The Reality of Working from Home
When asked what I do for a living, my answer is always the same, “I am a stay-at-home mother and I work for a social media company.” Some people want me to elaborate on what it means to work for a social media company, as a stay-at-home mom is self-explanatory. Then there are people that respond with something like this…
Ohh… you “work” from home.
I can only speak for myself when I say that being a stay-at-home parent is a challenge, by itself. I also have two dogs who insist on a wrestle-mania hour every morning. That coupled with a very precocious and chatty 4-year-old, my day is already busy. Add my job into the mix and it’s downright crazy, at times.
Fortunately, I’ve learned to manage my time in ways I never thought possible, but there are some things to keep in mind.
For example, working in a home office means that your home is where you work and your work is at your home. When I am ‘off the clock’, I don’t leave my place of work, come home and relax. This is a common misconception. A month ago, the internet serviceman asked me what I did for a living. I told him and waited for a presumably snarky response. He said, “I can’t imagine working from home. I feel like I’d get stir crazy. When you’re done, you don’t actually get to escape and come home to decompress from your work day!”
I’ve found that those who understand the struggles of working from home are people who’ve done it. I was pleasantly surprised to find this to be untrue, in this instance.
While I do get to sit in air conditioning in the comfort of my home, I also sit beside my kitchen that may have dirty dishes that need to be cleaned. Some days, I have laundry that needs folded. Being somewhat of a neat freak, it’s hard for me to hold off on tackling these tasks until I’m done with work.
Some people think that working from home also means you have loads of free time. I strongly disagree. I have to manage my time properly to ensure I get everything done. Working from home requires extreme self-discipline to avoid distractions. I also think that people think that working in social media means we scroll Facebook all day, but the irony is – I’m on Facebook to manage my clients’ accounts, not for my own personal enjoyment. In fact, sometimes I’m so burnt out from being on social media all day, I don’t even feel like checking in on my own account.
I’m not asking for sympathy. There are perks to working home, but I would like if more people understand working from home comes with its own level of stress and it should be taken seriously.
What are some of the challenges you face working from home?