Working from Home: the Good, the Bad, and the Pathetic

by Brittany on March 1, 2013

in Musings, Parenting, The Internet

I was having dinner with a friend the other night when her phone dinged on the table, and as she checked the text with obvious exasperation, she looked up at me and then out the window at the dance of headlights playing on the street beside us and whispered wistfully, I wish I could work at home like you so I could hang out with my kids all day and work when I want.

To which I naturally responded by jumping across the table and stabbing her repeatedly in the throat with the cheater chopsticks they give children at P.F. Changs because, I don’t know, I’m tired and had too much wine and my hand-eye coordination is off.

Just kidding, I’m super awesome at chopsticks.

But seriously, her vision about what working from home is like is adorable. And I realized, prior to actually working from home, that I’d had the exact same vision.

Lazing about the house, watching daytime television, running errands, snuggling with my children, lunching with friends, joining a gym, volunteering at school… the world would be my oyster, right?

Sure, if by oyster you mean unwashed, gritty, slimy and notoriously hard to pry open. Great analogy, you should be a professional analogy writer.

Listen, there’s lots of drama in the news right now about Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, and her decision to bring all the Yahoo employees out of their at-home locations and back into the office, and I think everyone is standing on different sides of the line in the sand throwing words at each other like “mother” and “feminist” and “woman” and lots of other strange terms we don’t hear when non-lady CEO’s rescind telecommunication privileges.

I’ve been on both sides of this coin. And as a current work from home-er, I’ve been paying attention to all the talk, and it feels like an opportune time to chat a little bit about what exactly working from home entails, and well…how much it sometimes kinda blows.

So, I partnered with one of my best friends, Amber Doty, who is a blogger, managing editor of Go Mighty, and a real life work from home veteran like myself, to dispel any dreamy connotations and expose the sometimes (okay, often) dirty, unshowered underbelly of working from home.

Work Home Mom

We’re about to ruin the honeymoon, y’all.

Fantasy: You can work in your pajamas. Okay yes, you can work in your pajamas. But, I think people assume that that equates to a clean pair of lululemon yoga pants and a super cute tank top. Hey, in this daydream, can our thighs also not touch, and can the sports bra we have on make it look like we have two boobs, not just one giant tube looking boob? Because the reality is that we’re not in any of that, we’re in a nightgown, borderline muumuu, with holes and food stains reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock piece, but it’s not paint, it’s Hot Pocket sauce and cheeto dust.

Reality: No one believes you have a real job. Can I watch your kid? Pick up your prescription? Get your dad from the airport? No, we can’t. Why? Because we still have fucking jobs, dude. We have deadlines, monthly goals, conference calls, we use words like “collate” and “ROI,” and look, we have business cards from Moo and LinkedIn profiles and everything. Don’t let the lack of office fool you, we’re honest to goodness productive members of society (wanna see our 1099′s?), it’s just that the majority of our productivity happens in our underpants.

Fantasy: You don’t have to deal with asshole co-workers. Listen, just because they don’t get paychecks or pay taxes, the little people who run around our home offices are tyrants with no concern for anyone’s needs but their own. Sure, Jan from accounting was a douchebag to deal with sometimes, but at least you didn’t have to wipe her butt or cut up her food.

Reality: There is very little human interaction. We’re in a creative field, so we’re weird and socially awkward by default, but the truth is, when you work from home, aside from the random video Skype or Google hangout, the most person to person contact you may have is with the mail guy, and he doesn’t have all day to sit there and listen to you talk about feelings or last night’s episode of New Girl, apparently. Your spouse is working, and your friends have jobs, too. Even if you had a second to chat, nobody else does, so eventually you just start talking to random strangers on Chatroulette, but even then, they only have so much time to ask your age and to see your boobs before their moms come down to the basement.

Fantasy: You can drink on the job. Alright, I guess you can technically drink on the job. In fact, some of our best work comes from the bottom of a wine bottle, but a warning, you can only confuse words like “public” with “pubic” so many times before people are like, what the fuck is wrong with you and why do you smell like you just threw up?

