I’ve been self employed and working from home for a good decade now. During that time, I have gone from being a live – in – girlfriend to wife, then Mum. Throughout all of our personal changes, my working from home reality has changed massively too. So today I am sharing the reality of working from home. Read on to find out whether working from home is really all it’s cracked up to be!
The Reality Of Working From Home
Back in 2008, I moved in with my boyfriend. A few months later, I quit my call centre job to become his PA. I was responsible for updating websites, writing copy for them and tracking and sharing discount codes. We were based in a business centre at the time, and it was a brilliant balance. We worked all day then went home and switched off.
In 2009, we refurbished the house. While that was happening, I worked from home to oversee the work. Once it was finished, we decided it made more financial sense to let the office go and both work from home. (We were spending more on renting the office than our mortgage each month).
How Was It To Start With?
When we first began working from home together, it was great. There was no more commute, so we saved a fortune on fuel and lunches were cheaper too. The extra hour in bed each morning was a wonderful bonus, and our home office setup was great.
Quickly, our 9-5 day became 8-6 for hubby. Before long, it was 8-8. By 2010, he was working from 8am to 10pm almost every day of the week. He found it impossible to switch off. Before long, I missed the social side of the business centre. Being at home all day was very isolating. Back then, wifi in cafes etc wasn’t as common so working anywhere but at home was all but impossible.
Once I became pregnant with our first baby, I remembered why working from home was such a blessing. It was easy to nip to appointments, and I could work from bed when my hips were too sore to sit on my office chair.
The Reality Of Working From Home With Babies
Once the kids were born, my ability to work all but disappeared. I was so tired by the time they slept that working was the furthest thing from my mind. Between nappies, feeding and cleaning up their mess, there weren’t enough hours in the day.
If we’d been able to afford nursery places for them, I’m sure it would have been much easier. However, with the cheapest nursery in our area wanting £60 per child per day, it wasn’t an option for us. Even with sibling discount, they still wanted £1300 per month for 40 hours a week!
Working From Home With School Age Kids
My kids are 6 and 7 now, so in theory, working from home should be easier. This is how a typical school day looks in our house…
3-7am: Try to get kids back to sleep.
7-8am: Feed kids and get them dressed.
8-9am: Get kids to school.
9-10am: Walk and feed dogs and tidy breakfast stuff away.
10-2.30pm: Work (Assuming I don’t need to go food shopping or have to attend any appointments with kids).
2.30-3pm: Prep the kids’ teas.
3.30-5.30pm: Get kids in from school, feed them and load dishwasher. (It takes HOURS to get them to eat).
5.30-6pm: Do reading books and homework with kids.
6-7pm: Bath and story time for all of us.
7-9pm: Settle kids to sleep. Read kindle or make notes on phone while doing so.
9-11pm: Either work or collapse in a heap, depending how early I was up with my son in the night.
11pm-3am: Hopefully sleep – usually playing catch up on work.
This schedule is bad enough, but when one of the kids is poorly and you have to work around that as well… there will be no sleep at all! You may notice that there is no time at all for house work with my schedule. That’s basically why my house is a tip. I generally have about 2 hours a week, tops to spend cleaning, but I usually spend those hours catching up on work or sleep.
Working from home is a great way to save money, BUT it’s almost impossible to switch off. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted! If you’ve enjoyed this post on The Reality Of Working From Home, why not check out my business category?