I've successfully worked at home for the last six years. Because my work is quite literally in my bedroom, I basically have zero work/life balance. Somehow, though, it works! With the time I save in commuting (especially in LA), plus the quiet time to focus (I do miss out on those office cupcakes), I find I put in significantly more hours in this setup than I did commuting to the office. So that's a win for my company. The big win for me, is that I get some extra, pretty special time with my kids (even if half of it is disciplining and referring). Here's a typical day:
6:30am: Rise and shine! With bleary eyes, I check work emails on my phone (darn that time zone difference!). Shower…sometimes.
7:15am: Drag (and I mean drag) my two kids out of bed. Send one to the shower (he’s 9), carry the 7 year old half asleep to the breakfast table (is it sick that I love her morning breath?). Set out a wall of cereal boxes in between them to eliminate morning bickering. Make sure each kid has an equal quantity of cereal box backs to read so they won’t accuse me of loving one of them more.
7:30am: Yikes, 9 year old is still in the shower. I yell down the hallway he better get out or I’m tossing his syrup…um, I mean pancakes. He appears wet headed (whether he actually washed it I’ll never know). Set the timer and make the lunches while they eat.
8:00am: I’m not really sure what happens here – it’s a blur. There’s usually yelling about teeth brushing, arguing about shoelaces, outfit choices, filling last minute water bottles (cleaning of ice that flies out all over the floor, every. single. time), and signing progress reports. Off to school we go!
8:30am: Brew a mug of coffee the size of my head. Thank you, Katie Keurig, for being so lovingly supportive. Commute to work (which is located in a small corner of my bedroom). Resist the urge to go RIGHT BACK TO BED THAT IS RIGHT THERE BEHIND ME. I don’t have a problem at all resisting the the laundry pile as tall as Kobe Bryant next to the bed.
1:30pm: During a conference call, the dog starts barking like crazy over the menacing looking pest control guy outside. Mute! Mute!
3:00pm: “MOMMMMMYYYY!!!!!!” OMG. They are home already!? I haven’t gotten up from my desk or eaten! They jump in my lap (even my 9 year old!) and this could be my favorite part of my day. How lucky I am to greet them after school! Time for a coffee refill as I chat interrogate the kids about their day.
3:15pm: “Okay, mommy’s going back to work now, you know the rules.” What should happen: _they go into their rooms and work on their homework, only interrupting for important questions. If my door sign is showing “On a Call”, they are to slip a note under the door. _What actually happens: “Mommy, can I go poop in your bathroom?”, “Mommy, can I go outside to play with the neighbors?” “Mommmy! Sophie just ate 7 Thin Mints and a drumstick as her snack!” The Evil Mommy voice arrives: “MOMMY IS WORKING! IF YOU DON’T STOP INTERRUPTING YOU WILL GO SOMEWHERE ELSE AFTER SCHOOL!” (Hmm, now that I’m thinking of this threat, perhaps they would prefer this?)
5:00pm: Husband enters my room to change after work, and I tattle on the kids and the way they drove me crazy. He takes over and starts dinner.
6:00pm: “Dinner’s ready!!” Okay, okay, I’m coming, just one more email!
7:00pm: After a dinner (where my husband and I stare at each other and wonder just how much noise two children can make and why our daughter still eats with her hands), we clean up. The breakfast dishes are still sitting out! We check homework.
7:30pm: Shower time for the youngest and this is never, I repeat never, met with an “okay!” Call in the Whine Police.
8:00pm: Reading time! Right now we’re reading the Narnia series together. This is another highlight of my day, as I get to share my love of books. But, then they argue about who is getting more real estate next to our dog, start hyper correcting each other’s pronunciations, and I call it The End of Reading Time.
8:30pm: “ Snuggle time” = 1x1 time with each kid. This goes waaaaay too long but it’s the first real, quality, one on one time I’ve had with them all day. This is where I find out the real deal about their friends, their loves and hates, and I get to think of new crazy ways to describe how much I love them (louder than all the screams on all the roller coasters ever built combined!)
9:00pm: I think I might be done with bedtime…but no. There’s still ice water, I can’t sleep, my music doesn’t work, it’s too dark, fill up the humidifiers, it’s too bright, my P.J.’s are itchy, I forgot to do my math homework, I have to go potty, I need one more hug, I’m scared of the dark/smoke alarms.
9:30pm: Grab a Skinny Cow ice cream and sit back at my desk to finish up on work.
10:30pm: Commute to my bed just behind me and curl up with all my “With Friends” games to unwind.
11:30pm: Husband joins me in bed after his class or zombie show. We hold hands while we read. As I fall asleep I think this (in no particular order): “I am grateful for a job I love. My kids who are healthy and safe in their beds. My husband who I like so much I wish I did see him more. My house that I’ve made a home. My dog who follows me everywhere. And Katie Keurig.”