Fantasy: You save money. Working from home means saving money on things like gas, vehicle maintenance, and those weird polyester blend business slacks that can only be worn over two layers of shaping undergarments, lest your ass look someone shoved two giant dimpled golf balls down the back of your pants. Only, chances are if you’re a freelancer, the money you save is now being used to refill your ballooning Xanax prescription and to purchase paper hyperventilation bags in bulk.

Reality: You don’t get to clock out. This is especially true if you own your own business. There are no set work hours, because all the hours are work hours. We work where we live, so every moment feels like a moment we could/should be working, until eventually you have this claustrophobic breakdown where you feel like you never leave your office and it melts into, like, this creepy Jodi Foster panic room, and you never ever get to escape, ever. It’s hard to turn that off. If we sit down to take a shit and realize we don’t have our phone with us, you can bet your wet ass we’re doing the pants down shimmy to grab it fast. If we go out to eat, before you ask for a refill we’ve already checked in, tweeted, status updated and instagrammed our entire encounter, you know, for work.

Fantasy: Being your own boss is awesome. By in-office boss standards, you are awesome. The kind that values an employee that spends two hours catching up on Ben Affleck’s facial hair and Kim Kardashian and Kanye’s lovechild. But when you’re still up working at 1am making up for all those hours spent celeb-stalking and pinning shit, you begin to miss the fear your old boss instilled in you that kept you continually meeting deadlines despite having to look over your shoulder poised to drop your browser window at the faintest sound of their approach. You know, the kind of boss that would call you on your bullshit idea to institute afternoon naps to “jumpstart your creative process.” Ugh, fact is, you’re probably the worst boss ever.

Fantasy: You get to be home with your kids. Here’s the ugly truth. We spend less time with our kids working from home, than we did working in an office. Okay wait, let us clarify that. We spend less quality time with our kids. Yes, we’re physically home with our children, but mentally, we’re checked out and working. And let us assure you, it’s not fun explaining to your kid why you can’t play with them, or having them associate time with you as time you spend always at your computer, or scrolling through your phone, or circling around the block one more time and tossing fruit snacks at them so you can finish up a conference call in peace and quiet. In the end, you tell yourself it’s worth it, that you do what you have to do, and that it is, very much, and amazing privilege to be home. Because it is. But, the stress and guilt and responsibility is there, and most times, it feels like crap.

Brittany March 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

Boom. This is the real story. The myths and the truths and you hit all them nails on the head. Working from home with kids around is really freaking hard. The idea of balance is almost laughable and if anything is worse in an office than the laundry or dishes or dirty toilets from kids who can’t aim screaming your name all day I would like to hear it. Some days I dream of going back to work in an office.

Lovelyn March 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

Amen. This touched on so many things I experience working from home. Constantly being asked to run errands for people and always feeling like I should be working. When I started working at home I didn’t realize that I’d end up working a million more hours than I ever did when I had a regular job.

Brittany March 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

This is actually the biggest thing… the hours. THE HOURS. It’s hard to self regulate when you work, so it’s easy to just ALWAYS work. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit my marriage and parenting skills suffered for a while because of it, and it took a lot of come-to-Jesus conversations with my husband to make a workable reality for us.

And yet, I still ALWAYS WORK.

Angie @ Smut Book Club March 1, 2013 at 11:30 am

True story.

Amanda- The Southern Unbelle March 1, 2013 at 11:31 am

I “get to” work from home when I’m sick or one of my kids is sick. Other people think it’s great to have that flexibility but it’s like, Um, no… because when I take a 2 hour Theraflu induced nap, I feel guilty, like I went to sleep at my desk. And yeah, I work later hours than I would have at the office because I took a 30 minute “break” to catch up on last night’s episode of whatever so to assuage the guilt I work an extra hour or two. It’s great to not have to use sick time, but sucky that I can’t actually rest, or pay full attention to my sick kid. Everything is a trade-off.

