Going into my second week of working from home full time (this is temporary - a summer thing) and let me tell you this. Working from home with toddlers is just like heading into the fancy downtown office! I am so grateful I even get to do this, and most weeks I'm home Thursday and Friday, which is incredible. It's a making a huge difference in our lives and I don't take it for granted for one second. Who else gets breaks that look like this?
Here are some of the key differences or similarities, you tell me, that I've noticed working from home full time rather than going into the office:
- When I go into the office, I need to make sure my hygiene is on point. I smell and look good. When I work from home, the stink smells can oft times waft out onto the street and it lets all the neighbors know there is hard work going on in that home. I'm lucky to get a bra on before 11am. They frown upon that thing downtown.
- Logging on at work is simple and no-risk. Logging onto the computer at home entails guessing who pushed what button while you weren't watching last night and then quickly checking your "sent" mail to be sure nothing went out the firm worldwide. National we can handle, but worldwide toddler domination by email, that's harder to recover from.
- Coffee. Heated up from the day before because let's face it. You never finished that second cup anyway and WE DON'T WASTE ANYTHING AROUND HERE.
- Breakfast. At work you have your little blueberries and greek yogurt and granola and cut up apple. Every single day no matter what. It's calming and routine. At home, you make their oatmeal and cut up their apple to add and OH MY GOD YOU HAVEN'T EATEN AN APPLE IN TWO DAYS. Half of that goes in your mouth before your body goes into shock.
- Phone calls. At work answering the phone is as risky as determining if you are willing to pick up from that number. At home, answering the phone is about dodging the screaming and the sesame street and the laughter in the background. You become a master of never ever answering the phone unless they are asleep. And even then it's usually safer to just email the caller back. Email is a work-from-home mama's best friend.
- Hugs and kisses and ALL THE TICKLING. All day long. Another thing that's frowned upon in the big fancy office. Pfffffft.
- While in the office there seems a bit more downtime. While working at home, THERE IS NO DOWNTIME. Every moment is carefully used to care for your kids while also caring for your job. It's a balancing act of the most supreme nature. Say what you will about moms being on their phones and seemingly not paying attention to their kids? I pay attention to my kids and my phone at the same time and all of our lives are better for it.
- The clientele at work is often less mature than my twin 19-month-olds. Nuff said.
- You actually start on time and work a little bit longer than you do on normal days when you go into the office. Being MORE productive working from home? WIN-WIN.
- Hopefully you aren't changing as many diapers when you go into the office, but you never know.
- Breaks at work are non-existent. Sure, sometimes I go out to get lunch or go to a meeting, but mostly, I'm at my desk because I want to use every moment before I leave to go home to my family. Breaks are home are truly breaks. Spent outside running around and chatting with neighbors. Taking a walk. Going on an outing. It's much more delicious and worthwhile, appreciated time.
- I don't spend time cleaning at work and I certainly don't spend a lot of time cleaning at home. I say that meaning, I spend my time wisely, and wisely for me means being with my kids. I work hard on my work that pays me and affords me time with my kids. Loyalty to both company and family is something I don't take lightly. I value my time now so much more than I ever did before. I worked late and overtime for A LOT of years, which is why 12 years later I am a valued employee and can have a bit more flexibility with my schedule. HOWEVER, I am very careful about how I choose to spend my time. The days fly by and I don't ever want to think of them as wasted. For my kids, for me, it's important that the days are quality days. Not just to be muddled through. Some are better than others, but I try to do something fun and special every day that I'm with them. While at work or at home.
- I am much more active when I work at home. I am constantly running up and down stairs and bench pressing toddlers and just not ever really sitting for very long. My BFF said a couple weeks when she was here, "She's the mom. She doesn't ever really sit down until they're asleep." TRUTH.
- You constantly thank your lucky stars that you have twins who play with each other. I could not do this if I had to constantly entertain my kids. They entertain each other! I mean, within reason, but you feel me. We also work on cleaning up and helping all the time because Mommy isn't going to do every little thing for you that you can start to help with yourself. LIFE LESSONS. They are quite independent little buggers already.
- Awesome Nanny gets some much needed vacation time! We miss her. She stopped by last week and we were all glad to see her. For many reasons. I love my schedule of being able to get dressed up and take the train into work 3 days a week. This has been a lovely time to be at home full-time, but I need to get out a bit too. That's just who I am. No guilt, no shame, no excuses.
- I have way too much almond butter on me at all times. And let's face it. That's the same whether I'm at the fancy downtown office or at home.
How life has evolved and priorities have shifted! This working from home with toddlers gig is messy beautiful wonderful, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
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