Working from home office

Working From Home: My Tortured New Relationship

You could say I have a love-hate relationship with working from home. I’ve only been doing this for a few short weeks and I’m a ways yet from a great new groove. This is partly because it’s summer and every new week brings a different childcare situation. But my relationship with working from home (WFH) shifts far more frequently than weekly. Ha! I wish my mood would stay the same for five full workdays!

Instead, if it’s a day where my kids’ dad drops them off at camp(s) in the morning, I may be rejoicing in the awesomeness of being able to write in the early hours, make breakfast and camp lunches for the boys, shower at 8:30 and still make it back to my desk by 9:00. Holla!

But if it’s a day when I do both the drop-offs at 9 a.m. and the pick-ups starting at 3 p.m. (and, say, try to go around traffic and end up blowing past the street I need, and waste hellish amounts of time making me late for a phone meeting), then I’m all “This is bullshit!!!”

If it’s a morning where I’ve been able to get lots done and then go out to my tiny vegetable patch and pick greens for my lunch, I’ll skip back to the kitchen with a song in my heart, revelling in my liberation from commuting and the (mostly) sub-par eateries near my old office.

But if I lose a bunch of time commuting to and from a meeting, or if my youngest is interrupting me as I try to get a little work done after camp (“But I just wanted to show you my hair!”) I may be freaking out. At least on the inside. WTF, WFH! You sounded so much better on paper.

HALP! I need your tips on setting new boundaries now that there is so little no division between my work and home lives.

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Brandie Weikle

About

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here.


'Working From Home: My Tortured New Relationship' have 10 comments

  1. August 19, 2014 @ 8:06 pm Carol

    Working from home is always, well, work in progress for me. At least working from home efficiently. But I am always happy to share with you the lessons I’ve learned over the past almost 7 years at it. I think you will do great!

    Reply

    • Brandie Weikle

      August 19, 2014 @ 8:08 pm Brandie Weikle

      Thanks, Carol! I appreciate it!

      Reply

    • Brandie Weikle

      August 20, 2014 @ 10:47 am Brandie Weikle

      Thanks for your encouragement, Carol. I may just email you with a few questions sometime. Appreciate it.

      Reply

  2. August 20, 2014 @ 1:58 am Linda Ruth

    It’s tough. Remember those baby days, when the advice was “sleep when the baby is sleeping?” (Of course, it only worked – sort of – when there was a singular baby.) Now it’s the opposite – “work while the kids are occupied.” I think we can’t do this without community. When Sophie was in elementary school, we had a lunch club of five parents during the school year. Each of us had one day where we took all the kids at lunchtime – meaning we had FOUR days where we didn’t need to break our stride in the middle of the day. Trade off with the camp drop offs and pick ups with other parents in the hood, if you can. You can do it!

    Reply

  3. August 20, 2014 @ 10:26 am Gerry Power

    The French door on my office really helped. I told the kids that when it is closed, I am not interruptible. At first, I would only close it when I had phone / Skype calls. If they came by, they would see I was not available and turn around. Then, I started closing it when I had a block of work to do. Since they had already learned what the closed door meant, they would just turn around. Success!

    In the long run, I would often leave it open and enjoy the break when one of them came by. It was not unlike a colleague stopping by to chat and when working from home, you often need a reminder to take a break!

    Reply

    • Brandie Weikle

      August 20, 2014 @ 10:45 am Brandie Weikle

      That’s good advice, Gerry. Thank you.

      Reply

    • Brandie Weikle

      August 25, 2014 @ 3:09 am Brandie Weikle

      Sorry for my late reply, Gerry. Thanks for sharing, both the tips and the perspective.

      Reply

  4. August 20, 2014 @ 1:56 pm Lisa MacColl

    I’ve worked from home around my special needs daughter since she was born. On really busy days, I use the oven timer. When the timer goes off, it’s mommy-daughter time. If she interrupts before the timer goes off, then I reset the timer for the same amount of time as the interruption. It isn’t perfect, but it works. Sometimes something as simple as setting up my laptop in the same room as her stems the tide of interruption because she has company.
    And there’s only 2.5 weeks until school starts again!

    Reply

    • Brandie Weikle

      August 21, 2014 @ 3:35 am Brandie Weikle

      Those are good tips, Lisa. I may need to try the oven timer thing! Thanks!

      Reply


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