Loved this blog today.

Jen March 1, 2013 at 11:34 am

Spot. on.

theMrs March 1, 2013 at 11:45 am

After ten years working at home, I cannot tell you how great it is to go to an office now! I was recently home for two weeks recovering from surgery and I couldn’t wait to go back! I really enjoy and appreciate the time with my kids now that I’m not with them 24/7. I’m fortunate enough to only work part time, so I get out a few hours a day and still have the afternoon with my toddler (I.e. catching up on my dvr while she naps) I used to have to sit in my car in the drive way to have a phone conference!

Molly March 1, 2013 at 11:49 am

The only part of the work-from-home gig that I envy is having a bit of flexibility. Need to get your hair cut? Probably can step away for a couple hours to do that. Dog has to go to the vet? If I’m home, it’d be easier to drop him off. Be home for the cable guy? No problem, I’m here anyway. I would, however, resent it if friends began to take advantage of that and asked me to do their shit for them, more than once or twice, anyway.

On the other hand, I can still accomodate most things even working in an office. That’s what FTO is for, and fortunately, my bosses are quite flexible about letting me leave an hour or two early here, make it up there. But I feel like there’d be a bit more freedom if I didn’t have to run it by them each time. If I did work at home, I like to think I’d still treat it like going to an office job: getting up early, getting dressed, going to the “home office”, and staying there until the work was done.

Full disclosure though: no kids for me. Can’t stand ‘em. ;)

Sarah March 1, 2013 at 11:49 am

I work from home but I’m an hourly employee with a set schedule. Sure the schedule is flexible but I still have one. For me that is the only way to make it manageable and actually a good option for my family

Katie March 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm

yes. just yes. As a work at home mom, I couldn’t agree more.

Erin March 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Preach on. Most days I am so jealous of my husband, who gets to go to work, with adults, and a lunch break, and a 5:30 closing time. I’ve been working from home/small business owner now for 2.5 years, and am just now getting rid of the guilt coming at me from all directions. It takes ridiculous discipline, steely resolve, and an enormously supportive spouse for me to do this job well.

Maria March 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Nailed it.

Steph March 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm

“Don’t let the lack of office fool you . . . .the majority of our productivity happens in our underpants.” I think sex workers say the same thing . . . I wonder what their 1099′s look like? Very funny stuff, Mrs. Gibbons.

Brittany March 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I bet their 1099′s are much larger than mine. Dammit. I’m in the wrong business.

Rachel B. March 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I work from home WITHOUT kids (they’re at preschool/kindergarten/aftercare/summer camp, etc) but most of this applies just the same. WFH enables me to have a lot more time and flexibility and peace than going to an office would, but yeah, I am sitting here in my panic room office in the mumu, and rapidly losing social skills!

Brittany March 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Interesting realization I just had. Mine are in school also, and sometimes it feels like THAT is yet another deadline I work under. I have to get XYZ done before pick up, I schedule calls around it even… I have heartburn, does anyone else have heartburn right now?

Kelly March 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Oh school schedules are for sure a deadline. It was almost easier before they were in school, when I controlled the schedule (well, as much as anyone ‘controls’ toddlers). I had to make everyone permanently reschedule a set weekly conf call when my son got morning-session kindergarten. Thankfully I work with awesome people.

Melissa R March 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I had to laugh at your panic room office in the mumu – as I sit here in ripped purple pj pants and the green shirt I have had on since yesterday. I love working from home – my daughter is in school full-time, but I so miss the real adult face to face interaction.

Call Me Jo March 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I get most of these ‘perks’ plus I’m not my own boss. I work 100% remotely for a university. So I get all the other ‘perks’ associated with obnoxious co-workers (via email and phone), have to check in and meet deadlines. Extra bonus, there is a 3 hour time difference between my ‘job’ and my office, so I start my day at 6:30 in the morning.

