Want to work from home? Consider these challenges…

computer-15812_640As a freelance writer and editor, I have the ability to work from home. I frequently have deadlines, which I can typically meet. There are times, when I’m struggling with a particular piece, that the deadline seems closer than it is. It seems to be during those times when my children require the most attention. It’s as if they sense my level of stress rising and they wish to push it over the edge.

If you’ve ever considered working from home, take some time to reflect upon a few things. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How do you react to stress? Do you reach for ‘comfort food’ to soothe your soul? If this is the case, working from home could lead to tremendous weight gain, depending on your level of self-discipline.
  2. Speaking of self-discipline, how do you rate? If you have an important project that requires attention and your favourite tv show is on, where does your priority lie? Keeping focus on the big picture is a major aspect of being your own boss.
  3. If you have young children likely to be around while you’re working, how do you plan to keep them occupied? Timing also comes into play here. Avoid beginning a project near your children’s typical breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack times. In the case of my children, they can eat their weight equivalent in food (maybe only a slight exaggeration, but not much). I won’t even look at my projects until each of my boys have had their fill. Even then, my window of opportunity is approximately two hours, so I must work quickly and furiously.
  4. Are you a Social Media addict? While working on an article, sales letter, email reply, whatever your business requires, keeping that Facebook tab open may be a bad idea. The temptation to check and see if anyone’s responded to your last post can be difficult to resist for some people.

These are only a few aspects of the work at home experience that must be considered. Are you someone who works from home? What challenges have you faced?

 

 

 

Testing the limits – staying calm with your preschooler

If you’ve ever watched a scene from an old western, featuring the ‘bad guy’ and the ‘good guy’ in a showdown, you’ll have a sense of the recent 90 minute standoff I endured with my preschooler. This particular event would test the patience of even the most saintly person. Although I do admire his staying power, mine is equally as strong. Backing down was not an option for this mommy, so we continued the dance. As his parent, it is my job – my God given directive – to teach and guide my child. He must understand that when you make a mess, you clean it up. This lesson has both practical and metaphorical applications, which I’ll leave you to ponder.

Through deep breathing, a technique learned in prenatal classes (who knew it would come in handy after the baby exited your body!), the screaming lunatic I call crazy mommy was kept at bay. There were certainly a few tense moments, when I thought my resolve may crack. Like I stated before, my son’s stubborn streak is admirable. This character trait will bode well for him as he navigates through the business world, should he choose that career route. It will also benefit him, should he decide to pursue professional sports. However, at this particular juncture in his life journey – being 3 years old and forced to abide by the guidelines of the household he finds himself in – his strength of character seems to cause him no end of frustration.

One has to feel some pity for a child’s lot in life. They don’t choose their parents (another philosophical debate, I suppose), they don’t choose if they have siblings or where they live. In some households, children are provided with some choices, such as what to wear, what to eat and what to play with. This allows a child some semblance of control over their environment, which any human strives for. Being a child, however, control over most things is limited, except in three main areas: If they sleep, if they eat and whether or not they allow their natural body functions to occur (pooping and peeing).

Knowing your child as well as you do, you make a daily judgement call – do you put away the toys scattered on the floor or do you steel yourself for a potential standoff? Depends on your patience level in that moment. Whichever decision you make, the follow through is the most important piece. As it is in most life decisions. Another philosophical discussion for another day and another blog post…