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This is just a dream, for now. I want to be present in my home, my cooking, my family, and have a social life. What I mean by “present” is being able to focus on and give my attention to all these things. It can be hard to wear several hats and be expected to be in different places, at the same time. I believe this is just the way it is for moms. But, I also believe it doesn’t have to be that way. My dream is to work within my home, to live on a somewhat managed schedule with time for everything, including what I want to do and love to do.
I’m guessing this is a shared dream for most people, even non-parents. Rather than being stuck in an office from 8 to 5 with lost time traveling and picking up kids, imagine the freedom of scheduling doctors appointments during the work day, other than your lunch hour. Imagine getting your errands accomplished and still finding time after to pull those pesky weeds from your garden or flower bed. Imagine additional time for a hobby, time for activities with your kids, and evenings with friends. Okay, now add a paycheck. It could happen.
I consider this the life of a “house employee.” This is what is available for those with an aptitude for ignoring the television and their overwhelming lack of personal drive and self discipline. A structured schedule helps to set a routine into place and the routine is necessary if the house employee expects to get any work accomplished. But, it can be done. If done correctly, it can set in motion a trend for others to follow opening up opportunities for others who share this crazy dream.
A big set back to requesting to work from home is the current, negative examples set by others who have tried it. Yet, business owners do it all the time, successfully. I believe the variable that makes a difference is ownership. Business owners are aware that they will not see a profit if they don’t put in the time and attention. House employees, on the other hand, slack off. They can be less efficient and waste time because they know no one is watching. They clock in and out regardless of whether or not they are doing the work.
A solution could be for employers to pay their employees by the task, rather than by the hour. Additionally, if the employee is using company equipment or accessing the companies server, their activity can be tracked. The employee can even allow for remote access to their company for periodic “check-ins”. These can both take time from the employer and time is money. However, paying per job to employees who are willing to work from home can save the company money. Even employees in the office slack off talking, playing solitaire, and shopping online. They still do these things on company time.
What I’ve mentioned so far, is just my argument to try to accomplish my personal dreams. I have two children and a third on the way. I work full time in an office and fight daily to leave exactly at 3:25 pm to get to my daughter’s school before she’s taken to “the office”, where kids wait for “late parents”. Then it’s another race against traffic and time to arrive at a daycare center to pick up my son. If’ I arrive after 3:45 pm, I get lectured on the difference of paying double tuition because we have part time care and the extra few minutes is pushing into full time hours.
Because I am the first to arrive home, it’s my job to figure out “what’s for dinner”. I hate stories about the old time German and Italian moms who started their day with meal planning so they could have something on the oven, slow-cooking and simmering the day away with an amazing traditional family recipe. Given my schedule and the amount of time I have for cooking, my family is lucky if dinner doesn’t come from a pre-mixed, packaged meal-in-box, with a “just add chicken” special. Every night I hope that the leftovers will at least be appealing enough for my packed office lunch… YUCK!
When I do arrive at home, after work the chores begin immediately. We at least, let the dogs outside and hopefully feed them something. Then it’s time to sort through mail, homework, the family and friend updates or invites (that we probably won’t get to attend or not have enough time to bring a covered dish), and so on. Because I try to be a good mom, I also try to follow some sort of routine with my kids while trying to work in something, every now and then, that is special or different to break up routine. How on earth do I have time to visit a park or a library? Honestly, I still don’t know.
To solve these problems and to realize my dream, the solution should be a flexible schedule that allows me to work between jobs and give me the most amount of freedom to balance my time. If employees could work all day, NOT in a 8 to 10 hour marathon but instead in several short sprints, I believe we could output more creativity, focus, and effort into our tasks. If I did’t waste the last fifteen to twenty minutes of the day, staring at a time clock, I could instead manage the many tasks I have to complete daily.If you happen to read this, thank you and best of luck with your own dreams.