Heidi March 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Occasionally I get to work from home, either with the kids there, or without, and I could never do it. I can’t stay on task. I set my laptop up, put my work in nice neat piles, and then I get up and go to the fridge. Then I notice juice on the floor that I forgot was there, and I wipe it up. Then I think “oh! I could have some laundry going while I’m here! Sweet, lemme go start that!” and then I go through the house and get all the laundry. I get back upstairs and sit down at the table. Wait, what is that? Is that food in the couch? Let me clean that up. Oh crap..the dishwasher needs to be emptied..let me get that. Laundry is done, let me just switch it over to the dryer and then I will start working! Only, I never start working. Being out of my house the whole day, means that when I’m home, I feel like I HAVE to clean stuff. And I’m not a get-up-on-a-saturday-and-go-to-town on cleaning kind of girl. I just sort of clean as I go..which means there is always something..

And that is without kids.

Heidi March 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

If the kids are there…I just wait on them all day, or at least that’s what it feels like.

Angie M March 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Very spot on! I have WFH for 8 years. I had the jammie days at first, especially when pregnant, but I find I am the most productive I can be when I get up and shower and start my day like I am really going to an office. Before my daughter started school, she went to daycare so Momma could work . I work for a large corporation, which really demands that I am available traditional business hours. And then the non traditional. To keep the peace, I have a personal smartphone, so I can leave the work one behind at times. Because I have a guilt issue, I have worked my ass off making sure I show available on instant messenger, answer the phone on the 2nd ring, and respond to IM’s and emails immediately. I have created my own guilt induced workflow to PROVE to others that I am working and not taking a champaign bubble bath whilst pruning roses, making dinner and frolicking with my child. I also find I have to be DYING before I call in sick to avoid the self induced stigma of ‘oh she works from home can’t she sit at her desk and work ill?’. No sometimes you just can’t do it. You miss people, more than you think you would. You miss having a random lunch date with a coworker/friend. When you do get in front of people, you have to work really hard to not roll your eyes and show disgust at how stupid they are. :) However, I still love my opportunity to do this.

Andrea March 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm

So very true! I get the same crap because I homeschool my son. People actually think I sit around all day, sipping mimosas, and throw assignments at my kid while I sunbathe on the deck. Seriously? No! Most days I want to curl up in the fetal position in my closet and rock back and forth while chewing on Xanax. Working or schooling from home and hard ass work and I don’t get paid enough;-)

Issa March 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm

ALL OF THIS! Plus? I’m expected to work on my kids days off school, of which there are a zillion. I have next to no paid leave time. Oh and my boss expects me to work even when I’m sick as a dog.

I haven’t volunteered in my kids classes in over a year. I half the time don’t take a lunch break. Oh and? My daughters get really pissy if I’m not wearing real clothes when I drop them off, so I don’t wear pj’s while I work.

Oh and because I’m a CPA (hi, I work 14 hour days, six days a week until after the 17th of April) other people call me and ask me questions all the time. Basically I should give tax advice for free. Uh huh, because that is cool.

Summer March 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I don’t work from home, but this is exactly how I envision working from home. If I could I would still totally do it (maybe 2-3 days a week), but I don’t think it would be all netflix and snuggles. Thanks for this, because it irritates me when people say things like your friend and I don’t even work from home.

Amber March 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm

When I first started working from home, I was pulling 12-15 hour days, easily. Our house was a disaster, because my husband was also exhausted, but had the added, “But you’re home all day, can’t you even throw on a load of laundry?” excuse for not doing stuff.

It took us two years, a huge blowout, and me forcibly hiring a cleaner to come twice a month before we found a happy medium. And OHHHHH the judgement from my friends and family at working from home AND having a housekeeper.

It doesn’t matter WHERE you work. If you’ve committed yourself to deadlines, you’ve committed yourself to deadlines, and people need to get with the program and understand that while WFH can mean working in yoga pants, it also means you’re 90% more likely to eat at your desk, or skip meals all together, and work past 6 o’clock five to six days a week, or sneak in an hour or two on the weekend.

