Freshly brewed coffee just the way I like it.
A bulletin board filled with post-it-notes.
A stylish office chair that suits me completely.
I enter a state of focus (in and out) for two hours (and 38 seconds). I know this time is valuable. The clock will strike 3:30 pm before I know it and this is the only time I have to meet my deadline.
I’m a work at home mom. And the school bus is always on time these days.
Working from home has always been something I strived for. When I last worked full-time in the corporate world, taking the laptop home was a luxury, not encouraged. It was a privilege only if you were trusted.
When I worked from home, I got more work done. I felt focused. And I began realizing it was what I wanted when I someday had kids.
I knew I wanted the freedom to work how I knew I worked best, while also having the freedom to pick up my kids from school, readily be there for them when they were sick, and not have to scramble when PA days and holidays come up.
I knew I didn’t want to have to ask permission or feel guilty, or afraid for my job, to be there for my little ones on my terms.
So, I made sure it happened. I began working from home; first as a freelance writer and then as a marketing consultant and, now, business coach. But, as any situation will uncover, there are pros and cons to being a work at home mom (WAHM). Let me share with you, from my experience, what they are:
PRO: I get to be there for my kids anytime I want or am needed which is priceless. If either one of my kids gets sick in the night, I don’t worry about who needs to stay home to care for them. If I want to bring my son his lunch at school, I certainly can. If I want to pull them out of school and daycare early to start a long weekend on a whim, I sure can. I’m grateful every single day for the amount of time I get to spend with my kids while also working full-time.
CON: Not everyone’s workday ends at 3:30 pm and not everyone takes off PD days or school holidays. And, while I now control my schedule more than ever sometimes meetings can’t wait. Often, my boys try and join in or know I’m on the phone and need something urgently (of course, finding a LEGO guy CAN’T wait, right?).
PRO: I save a lot of money. I save on public transit or parking and gas fees. I save on a daily Starbucks (because I know I’d go for a daily coffee run at least once if I worked out of the home!) I save on buying my lunch (because I barely have the energy to make a school lunch let alone a work lunch). And, let’s face it, I save on a wardrobe. I think I wore the same pair of jeans three times this week!
CON: I kind of miss adult time. Missing adults wasn’t something I was anticipating (especially as an introvert). I have close friends who are also at home, some of whom I see for midday coffee or walks sometimes BUT there’s something to be said for the odd after-hour drinks with co-worker friends or regular gossip over coffee.
CON: (one more!) You’re always surrounded by mess. Or you continuously want to clean it up. Which threatens to take away that focus you must have to get that work done between school or naps!
PRO: (one more, to be fair) I call the shots in my life and business. So if anything feels like a con, I change it, so it becomes a pro once more. In addition to being there for my kids, this is priceless.
If you’re thinking about working from home, these are honestly my biggest points to consider.
If you already do work from home, what are YOUR pros and cons?
Caroline (Elisabeth) Pigott is mom of two busy boys, Ben and Will. Working from home as a business coach and consultant to creative online service providers, she balances her day-to-day with both amazing clients and marketing projects and building blocks and park visits. You can find Caroline at www.carolineelisabeth.ca or in her Facebook group!