A Little Musing... Working From Home

The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Working from Home As A Mother                   


I work from home as a teacher for Utah’s Electronic High School.  I’ve been doing it for almost ten years (sometimes while also teaching at school).  I’ve also had two other home-based businesses over the years- creating and selling wholesale and retail floral arrangements and running a children’s performing group (yes, really).    In general, my working from home has been a great blessing for our family.  However, there are also times when working at home can be, well, somewhat of a pain.

Do you think that working from home would be ideal for you?  Here are some pros and cons that I’ve discovered along my way.

Flexibility.  I can stop what I am doing for an appointment or family crisis (big or small) at any time.  I can work really hard one day, and much less another if I need to.  I can be there for a friend or family member who needs me. 
Being home at the crossroads.  I am able to be home in the morning when my kids leave for school and in the afternoon when they get home.
No commute. Saves time, money and the environment.
No daycare costs.

The work is always there.  You always feel like you should be working.  It never goes away.  Evenings, weekends, etc, you find yourself thinking that you should be working.  My work even follows me on vacation.  This drives my husband and family insane.
You may be home physically, but still not available to your family.  How many times over the years have I “put off” my kids so I could “just hurry and get this done”.  This is a big one for me. My three year old crawls all over me while I try to work on my laptop and he watches PBS kids, Playhouse Disney and Nick Jr. most mornings.  Is this ideal?  No.  Is it reality?  Yes. 
You miss out on interactions with your co-workers and other adults.  You miss the brainstorming sessions and workplace friendships.  You miss the kudos for a job well done.  In my current work, I miss the face-to-face interactions with students.  A LOT.
The money may not be as good and benefits are rare. This is especially true when you decide to sell a product you make.  You may put in a great deal of time and effort and see only very limited rewards.  I am blessed that my job today comes with a regular paycheck- in the past that was not always the case.
Boredom and isolation are often realities.  When I don’t regularly get out of my house, whether to go to the gym or out with friends or whatever, I sometimes start to feel very lonely and isolated.  I’m sure this would also be true, though, if I were a full time mom at home. 

What do you think?  Do you work at home?  Do you like it?  Can you think of pros and cons I might not have thought of?  What have you found to be the pros and cons of working at home?  I’d love to hear your comments.

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can."  - John Wesley

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