I recently published (and have since removed) a post about the fact that I struggle to find the time to fundraise – mostly because I’m also trying to maintain a business behind the scenes. One of the difficulties work at home parents face is that when you work from home, people tend to forget that sometimes, you have to work.
This can apply to parents, friends, acquaintances. And part of the problem is that being lucky enough to have the opportunity of working from home means I regularly find myself justifying it. Essentially, I’m my own worst enemy. For example, it’s not unusual to hear the following from me:
‘Yes, it’s hard; but I’m so lucky to be at home with the children that I really can’t complain!’
And that’s totally true. BUT – people sometimes seem to forget that fitted – or squeezed – in around being a full time carer to two small human beings, I also have a job to do.
That despite the joy of being accountable for both my children almost 100% of the time, I am also 100% accountable for my business.
And I have to maintain both alongside one another.
What’s the One Thing All Work at Home Parents MUST Do to Succeed?
Yet I am the person who is at home, and therefore I can go without the extra pair of hands – because I’m flexible. Alas, no matter how much I wish otherwise, my flexibility does not stretch to a superpower enabling me to bend the laws of physics and increase the time in which to fit my work. And it’s rarely my turn for those extra pair of hands because there’s always somebody else with a more pressing need, apparently.
The Reality of Being a Work at Home Parent
I am the person who can carry out a favour because I’m my own boss, and set my own hours. But people seem to forget that if I have a deadline, then on occasion I may have to impose strict working hours upon myself to get the job done. Such as after my 8pm dinner, before I collapse into bed and start the baby night shift. Because that’s still a reality of life at nearly 14 months; in fact, just a few weeks ago I was averaging five nightly wakings. Per child. I wish I was kidding.
This isn’t a complaint, as such; I chose this life after all, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s intended more as a gentle reminder to those of us who inspire remarks such as:
- ‘I don’t know how you do it’;
- ‘You must be exhausted’;
- ‘I couldn’t do what you do’…
If we’re caring full time for our little people and holding down a job too, then we probably agree with all of those sentiments.
So pretty, pretty please, ask somebody else to give up their time for you and occasionally find time to offer us some proper help rather than the half-hearted effort which doesn’t actually offer us much of a reprieve. Trust me, the temptation to spend time recreationally rather than battling to find that extra hour to work? It’s strong!
But the drive to succeed (to tell all the naysayers they were wrong and that we can have it all) – wins every time.
And that means we must hit our deadlines and impress our clients just as much as those who work traditional hours in an office, sometimes more so – and at any cost. Having our nearest and dearest on board and supporting our nigh-on impossible task means the world.