Working from home is really my dream job. That said, there are a few things I really believed would happen because, after all, I’m home all day and can set my own schedule for the most part. As I found myself wading through a crowd of people, shopping carts, and electric scooters the other Saturday to find nourishment for the short people around here (see Myth #5), I realized something, some of those things I believed were myths.
Here are a few things I always thought would happen if I was working from home:
Myth #1 I will have lots of free time for activities
I really thought that it would be no problem to drop everything and run my kids to sports or dance or even to go out to lunch with a friend. However, somehow, my days can quickly fill up with To Do Lists and several days will pass before I realize I haven’t left the house except to get the mail (or shovel snow, as the case may be). I have to choose to schedule time for those things or they just won’t get done. I have been really bad about this the last couple of years. This year, I have decided to put more effort into doing things that involve other people…real, live, physical people…not just internet people (as wonderful and real as those friends are 🙂 ).
Myth #2 I will get tons of work done while my kids nap (or play quietly)
I don’t know about you, but my kids seemed to give up napping pretty quickly. My youngest stopped daily naps completely when she was a little over 2 years old. It didn’t really matter at that point, though, because I had 4 boys who made sure it was never.ever.quiet. Now that I only have 2 at home, you would think I have lots of quiet time. Except that my daughter, bless her heart, uses way more than the allotted 10-20 thousand words (depending on what study you read) per day that girls usually speak. I may be exaggerating, a touch, but you get the picture. However, I’m also so blessed to be here for her to tell me all about Shopkins and Princesses and Minecraft.
Myth #3 My house will be spotless because I’m home all day to keep it clean
If you homeschool, you realize that having people in your home all day makes keeping it clean an almost impossible task. Sort of like keeping enough food on hand when you have teenage boys. Yes, I can take a break to load the dishwasher, but I am also here to dirty up more dishes than if I was gone all day. Also, just because I’m physically here, doesn’t mean I’m here to clean my house. I still have work to do and school to oversee. I have not figured out how to work and clean at the same time (I’ll put that on the To Do list 🙂 ), so one has to wait while the other gets done. And if you read my short bio, you know that I really don’t find housework enjoyable. I had a friend who did…her house always.always looked like a magazine photo. That’s just not me. Often, I choose work over cleaning because I like it better, but I “think” better in an orderly environment, so I just have to keep things clean for my own sanity.
Myth #4 My kids (or friends) will realize I’m working my “job” and let me work in peace
The thing about my work is that it looks like fun. I’m on the computer, I’m shopping, I’m writing a blog post, I’m talking to people on FB (in my coaching groups)….this all seems like relaxation and play to my kids. While it is fun, it’s also my job, and I need to concentrate on it. My kids are awesome, but they are not saying “Mother, dear, we realized you are hard at work on your computer and not playing Candy Crush or Words with Friends, so we will amuse ourselves and not do anything that would distract you or require your attention in any way”. Most kids are just not intuitive in that way. However, they will give me time to work uninterrupted if I ask….or threaten to take away all media…whichever works 🙂 The same can often be said for friends or family who think that just because you are home all day, you are free to babysit, drop everything to run errands with them, etc. etc. etc. We need boundaries.
Myth #5 I will never have to go to the grocery store on Saturday
I am pretty certain that 99.275% of the population in my town goes to the grocery store on any given Saturday. I don’t enjoy pushing a cart piled to the brim with provisions through a maze of people, some of whom should not be out in public given their obvious signs of illness (but that’s another post altogether) and who seem to have lost all sense of common courtesy when they stepped on that automatic door opener at the entrance. Somehow, though, I keep finding myself in the midst of this craziness way more than I would like. It’s February, I’m going to blame the weather right now. I don’t know if that’s it or not. I’ll have to do a study in the summer to see what my habits are when inches (who am I kidding?? “feet”) of fluffy white stuff are not impeding my travel several days a week. But every time I get rammed by a cart or stuck for 20 minutes unable to pass someone deciding what brand of ketchup they’d like, I think to myself “I work from home. There’s no reason why I’m here ON A SATURDAY!” (yes, I yell that last part at myself)…yet here I am. This week, however, I am going to the grocery on a Thursday. I would not be going then…and probably would end up there on Saturday once again…except that the big snow storm is happening on the weekend this time so I’m loading up now. This is one of those myths I’m committed to working on just to reduce my stress level. It seems the easiest to change. It’s all about baby steps and celebrating the small victories 🙂
Do you have any myths about working at home or being home with your kids that you never really thought would happen? I’d love to hear about them! You can comment here or over on my Facebook page.