A mother works from home


All Parents Have Issues, No Matter Where They Work

May 2, 2019

If you're a working mom like me, you'll probably agree: we all have our struggles.

Whether you work out of the office and have to juggle schedules after being away from home most of the week, or you work from your house and have the stress of managing your professional and personal home lives, nothing comes easily.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been very lucky to have the luxury of a work-from-home routine, which is definitely more flexible than an office job. When my kindergartener has a school concert or a doctor’s appointment, I can switch things around to accommodate quite easily. However, a pretty common misconception is that I’m home painting my nails and watching daytime television most days. It’s quite the opposite: some days, I feel busier than if I was just at an office working.

Relevant Reading: This Is What It Feels Like When Other Stay-At-Home Parents Go Back To Work

The Office Gossip Versus Being Alone 

It’s easy to get caught up in the watercooler talk… and it can be annoying, too. One of the things I despised about the corporate world was the senseless gossip that always seemed to be floating around. However, working from home can be lonely. If I don’t have any phone interviews to do, I find myself only interacting with my five-year-old and husband for days on end. It was worse when he was a baby and the extent of my bantering involved “goo goo” and “ga ga.” I missed grown-up outside conversation. And I’ll admit: I also yearned for some yammering about The Bachelor with co-workers.

Packed Lunches Versus Being Tempted By Everything 

When I worked downtown, I hated being surrounded by all those yummy greasy spoon eateries and being subjected to my lukewarm Tupperware leftovers. But then again, when your home office is right next to your kitchen, it’s easy to munch and munch and munch. It can be very distracting having an endless supply of snacks within arm’s reach, and you can end up losing time prepping food (I’ll have a hankering for an omelette and suddenly lose a half-hour of time cooking). 

Business Attire Versus Living in PJs

What’s the worst part about working outside the home? Maintaining appearances. While my industry is pretty chill, they certainly wouldn’t approve of my work-from-home ensemble (faded comfy leggings, oversized sweaters and fuzzy socks). Days on end can go by without me putting on a stitch of makeup or anything that closely resembles an outfit. And this can be pretty depressing. Having an excuse to put yourself together a bit can be uplifting and good for your overall mood. This is something I need to make an effort to do when I work from home.

Relevant Reading: How I Keep My Sanity As a Stay-At-Home Parent

Being Distracted By Not Being at Home Versus Being Distracted By Everything at Home 

I remember my office days, thinking about the fridge that had nothing in it but a box of baking soda and all my other to-dos. And nevermind all the home projects piling up. I had wished I had more home time to get things done. However, now that I am home all the time, it’s hard to stick to actual work and not get pulled into loads of laundry and cleaning bathrooms. The oven timer goes off, the doorbell rings, the dryer buzzes. And none of these distractions aren’t conducive to working.

People Thinking You're Busy Versus People Thinking You're Hanging Out at Home Watching The View

Every time a friend is home sick, they think, “Oh, I’ll call Jenn — she’s home.” You get invites to lunches when people are in your area, and out-of-towners automatically assume you’ll be their personal weekday tour guide. It doesn't necessarily occur to them that I’m home working. I have just as many to-dos in my home office agenda as an office worker. When you work in a corporate setting, colleagues can see that you’re busy and will avoid interrupting. But when you're working at home, you have to be very strict with yourself and your friends if you're going to keep on schedule.

Do you prefer working at home or working out of an office? Let me know in the comments below!

Article Author Jennifer Cox
Jennifer Cox

Read more Jennifer here.

Jennifer Cox is the mama behind the Whoa Mama! YouTube channel, where she shares her craft and DIY projects at home. She is also the mama of a three-year old. She is a self-proclaimed addict of kid’s books (she reviews them for MyMList.com in their Little Readers section), and she admits to spending way too much time after her son goes to bed scouring Pinterest. She's also written for Today's Parent, Parents Canada, SweetMama, Babygaga, Today's Bride and more.

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