When I tried working from home before, it didn’t work well for me. I was too easily distracted, too easily swayed by the hazel eyes of a toddler begging to play, to willing to accept, “All done, YEAH!” from the toddler as she pushed in my keyboard tray. Frustrated and alone, I went back to work. I had hit a slow time for transcription, Christmas was coming, and my dad’s words about winding up in the poorhouse resonated in my head.
I’m sure many women have the financial need to work combined with the desire to be home more with their children. When I work outside the home, I want to be home more. When I work from home, I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything, I miss adult interaction, and that cute-as-a-button child starts to wear on my last nerve as the minutes fall off the clock, my deadline getting closer. Since going back to work, I’ve often wondered if I could have made working from home something I was good at, if I caved too easily.
Today, thanks to my boss changing my schedule without asking me and without telling me (he faxed it to the store at 11pm last night), Khaila is at daycare and I’ve managed to get stuff done! Files seem to be flying out of my queue (and I think my fingers may fall off), my dishes are done, one load of laundry is done, and unless they dispatch more, I’ll be out of work within the hour!
Days like today make me think that I did give up too easily. I didn’t look for a way to make it work. I thought that the only way to successfully work from home was to do it with a toddler under-foot. When I think back to my original decision to work from home, it wasn’t that I couldn’t bear to be away from my daughter. I love her, but I personally think it’s okay to not spend every waking moment with her. My issue was having a work situation where my supervisor would say things like, “The time may come when you have to choose…” as I was being lectured about missing work because of a virus or ear infection. My boss didn’t understand why I couldn’t take Khaila to daycare when she had a virus AND a 103 fever.
If I was to do this again, I think this is the way. I may talk to my contacts and see if they plan on the workload staying where it is, and just might think about working from home again. But this time, Khaila will be in school (either pre-school or Montessori) while I work, I can do the housework on my breaks (no way I can type for hours upon hours straight through), and then I can enjoy my family time in the evening without worrying about the dishes, laundry, etc. Maybe that is what success would mean for me!