Last week we were all stuck at home due to a lengthy visit from winter storm Pax. (Side note: "Pax" means kiss of peace, which made it one of the most horribly named storms ever.) Since I work for a business that doesn't close due to weather, that meant I was working from home. And my son was home from school. And those two things are not meant to mix.Image by Shawn Campbell
For the most part, my son was really well behaved. Sure, he wanted to talk on the phone to my coworkers every time I was on a conference call, and he dumped his Lego bricks out a few times in the background (man, those things are loud!) But, overall, he was really well behaved and didn't interrupt me, even when I had to work a bit later than usual to get something done.
But here's my problem: When I am at work; I think about work. When I am at home; I try to stay focused on family life. So, when I work from home, my head doesn't know what to do, and I get a little grumpy and feel as though my life is off-balance.
I'm not alone in that feeling, and science is there to back me up on this (thanks, science!): A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology has found that women in particular should not mix money-related activities (like work) with spending time with their children. Mixing them together causes women to report being unhappier as a parent.
This feeling is reinforced by a British study which shows that moms feel more guilt in general about their work/life balance. We moms have guilt about spending too much time at work and then not being good employees when we are needed by our families. It's time to let go of our guilt and just try to enjoy our lives.
Did we have fun last week? Yes: I enjoyed using my lunch break to help my son build a snowman and walk through the neighborhood talking about the different stages of water. Was it a hard week for me? Yes: I really felt bad when I couldn't pay attention to my son because I had to finish a project or jump on a call. But, I got through it, and now life is separated again and back to its semi-normal state.
What about you? Do you ever work from home while your little ones are around? How do you balance your attention? Tell me in the comments at Sorry, Mom. I didn't listen.
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