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Being a work at home parent is tough. You would think that when both parents work from home it gets easier. It really doesn’t, it’s all the same problems with managing work and home just two people who have to work through it.
My husband worked from home before I did, trying to build his business. I was a full time employee and starting my own company at the same time. I had a hard time understanding how he had any problems living the work at home dad life, that was until I became a work at home mom too.
Work From Home Mom Struggles
Everyone always says work at home moms are lucky. They get to stay at home with their kids, earn money, and can do it all in their pajamas. If only this really was the case.
Work at home parents actually work harder than working out of the home parents. This is because at any moment the kids or the husband or a family member will disturb our work which actually makes us have to work longer hours.
One of the biggest struggles a work from home parent faces is the expectations of others. Somehow the rest of the world believes a work at home parent has all the time in the world to do favors and extra tasks for them. The fact is we are doing just as much work, if not more, as normal job holders.
Finally, the separation of work and home is nonexistent for the work at home parent. Work often seeps into everything they do. Our evenings and weekends often fill up with work and our home lives can often suffer from it all.
Working From Home With Kids
Let me explain to you what working from home with kids is actually like. While an alarm very rarely wakes us we are up at the butt crack of dawn with our kid. We do breakfast get our coffee and if we are lucky get dressed before sitting down at our desk.
For the next 10 hours our son jumps back and forth between Rob and I. He wants juice, he wants a snack, he wants us to play, he wants to draw, he wants to craft, he wants to watch Daniel Tiger. We might be lucky enough to get some work done in between all of this.
We stop work in the afternoon for dinner and focus purely on family time until our son goes to sleep between 8 and 9 pm. Then after that we finally get in uninterrupted work time. Of course by this time we are tired ourselves so we actually get very little done.
At least this was how it was until our son finally picked up on independent play. Now we can get an hour or two of solid work time in during the day. We switch off back and forth and make it work.
Both Parents Work From Home
When both parents work from home it does get a bit easier so long as the parents work together to come up with a plan. However, it takes time to work out a schedule that works for both of their work habits. It also takes time to get any children on board and used to that schedule.
Managing Schedules Of Work At Home Parents
Many parents will hire nannies or have their child in daycare for a couple hours every couple of days in order to give them time to focus purely on work.
You have to take the time to decide what the best work schedule is for you both, and then make compromises and decisions based on that. You may also need to leave your schedule flexible based on the needs of each parent.
In our case we are often extremely flexible with our schedule. This gives us the ability to work around our different moods and motivations. Communication is key here to get an understanding of what your spouse needs in order to complete their tasks.
It also means not keeping track of our time in some cases. There are times when Rob gives more so I can complete my tasks. Then there are times when I’m giving more so Rob can finish his tasks.
Tracking the time you spend giving to your spouse is a way to breed resentment and frustration. Do not track your time when you are giving them their focus time because it will end up causing arguments and frustrations that you two will not have time for.
Instead focus on the work you are completing. Do tasks that are smaller or don’t need your 100% attention while your husband is getting full uninterrupted time. Be fair in the time you split and make time together and time as a family a priority.
Communication Is Key
There needs to be a lot of communication between both parents. You will both have to work together to give each other the time you need to get your work done. It’s also going to take an understanding on how to handle child care during this time.
Be on the same page daily with what your kid eats, what milestones you are working to hit, screen time, and play time requirements.
Being a work from home parent simply means that you are completing your work while also raising children. Your work day is longer than usual and you complete your work at different times than usual.
Communication with your spouse in business and your kid’s needs is essential to making the work at home life work. Both spouses need to be on the same page.
Work At Home Parents
There are pros and cons to being a work at home parent. You will still miss milestones because you were working. You will have longer days. Your kids and spouse will interrupt your day.
However, you work a schedule that works best for you. You are spending more time at home. You won’t miss as many milestones. Finally, you have the freedom to build a daily life you actually enjoy.
When both parents work from home it takes communication, planning, and the understanding to be flexible with each others work needs.
Do you and your spouse work from home? Let me know in the comments how you manage it. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your work from home boards.
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