couples

"I'm jack of working at home."

You know how they say you don’t really know the meaning of true love until you have a child? Well, to some extent I disagree. I think that when you find your perfect other half, you feel that sort of true love. But, I can definitely see why people say it.

When my first born arrived, he completely changed my world. A cliche maybe, but it’s true. I gave up my full time (and full on) career and decided to be a stay at home mum for a little bit.

For the first six months, I was completely content. Then, increasingly, I felt unfulfilled. In giving up my job, I felt like I’d lost myself. I had a huge identity crisis, as my career had always been very important to me.

Careers can be tough, but thy can be very important to people. Image via iStock

And it was then that I realised I needed to do SOMETHING with my brain, to keep my finger on the pulse, help me find some balance and, above all else, keep me sane.

So, I started freelancing from home. I loved it. I could watch my little man grow, work whenever it suited me (after hours, during my son’s naps, and even in the early hours of the morning when I had pregnancy insomnia) and decide what work I really wanted to do (and what I didn’t).

But it’s now 18 months into my ‘working from home’ life. And I’m jack of it.

Now, you’re probably sitting there thinking “WHAT?! I’d give my left arm (or, as my husband would say, my left nut) to work from home”. Yes, in the minds of those that have never done it, it sounds like a dream. It’s the ideal arrangement, no? Well, not for me, not anymore.

Working from home has its perks. You can work sans-shower in your pyjamas with your feet up on the couch, grab food or a drink whenever you like, take a break to pick up your child or watch a TV show, have private conversations and get some jobs done around the house in between work tasks.

But working from home with a child (or multiple children around) is a different story. It’s a logistical puzzle. Change nappy, do a bit of work, feed child, do more work, play with child, finish that piece of work...and, inevitably, other jobs have to be done as well, such as laundry or dishwashing, which is a huge productivity killer. You lose your place more times than you can count on both hands, concentration wanes and sometimes your day just does not go to plan.

Working from home in your PJs is a dream, right? Not with children. Image via iStock
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We all know motherhood can be a lonely journey, and I’ve found that working from home just increases that isolation. I crave being in an office around like-minded professional people. I long for some headspace, sans-children, to really focus on some meaty projects. Hell, I miss the office gossip and coffee catch ups. I want to feel professional again, wearing smart clothes, meeting new people and attending events.

"I want to be back in a proper office". Image via iStock.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m super lucky to have been able to work from home for as long as I have. I’ve been there for all of my son’s (and our new daughter’s) important moments. I count myself very fortunate.

However, by the time my now four month old daughter is one year old, I’d like to be back at work in a proper office for a few days a week. Yes, I’ll probably find it a hassle to get ready each day and do the daycare hustle in a timely fashion. I know I’ll miss the heck out of my children. I’ll be sad that I miss some important moments. But I’m looking forward to being around colleagues, having somewhere to go each day and actually missing my children a bit.

So who wants to give me a job?! ;)

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