ollie so we could get work done. This resulted in neither of us getting as much done as we needed. So we got a babysitter to come in and watch Ollie when we worked the next weekend.

It was great. We both got large chunks of time to work and got a lot done.  The only way that I could focus and be productive was by completely ignoring Ollie. This wasn’t easy. I could hear him laughing, scooting around and crying. I wanted so badly to not be working at home. It felt like I was  betraying Ollie by being at home and not with Ollie. Especially when he was crying . . .

We are really lucky that Diana is able to work remotely. She’s around the house more and she gets more time with Ollie, but it’s not a perfect situation.

Any notion that you can really get work done at home without someone’s help watching your child is crazy. Yes, there are naps and there’s always working during the night after he or she goes to sleep. But that’s not going to give you a solid eight hours a day that will probably not even give you a solid four hours.

If you truly want to take advantage of working remotely and do right by your work and right by your kid, get some help.  Your work, your kids and especially you derserve it.   

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