Mimosas, a pool boy and endless hours of fun in the sun and freedom making working from home so worth it to me. Wait, no; that’s not right. I can’t do any of those things if I don’t actually get my work done. Oh, and those big checks I get seem super amazing, but they seem less than amazing come tax time since it’s my responsibility to then give a portion of my work-from-home income to the government. Oh, and I have to pay for my own retirement, too, and no one is matching that in any way, shape or form. Did I mention that I have to find my own healthcare and pay for that, too? And that it’s nowhere near affordable for me?
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying to you; working from home is the best thing that ever happened to me. For one, I feel as if I save a ton of money being home during the day. I also get to be with my kids. There is no need for me to wear pants if I’m not in the mood (the Jehovah’s Witnesses that love to ring my bell seem offended by that, but it’s my house and I can’t help that it’s made of glass most everywhere). Days like this past Friday when my 5-year-old daughter’s class had a mother’s day luncheon, I could just go without scheduling time off.
When my 2-year-old twins are crazed and in need of some confinement, I can stick them in their car seats in the middle row of my SUV, put on a movie and drive myself to Starbucks for a venti anything caffeinated and cake pops for them. They can’t break anything, climb on anything or escape in that glorious half hour. I don’t need permission. It’s liberating.
On that note, it’s also frustrating at times. Take last week as an example. It was Teacher Appreciation Week. I’m not a teacher, but my mom is, my best friend is and my favorite aunt and many of my friends are all teachers. I also have two kids in two different schools. I organized a full week of teacher appreciation gifts, asking all the parents at school for assistance. They were great donating money, but no one wanted to do any actual work, so I had to find the time to shop and create gifts and breakfast for a school filled with teachers for four days, and handle ordering a catered lunch for the fifth day. It was time-consuming, and it was a pain.
Working from home means I didn’t actually have time to do any of those things; but I had to find the time. I also spent the entire week listening to people give me their opinion of what I do, telling me they wished they could be of more help but with their one or two kids and their job, they didn’t have the time being out of the house all day long. I resisted every urge to mention that I’m up at 5 am every morning to work, spend about 10 hours of my day trying to work, taking care of 2-year-old twins, taking my two older kids to and from school, coming home long enough after school to change my kids’ clothes before taking them to their various practices and events and finally getting home, giving four kids baths, feeding them dinner and getting our house in order with my husband by 10 pm.
But, you know; I get that people who work outside the home and leave work at work are too exhausted by 6 pm after a day of work without kids to care for and with a time they get to leave whether their work is done or not. I’m home all day, so I have the time, right? Can you tell that’s a pet peeve?
Working from home is amazing, but it is not for everyone. For one, there are some serious drawbacks you have to consider before you take on a job like this. That’s aside from the fact that everyone assumes you’re rich and you spend all day shopping and enjoying life to the fullest without actually working. If you want to work from home, be sure you can handle these things first.
Being volunteered for everything
From babysitting to running other people’s errands to play dates to this and that and the other, people who work outside the home will spend the rest of their lives actually volunteering you for every single thing since ‘you’re home all day long’ and they don’t actually, honestly believe you are busier than they.
Paying for things yourself
If you don’t have the discipline to pay your own taxes every quarter, to save for retirement and to pay for your own insurance, this might not be the right career choice for you. These things are not paid for you when you work from home if you are your own boss. It’s something you have to do, or you will suffer substantially in the long run.
Your work equipment
I’ve been working from home for 8 years. The first time my computer broke and I was without one and realized that I had to replace it myself, I was horrified. I was so used to someone else just handling those things once I told them that there was an issue. Suddenly I was working for me and very responsible for my own office equipment and supplies.
The biggest key to success working from home is discipline. Do I want to get up at 5 am every single morning to work? No; I don’t. I want to sleep in with the rest of my family. However, if I don’t, then I don’t get to spend any time with my kids throughout the day. They’re 2; they need me. That two hours of work makes it possible for me to have a little bit of time throughout the day to spend with them when they are not napping. I’d love to also be able to pick up and go to lunch with my girlfriends, but that is time I need to work if I want to be finished in time to get my kids from school and spend family time with them and my husband when we all get home.
Working from hom is amazing, and it has a number of benefits. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all beach days and liquid lunches. It takes hard work, dedication and a very strict budget to be able to make this lifestyle work. Some people are not cut out for it.
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