You thought that working from home was the ideal solution to your crazy daycare and commuting routine. You discussed it with your partner for weeks, spent hours convincing your boss, and her boss, and here you are in your pajamas two months later wondering what you've done. The house is a wreck. There are dishes in the sink. You haven't had a shower in what seems like days (it was only yesterday). The dirty laundry has piled up so high that it spills out the door of the laundry room … and the baby's crying … and the phone's ringing … and that project is due!
How could such a great idea, that works perfectly for so many others, be such a disaster for you?
Take a deep breath! Let it out slowly.
The truth is, most first-time telecommuters or from-home contractors experience complications in the first few months. Many do not realize that their commute time indeed was productive in a way because they could plan and focus in their heads so that they can start right in a soon as they reach the office (after that cup of coffee, though). At home, you tend to jump right in, directly after you've thrown in a load of laundry, the baby's fed—and you hope will play happily for the next 45 minutes—and do the dishes. The first few days go so great that you feel entirely productive. You got more work done because you didn't have that side trip to daycare on your commute to the office.
Within a few weeks or so, however, this house of cards tumbles down. Now, you not only have a chaotic household, but you're also feeling less productive than you did in the first week and you hope no one wants to Skype because you don't look or feel like the professional you once were.
Get back that commute time
Reclaim your commute time. Even though the commute is only from your kitchen to your home office, take back the 20-30 minutes you need to get your head in the game. Sit down with that extra cup of coffee and mentally run through your to-do list.
When managing a workload with at-home parenting, control the time baby is asleep or occupied by focusing entirely on work. The baby doesn't mind you folding laundry while he's awake. Do household chores when you're in mommy or daddy mode, but as soon as the baby is asleep or with someone else, focus only on work.
Your original plan was a good one. It will work, just a little differently than you'd planned.
If your home isn’t suited to a home office, ask your real estate professional to show you some options in your neighborhood.