7 Lies About Moms Who Work From Home

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working at homeAs far as jobs for moms go, I'm fully aware that I've got it good. Two days a week I commute into the city, and the other three, I work from the comfort of my home. Every time I tell a mother with a more traditional work schedule (or a SAHM who'd like to get out of the house a bit), their faces drop. And then the questions start rolling in.

While it's true, there absolutely are perks to working from home, it isn't exactly like everyone thinks it is. Here are 7 things that just aren't true about being a work-from-home mama.

1. Moms who work at home don't need childcare. While I need the sitter for fewer hours on the days I work from home (it takes me a little over an hour commuting each way), there's no way I could do my job without childcare. I'm a full-time employee, and although it may seem like all I do is blog about the Kardashians, Real Housewives, and the latest in breastfeeding, it's a job. A real job with obligations that go beyond what meets the eye. There are meetings I need to be available for; emails that need to be tended to (so many emails!); and there's an expectation that I'm going to be fully available for certain hours of the day. I don't think it would be fair to my job or my daughter if I didn't have childcare the days I work from home.

2. Moms who work from home hang out with their kids all day and just "fit work in." Again, full-time job over here. If I were a freelancer, it would be different. But I need to be available (and I need to write!) during regular business hours. Also, I could get asked by my boss or an editor at any given moment to hop on the phone. Not exactly professional or productive with a screaming child in the background.

3. It's so relaxing working at home. While it's true, it is nice to not have to get dressed and pack a lunch when working from home, there are many days when I find it easier working from my office in the city. We choose to have private child care, so my daughter is home during the day with the sitter when I'm working. My "office" is in the basement, and let me tell you, while I'm happy my daughter has so much fun with the sitter, it can be tricky trying to concentrate while tiny toddler feet are pitter-pattering above. I think the sitter might put her in lead shoes.

There's also the fact that the instant I'm done with work, my daughter wants to be held. I love that she's missed me so much (and I've missed her!), but there literally is no divide between work/home life some days. No, commuting isn't fun, but it at least breaks up the day a bit. And speaking of divides ... 

4. It's easy to turn work "off" when you're done. You know that feeling of walking in the door, throwing down your bag, and saying, "Ahhhh ..."? Yeah, when you work from home, you don't get that. Sure, it's a good feeling to walk away from my computer when I'm finished, but it's not the same as coming home after a long day. I feel inclined to constantly be checking my email for the remainder of the day because I still feel "on the clock." And I hate checking email around my kid. For all she knows, I'm just looking at Facebook.

5. It's awesome being near your child on the days you work from home. Yes. It is. No doubt about it. But you know how your heart breaks into a million pieces when your kid cries when you're leaving? Try having to hear the crying long after you're "gone." Heartbreaking! (But it's true what they say, moms, it only last a few minutes!)

6. It's great being able to see/hear what the sitter is doing. Again, no doubt, it is. But there have been instances when it's been hard for me not to intervene if I would have done something differently. If it's something serious, or something I really believe in, I'll talk to the sitter afterward. But I think it's important to respect the caretaker and the job she's doing, and not nit-pick.

7. Moms who work at home feel less isolated that SAHMs. Not true. Although I talk to people on email and Instant Messenger during work hours, it still can feel really isolating working from home. My days are long when I go into the office, but it's nice to be around so many people and talk about the Kardashians face-to-face.

That said, I know I'm in a fortunate situation and I wouldn't change what I've got going on for the world.

Do you work from home?

 

Image via Christine Schneider/Corbis

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nonmember avatar Mynameis

Interesting. I'm considering working from home just to have more flexible hours and be able to stay home with the kids. It's good to hear what goes on from people who have been through it. Thanks!

landr... landrylamb

I've worked from home for 5 years.  For the first two years after my last daughter was born she was home with me while I worked.  It was not good.  I felt guilty no matter what-if I was working I felt guilty I wasn't playing with my daughter and when I was playing with my daughter I felt guilty I wasn't working.  We finally had to put her in daycare and it was a good decision.  I do agree working from home is not what it looks like from the outside.  I work many many more hours than I did when in an office.  There is no delineation from work when your office is your home.  You can't walk out the door and be done with your day.  People think you're on the clock all the time-I'll get calls at 9pm because the person doesn't realize I started work at 4am (in a futile attempt to be able to finish work early).  But the upside is I never have to panic about what to do when a kid is sick and I have to work, I'm able to go to all the games & activities even if they're in the middle of the day, doctors and dentist appointments are easy...it is more flexible than working in an office.  Just like any other job there are pros and cons.  I would happier in an office but my family life wouldn't run as smoothly so I stick it out!

Travis Mullins

great read http://studypaid.com

kckcm2 kckcm2

I work from home and am required to have a sound sterile environment - there is little to no difference btwn being home vs the home office. I hae a caretaker in home and I don't get any extra time with her aside from no commute. I set my own hours but I work 8 out of 10 possible hours so there isn't a lot of leway. I lov ebeing at home but it's not a "get the laundry done, play with the kids do what i want" situation. I work full time in an office environment, that I simply don't commute too.

Vegas... Vegas0036

What kind of jobs are work from home jobs?


In the company I work for, the Human Resources folks do NOT work in the same office or the same STATE as their supervisor.  We are enterprise wide.  Some of them are able to work from home every day, but others are not - which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  But whatever.


Some of the managers are able to work from home a few days a week, but they have employees that need them here too.


As a secretary, I don't really have the option to work from home.  Yes, most of my job is on the computer.  However, it's also on the phone, it's doing expense sheets for my boss, it's copying, faxing, scanning, proof reading, "getting" stuff for employees, etc. 


Just curious what other people do from home?

Sarah Cazier

I'm a real estate broker. I have a desk in a main office where there are 'managers' who oversee us to ensure we have the tools necessary to do our jobs legally and correctly. I also have a home office where I can just as easily get everything I need to done. I make my own hours and work only as much as I need to in order to fulfill my clients needs. However, if I need to spend more than an hour on work related stuff... I go to the main office and drop kids at childcare. Much easier than trying to work while they pound on the office door.

Sarah Cazier

I'm a real estate broker. I have a desk in a main office where there are 'managers' who oversee us to ensure we have the tools necessary to do our jobs legally and correctly. I also have a home office where I can just as easily get everything I need to done. I make my own hours and work only as much as I need to in order to fulfill my clients needs. However, if I need to spend more than an hour on work related stuff... I go to the main office and drop kids at childcare. Much easier than trying to work while they pound on the office door.

nonmember avatar Dee

I work from hine. It can be horrible because there is no off switch. And most people think I just take my DD to a sitter so I can sit and eat bon bons while I watch soaps. My sil also thinks that I really don't work therefore I should be available to take her kids when she needs me too because she works (outside) the hone. Apparently to some people WAHMs and SAHMs really don't do anything. And it infuriates me!

Melissa Alexander Dupré

I work from home. I feel like I actually spend less time with my children. While I think it's great that I get to "reduce" my commute by working from home three days a week, I also think I spend that extra time working, rather than with my children. There is no difference between my office days and work from home days, other than the pajamas (and my productivity, which is double when I work from home). What a deal my employer gets!


 

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