For many, the dream of working from home seems as reachable as the happily ever after of fairy tales. Though jobs that allow employees to work from home are becoming more and more popular these days, many are finding that the grass really is not greener on the other side.
The theory that work from home jobs are less stressful is not as true as one might think. While the stress of getting up early to shower, dress well, put on makeup, fix your hair, and rush out the door so you can sit still in a traffic jam while ticking off the useless minutes passing by is certainly not a concern when you work from home, it does bring stress of a different kind, especially if you have children.
I will admit, when I worked outside the home I wished I could work from home so I could be with my kids more, and keep up on household chores. My ideal was working at my computer in the midst of a clean house while the kids played quietly in their rooms. I would sit in the bay window area of my living room, soaking up the rays of the sun and fresh breeze as I worked. My vision was not unlike the following picture.
Honestly, there are times when working from home feels exactly like this. Typically, it’s towards the end of the week when the kids have been in school and I’ve actually had time to get some housework done.
This brings us to the biggest problem I’ve encountered from being a work-from-home mom. It’s a juggling act of work, laundry, dinner, dishes, toilet scrubbing, and directing children. Of course, in our house, I really try to make sure the needs of the children come first, so all these chores vie for my attention after I’ve given sufficient nutrition, cuddles, stories, and love to the kids.
I’m sad to admit that the reality of working from home looks more like this picture for me.
Fusion reports that those who work from home, especially working too many hours or on a long term basis, may reduce “productivity and happiness, and hampers innovation and creative thinking.”
According to Greatist, the work from home mom can be successful by implementing a few productivity tips, such as defining what work means, sticking to a schedule, and planning breaks. Social time goes a long way to refreshing your work stressed attitude.
So often I feel like I’ve failed. At everything. Nothing seems to get completely done. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to complete all the goals I’ve set for myself. In my mind, my house should be spotless, my work completed, and my boys happy.
Life rarely goes where we want it to, though. I have to take a step back sometimes and remind myself that I really am living the dream. I like working from home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Parents who work outside the home have all the same household responsibilities that work from home parents do. What is the biggest difference? They don’t have to sit at home and look at the mess all day!
[Photo by Shutterstock]