Adria March 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm

This one is tough for me. In general, I love working from home. I work for a company, not myself. So all of the dealing with bosses and coworkers and all of that is still there. I get WAY more accomplished when I’m home versus when I go to the office, both in my home life and with work. Every time I get up to pee, I change over the laundry or unload the dishwasher. I work an hour and a half from my office, so the financial savings is huge. There are no people walking up to my desk or asking me to go to lunch, so I generally work WAY more hours at home than I do at the office, including eating at my computer. So I’m totally with you about the hours thing. I’m also with you on the nobody thinking you have a real job thing. This is specifically frustrating for me when my coworkers at the office think I’m not being productive simply because they don’t see my face, when reality is I do WAYYYY more at home. I take the kid to school so most of the time that’s not an issue, though when she’s home sick, I pretty much fit the disaster zone you described, especially the massive guilt for having to explain to her why I can’t play. The biggest problem for me is human contact. After around 5 days of not showering or changing clothes or leaving the house, I have to force myself to do all of those things or I spiral downward into depression and anger and lethargy.

In the end, I think everyone’s situation is different, and nobody should be judged en masse on the topic. There are definitely pros and cons. I’d rather get to decide for myself than be told by someone else.

jen March 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Yes! Yes! Yes! What hits most for me is the being at home with the kids but my attention is not with them. My worst days are when the kids ask me…are you listening? That slaps and hurts everytime:( its hard…no impossible, to turn work off sometimes when the clients scream louder; issues are more time sensitive.

Amy @Very Culinary March 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

This. Was. Brilliant.

Grumble Girl March 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Sorry, I can’t hear you… I’m working.

Sarah Fowler March 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm

THIS IS MY LIFE. Thanks for being honest.

The next time someone says “Oh that’s SO NICE you work from home!!” I will steal your chopsticks and stab them too.

Jolene March 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm

LOVE THIS!

I think the isolation is one of the worst parts. I don’t have kids, but I do find myself talking with the cat quite often. He doesn’t reply, but one day I’m afraid he’s going to tell me, “Enough lady! Get a “real” job so I can get some peace and quite.”

Moontaj March 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm

I can totally identify, except, no kids here. I am (use to be) a seamstress, swing personal costumes for clients before the economy went to piss. It was HARD to get into the swing of ‘work hours’ and ‘me time’. Luckily my Hubby was SUPER understanding, works evenings, and made the PERFECT hours for me to ‘go to work’ when he did. Loved it. My family was also super happy I ‘worked from home’ cause they could stop in and visit whenever. (Phone call first, usually I’m nekkie!) they soon learned if they wanted to visit, they either helped, or shut the hell up while I was on the sewing machine. (Can’t hear you over that thing.) The -ONLY- thing that pissed me off was some clients thinking that I was at their beck and call at all ungodly hours of the morning cause I work at home. Seriously? F-U!

All that said I want the economy to pick up, I miss sewing like that.

Diandra Asbaty March 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm

So pumped I found your awesome little corner of cyberspace. This blog is the epitome of me, except occasionally I go bowling. Professionally. Need a lesson?

