While I love working from home, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns for sure. I am so much busier than I ever was when I worked full time at an office.
I wasn’t prepared to be this busy.
I didn’t realize how much downtime I had at my office job until I worked from home. Just the lunch hour alone is amazing to remember. Providing engaging and enriching opportunities for my children while maintaining friendships so neither I nor the kids are isolated is a lot of work. Then adding on the other things such as meal planning, shopping, cooking, doing the bare minimum of cleaning, and then working means I am way busier now than I was when I was paid for full time work.
My house is so much messier!
My house is also messier because people are here all the time. I never considered how when I was gone all day and only home in time for dinner and a couple of hours before bed, the house looks different than when I’m here all day every day with children. More dishes, more mess, more use of utilities, and more pressure to keep things up because I’m here so I have to look at it.
I feel pressure to be a good housewife, and I hate it.
Though I know I’m pulling more than my fair share, I still fight nagging feelings that I should be doing more at home since I only work part time. Only, ha! I have to remind myself that before I paid hundreds of dollars for childcare, and I just can’t hold myself to the same productivity standards without that kind of support.
I had to work hard to make friends.
I’ve made good connections and friends, but all that took a lot of time and effort, especially since I’m an introvert. It was also a big shift for me to make friends outside of my typical demographic. Before, I worked on a university campus for a decade. These were not the moms at story time. I often felt older, less traditional, and different in a lot of ways. Now two years into it, I’ve found moms I can relate to, including other work from home moms or moms who have shift work. The story time moms are definitely not the monolith they felt like when I first appeared, so now I try hard to be a welcoming mom to others looking to reach out, especially those transitioning out of full-time work.
We have less money.
Part-time means part income. For what we sacrifice in savings, college funds, etc., I at least feel like I make up in my sanity and happiness which apparently came at a cost of half of my previous salary. I don’t focus on the reduction in income when comparing working full-time versus part-time. While we could afford more things on the surface with a full-time salary, we’d also have to pay for full-time childcare for two kids which would eat up a lot of money. Then, with us both working full-time, we likely would have less time and energy to enjoy the money.
Though all these things at times can weigh me down, I remind myself it’s temporary. As my children age, they will be more self-sufficient and able to contribute more substantially. In 3 short years when they are both school-age, I could transition to 75% or even 100% employment status. Then everything will change again.