When we decided to have kids, we knew we wanted one of us to be home with them, and one of us most always has, and we are lucky and grateful, but it didn’t mean we didn’t have to work, of course. I had a couple part time jobs here and there (one that was the perfect ideal situation, and I loved it, and a few that were disasters) but have always searched for ways to work at home. It best suits my personality, and it best suits my family’s needs, and that’s my main priority. But it took a lot of years to find the right thing.
I tried selling all kinds of things, including knitting, and it really didn’t work out well at all, although I learned an awful lot. Partly I wasn’t in love with what I was doing, and either way, nothing worked out. After the dream job I had ended, I searched again, and trying to stay in knitting, I came to tech editing, which I love, and have worked tirelessly to educate myself and grow my business, and it is the perfect fit for us. Finally, with my kids in their second half of grade school, I have figured it out!
You wouldn’t have believed the chaos before this was taken, haha! No wonder my son is missing his glasses, and my daughter has pitch on her face!
Hot milk cake, ever a favorite.
Working in a sunny window is my absolute fave.
(You wouldn’t have believed the chaos right before that picture of my people, no wonder my son is missing his glasses and my daughter has pitch on her face…) That caption is a good lead in to reality…
So what is it like working at home… with kids… with family drama… and a cat… and laundry, and supper to get on… with a husband and father thrown in the mix. As many of you know, lots of days, it’s like this… especially in summer.
I had just come to a good schedule, rhythm and pace before school let out this year. I had a space where I could work, and close the doors. I came home from the bus stop and got right to it, and had tasks for every day, and got them done, ever the organized one. When the kids came home, I was finished, ready for them, and could dive right into the ever stressful world of homework, drama, and supper. (I wasn’t usually wanting to, but such is life. 🙂 Diffusing some oils, and having some wine often can make homework smoother…)
But bring on summer, and kids all around, and all their needs and plans, and my schedule and organized business got quite jumbled up. The mom in me is happy with the mood of summer and the things we need to get done, but the business owner in me is frazzled and scattered. There was a week I took off, and that’s just as good for your business as working is. Everyone needs a break, and time to recoup, and I’m glad I had that. But work-wise, everything was just up in the air, too random, and too much on the back burner. I finally (now with only one week until school begins!) have a solid system in place. Johnny on the spot here! Ha!
While they are inside waking up and doing their summer morning thing, I take my coffee and hunker down on the deck with my flowers, and get things done that I can do without my desk. Most of the time I have sunshine and birds, and it’s quite nice. I even sometimes will stop and knit a bit. My stolen moments outside are my favorite.
Anything I need to do at my desk, I save until they are quite occupied, and lots of the time, this works. If I am on the phone, my children will attack me with questions and problems and never leave me be, but at the desk, they are pretty good about knowing I’m working, and limit their bothering to minimal. I appreciate that, and tell them so. But in summer I have found, it helps a great deal to do my desk work in short bursts, instead of long stretches. This way I am able to be mostly present and deal with house stuff all day, with “work breaks” peppered in.
It all still feels a bit chaotic, because my head is swimming with so much going on. Writing it all down, exactly what I need to do and when, is a huge help, what got me on track, and ticking off lists is invaluable. I’d love to hear what things keep you in control of your business at home!
I do not lose sight, either, that perhaps part of the reason working at home is working this time, is what I’ve chosen to do, yes, but maybe also that my kids are not toddlers anymore. They are getting pretty independent, and need less from me physically. Even still, there is the odd day when I forget to feed them lunch (so true), or forget they need to shower (I know, it’s bad), and I don’t realize until too late that my house has turned upside down (you know, the odd day), but it all gets done in time… eventually!
I am hoping I will be in a good place when school starts, and working will be less distracted for me, but truly, I am sad summer is ending. I didn’t get near enough knitting on the beach or in front of a fire time. And the school year may bring quieter days for me, but it also brings busier days, holidays, and more work, and lots of stress for all of us. I am not looking forward to that. I like the laid back feel of summer, even if my business didn’t!
We’ll meet in the middle and get it right one of these days. Until then, the struggle is real. Working at home. 🙂