Candace March 2, 2013 at 7:35 am

Ok – I’m here to play kind of a devil’s advocate – because sometimes I’m bitchy like that, but really it’s just to give another perspective, because I feel like women are always trying to defend themselves no matter where, when or who they work. While defending ourselves what we are doing is actually making our jobs seem like they suck more than someone elses job – how does that do any good?
I worked at home (as a freelance writer of food) for 15 years – 13 of those with kids. Now I work 40+ hours at a business where I get a for sure paycheck every Friday. We needed steady income, so I jumped in thinking, at least after my 8 hours I didn’t have to think about work. (wrong) Working at home was just as hard, yes. I bitched about it all the way through. Hindsight – My only major complaint was that I did not get the credit for being a full time worker. Oh, and I wish I got paid more for less work, but who doesn’t. The benefits out weighed the annoyances by a landslide and I would hope people appreciate this and sing it’s praises because we should not be shameful of having it awesome!
1) If your kids gets sick, or has one of those 900 inservice days off of school, you are there with out the risk of being fired.
2)If your kids have a school play, field trip, bake sale – you get to be there (most of the time) – it may mean staying up late to finish work. That sucks because you’re tired as hell, and can’t sleep in.
3) schedule your vacations, work week to fit your needs. This is HUGE.
4) When you work away from home it is a misconception that you have “quality time” in stead of quantity time. Sure I yelled at my kids for making too much noise while I worked, but now I yell at them for not letting me rest because mommy has to get up at to go to work early. I hate that the time i spend with them now is a lot of me trying to get them away so I can have just a minute to myself.
5)I still stay up at night worried about work shit. That never goes away.
6) The adult interaction I have at work is about as much fun as having Yo Gabba Gabba on replay for 8 hours straight -
7) Working out of the home does gets you away from what you do the remaining hours of your life. I do enjoy the change of scenery – thats a plus. The other plus is a steady income. I like the work I do now for the most part. I get to write for fun now. So I focus on that, because , really, I’d change back to working from home in a heart beat.

I know lots of you feel different than I do, but I wish we would ALL (not just those that work at home) say its, awesome – I worked really hard to make my life the way I want – you deserve it!

Brittany March 2, 2013 at 8:05 am

Thanks for playing devil’s advocate, I loved your perspective and all your points!

If I were to write a post about everything I loved about my career and my ability to work from home, the post would be pages and pages long. Especially since I feel all proud and passionate and woman power-y about it.

But, what we did want to focus on with this post was to dispel any assumptions some people might have about working from home (ahem, dad), mainly that we have endless free time, or a stress-free work space, or time to run errands, or that in someway wearing pajama pants signals that I work at a slumber party.

I really loved your alternative view, especially since, like myself, you are able to approach this having stood on both sides of the fence, I just wanted to make sure it was clear that this was a tongue and cheek view of some of the cons (because there are some), as opposed to the pros (there are tons!).

victoria March 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I have a friend that uses the word “office” instead of “work”… as in “I office in that building” or “I office from home” I’ve stolen it from him and say the same. I don’t have kids or a husband, however, I do run my own business and do not leave my home to “office” although I do have a lot of work that is accomplished for my business outside of these 4 walls. So I don’t work at home, I office at home. Plus, office as a verb is bad-ass.

Kenny March 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

You work?

Melissa March 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I love this. Even though I don’t work from home, I have been working on my Master’s degree online. Everyone thinks that I have the life, but no one knows how hard it is to have to do homework all night and have my daughter beg me to play another game of UNO. Thanks for validating my feelings.

LinzJupiter March 2, 2013 at 11:54 pm

One last point I’d like to add: people think you are perennially available to shoot the sh1t with them on FB, MSN, whatever messaging service you may happen to have running in the background. When I’m working for my friend’s new media company, I have to leave my FB signed in, as there are frequently bands/artists I’m trying to contact, for whom I only have their FB information as a way to contact them. (Note: bands, NOT PROFESSIONAL. Get a freaking email.)

So, on this particular day, there’s this musician dude semi-stalking me through FB messages, and it goes something like this:

He: ‘Hey, do you like the Arkells?’
(5 minutes elapse)
He: ‘???’
Me: ‘I know where Arkell St is. It’s in the Hammer [Hamilton, Ontario, Canada] near Mac [McMaster University]. My parents met there. At Mac I mean.’
He, oblivious to me trying to give him the slip: ‘Cool, so do you like them?’
(5 minutes elapse)
He: ‘???’
Me: ‘Um, Kevin, I’m so sorry but I’m trying to get work done here. Perhaps we can chat some other time?’
He: ‘Oh, okay. So do you like the Arkells?’

