Where Does The Time Go?
It doesn’t matter whether you are self-employed or work for someone else, whether you work from home or have an actual place of work to go to, if you have children too, the work/life balance is always a tad precarious. I know how hard it is to juggle a career with having children, especially one that takes up so much of your life outside of work hours. I suppose I thought it would be easier when I worked from home, for myself.
The truth is, I don’t think it is any easier, in many ways. I no longer have childcare – I really can’t justify spending £400 a month on nursery fees when my business is in its infancy; it’s doing well, but it’s not in a place where I could just increase my outgoings by £400 a month without worrying! Besides, one of the motivating factors behind this move was to be able to spend more time with my children. So that’s full time childcare out then. Of course, Bean is at school, so that should, theoretically, give me a good chuck of time to work. Plum is only a year old though. I’ve already discounted paying for childcare at this stage and she doesn’t get her free 5 mornings at nursery for another 2 years (and besides, I’m not ready to think about that – she will go to the nursery at Bean’s school, which means in a mere two years’ time my baby will be in school uniform. I want to cry already!)
I love spending time with Plum during the day, but getting some work done whilst she naps is getting ever more difficult – she still believes sleep is for the weak. I do get to work in the studio after Bean has gone to bed, whilst Stonelaughter looks after Plum, but in winter there’s only so much I can do – I can’t spray paint in the dark!
Maybe the answer is to say that I have perhaps two days a week that are dedicated to work – pay for childcare those days and get on with work, although even that option would cost over £200 a month!
I actually started to write this post because I have realised I should be in bed. It’s just after 2am and if I’m going to do the school run and function with Plum, I need my beauty sleep. The problem is though that the house is so quiet at this time of night; it is so easy to concentrate and I find that this is when I can work on my blogs more easily. Posts flow better, designing goes quicker, planning gets umm … planned … It’s easy to get carried away though. I might look at the clock and think “right, it’s midnight, I’ll just write a cheeky blog post and go to bed” and then before I know where I am, it’s 4.30am and I’ve redesigned the blog and written half a dozen posts.
So, in the end, I suppose I’m writing about the difficulty of fitting everything in during the day, the quandry of whether to opt for childcare or not, the choice between work and sleep and wondering if I can have one of those spinny-time things that Dumbledore gave to Hermione so I can actually do all of it without sacrificing sleep, time with the kids, or work.
How do those of you who work from home manage to juggle everything? I’d love to hear what works for you.