Since 1987 — when we had our first child — I’ve been working from home. Yes, I’ve been a mom and a homemaker, but I’ve also run a home business, so that’s home work on top of home work. With a business degree from college, the entrepreneurial spirit is deep in my soul and being home allowed me to delve in without the negative impact being gone most of the day would have.
When my kids were young, I would simply work when they slept. Naptime and a child’s relatively early bedtime gave me ample time to work and learn new skills. But as the kids got older, they slept less and didn’t necessarily require less attention — just different kinds of attention.
We homeschool. Yes, you can read that as my kids are home the seven hours each day, 180 days per year most kids are not at home. So I’m rarely ever alone. If you’re working from home — homeschooling or not — you might be tempted to rent some Calgary apartments to set up shop in another country so you can get some needed alone time. Instead, I found it best to incorporate my kids right into my business life.
My office and the “homeschool room” are one big room, by design. When we built the house, I wanted it that way. I get the kids working on their school projects at a table on one wall and then I work on my business projects at my desk on the opposite wall. If they need help or direction (or want to talk or read or play a game), I attend to it.
Multi-tasking is kind of a myth. There is lost time switching gears. But actually being here with my kids, paying attention to them, helping them, teaching them is well worth that bit of lost work productivity. They learn a lot by seeing what I do and learning how to make a living. I learn a lot about them and know what they are doing. They learn skills of independence and get a fabulous education with lots of time to delve into their own interests. Win win.