I gave him a 2-beer penalty. So far I have collected on one of the beers.

Jules March 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Just found your blog today and love it. I can really relate…

I’ve read several of the posts from 2008 – funny…I started a blog as a food lover also and now I mostly write about life stuff. Thanks for many chuckles today – my 3-year-old is driving me nuts (as in ready to commit myself to a psyche ward already) and I needed the levity.

erica March 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I do both. I work in an office out of my home Monday through Wednesday for a college and AT home Thursday and Friday for my own business. It is nice in that I can do laundry and take a nap if I just can’t make it Thursday afternoon but it is hard to tell the kids that Mommy needs to work for 10 more minutes. I love having those days at home (and they are about to be taken away) but it certainly isn’t without hardship to get work stuff done. Plus, if I feel like I didn’t get to it all I work in the evening when Dad gets home and some on Sunday afternoon. It provides us with extra income so I can spend some days at home in the first place but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own challenges that is for damn sure.

Holly March 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm

So true. I had a full time, working from home job for over 2 years. It can be extremely isolating, especially after working with the same people in an office environment. While you don’t have to deal with people randomly drawing you into conversations and walking up to your desk for help plugging in their mouse, you also miss out on the office gossip, like whose pregnant, engaged, etc. Also true is people (that you don’t work with) thinking you don’t have a ‘real’ job and/or you don’t do anything all day — and magically get paid. That annoyed the crap out of me. Now that I have a child and I’m a SAHM, I really struggle with wanting to work from home part time and knowing that I would have a very hard time taking *good* care of my child and working. Great article, Brittany!

Mommynamedapril March 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm

THANK YOU.

Family S March 5, 2013 at 11:20 am

I loved the “one giant tube looking boob” part and the
pollock look like pyjamas. The funny thing is that we keep
all those nice outfits in the closet for, maybe another lifetime?

Dawn_ewords March 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm

The Reality: I cleaned my bathroom on my break yesterday. :-/

Kathleen March 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I’m a stay at home mom with 4 kids, expecting #5, and in a master’s program. I homeschool my kids, and tutor in the evenings. Can I borrow your stabby chopsticks to eviscerate the next person who says to me, “oh, you’re so lucky you don’t have to work!” I get what they’re saying, but I work harder and longer hours now than I ever did when I had a “real job” (thanks random stranger in the store who thought she should talk about how blessed I was to stay home with all the Hell raisers since I didn’t have a “real job”).

meleah rebeccah March 7, 2013 at 11:54 am

Yup. Yup. Yes. Yes. ALL OF THIS.

Jennifer March 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I can think of only two advantages to working at home as opposed to working in an office. Your schedule is (potentially) more flexible so that you don’t have to miss school parties, etc (I know that’s not true for everyone), and you can put your meat out to defrost for dinner.

I’ve tried working at home when my kids are sick, and it is crazy town. I get next to nothing done. I know some people are really good at organizing their time and sticking to a schedule, but I’m not one of them. Plus, the TV is at home. TV does not equal work for me.

Amy Engeldinger March 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Amen!!!! Only my children 6 teenage girls have the guts to ask me what I did all day. My hubby wouldn’t dare.

karla March 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

I work from home and run a 24/7 non-profit for Senior Citizens. Been working from home for 25 years. My huusband just retired. For the first few weeks, he would come to my office and say”Oh, you are working!” I like this phrase about as well as “I’ve decided that I really prefer young men.” I did ask him if him thought the salary fairy just visited every two weeks…

littlemisswordy March 27, 2013 at 9:18 am

Just want to tell you that I’m really glad to have found your website. I can relate to this post on many levels although a bit differently in that I just started homeschooling my kiddos this school year. We are temporarily living in a place where the education leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve never been a teacher, never wanted to be a teacher, and am confirming that every day. ha ha. You do what you gotta do. ;-)

Scary Mommy March 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm

This. 100, 1000, 10000000 times this.

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