Sigh! Have you ever had a time in your life where you were a combination of Eeyore and Giselle at the very same time. I have shared my family’s journey over the past few months with you all with the ups and downs of having my hubby come to run a business out of our home, unplanned, and been very blessed to have so much love and support pour in via email and messages. First and foremost, thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and understanding as my family transitioned through this period in our lives in what was uncharted territory for us.
In the recent weeks, one of my husband’s large clients that he was able to secure in his new business brought him a business opportunity out of the blue that was too good to pass up. It would mean engineering projects that my husband has only dreamed about, a high paying wage, AND benefits PLUS vacation time, all of which he had to give up 5 years ago at his last full time job that he worked dedicatedly at for 7 years. Needless to say, this decision was an easy one and one that my family needed to support him in. So, he will have another hour long commute both directions five times a week and be able to keep his business doors open. I am a firm believer that in life you have to sometimes go through things, which the last 4 months have taught me all too well, in order to end at that sweet spot in life. Let’s face it, if my hubby hadn’t gone through all of these stages and our family hadn’t been put through the preverbal ringer my hubby may never have ever found this dream job and his happiness makes it all worthwhile.
If you read the remainder of this article and think I am selfish, uncaring, or unloving towards my husband you are very wrong as it is quite the opposite. I am just going to tell it to you all like it was and is. This article is my way of letting go, Elsa’s phrase she has trademarked, of everything from the good to the bad that has resulted in my husband working from home while we homeschool and I run my own business from the home all at the same time while trying to have a personal life as well. Working from home is not for everyone, every marriage, or every family as it can be a challenge to juggle the work/life balance.
So grab my hand and let me take you down my memory lane in a funny light hearted way about the pro’s and con’s of having my hubby, whom I adore, work from home full time.
What I will NOT miss about my husband no longer working full time out of our home:
The Interruptions (Oh my are there interruptions!): Seriously, he interrupts just about everything I do throughout the day. He turns on the video game system in the middle of their doing chores or a school project and then scratches his head as to why they are distracted. Even when I send him on errands to the grocery store or to mail packages for one of our businesses he will text me about “What do you think about this new drink from Starbuck’s?” to which my response is “It looks ok.” and it goes on and on with “K” and “Ok” and “Just checking” responses all while I am teaching the kids lessons or in the middle of working after school. His timing is impeccable and he has perfected interruptions without question. It was worse than having two toddlers in the house, for real!
But That Was MY Delivery Guy!: If you work from home or live rural, both of which get a check mark in my book, you cherish that delivery driver that goes out of their way to wait for your packages that you forgot to tape up properly or that goes the extra mile to ring your door bell and tell you that you have to alter something so that the package does not come right back to you. I have worked years to cultivate said relationship with our rural driver, and provided many home baked cookies, which makes such a difference when missing the boat or mislabeling a package means having to drive a half an hour into our small town just to ship the package out to a client on time. Within a few weeks of coming to work from home my hubby took it upon himself to run out the front door and talk with the driver and become besties. I will not sugar coat things here folks. He straight up took my driver from me for his business!
He is loud: Oh my goodness is he loud! He was not only loud on his phone calls and internet conferences with clients but he would get off the phone or out of meeting and just make everyone in the household speaking volumes go up by about 10 times, including the dogs. So our once rather quite household had become like a loud Wiggles concert. Then I had to quiet the kids and dogs, whose volume levels went from a 3 to a 10 when he walked into a room, while he was on a business phone call which is a darn near impossible task at times since he had also just given the kids a big bowl of ice cream for snack before leaving for his work call.
The Judgement … Oh My The Judement!: If you have a work from home spouse you will probably know what I mean by this statement. Between running a household, taking care of the kids and animals, and school lessons running an online business I have to squeeze in my work time quite literally whenever I can find small chunks of time. Here’s how it went:
- Clean the house for an hour.
- Jumped on the computer to field a few quick tech support questions and he walks down the stairs from his office mentally noting that I was on the computer.
- I then did an hour and half of group work in our homeschool lessons. They were then each assigned independent work where I make myself available and in the same room but they primarily work to complete this assignment or report on their own since we will have group work again after lunch. Yep you guessed it, he came down stairs to get a cup of soda and noted that I was on the computer again.
The day seriously went on and on like this, like most days, where there were eye rolls and the dreaded comment “Every time I saw you today you were on the computer or telephone.” I was actually only on the computer for a half hour the entire morning since I woke up but in his mind I was on there for hours. Yep, these were the moments when I had to hold myself back from my family room turning into a scene from the Mean Girls movie.
The Native Mama In Her Natural Habitat: Even though my hubby and I have been married for almost 12 years and been best friends for 14 years there are certain things that you just simply do not pay close attention to until you are stuck together all the time. For instance, I confess … I pluck my eyebrows. I do and have since I was a teenager. This is not a secret or something that I do not think my hubby knew already; however, I would go to my vanity area when no one was in sight and everyone was busy doing their own things to well, do my own thing and pluck a few grey hairs, yes I do believe this experience has made me have to take stock in my favorite hair color company. That is when my hubby would appear out of nowhere like Jeff Corwin watching and examining an animal in their wild habitat. He would watch intently as I plucked every stray hair. Then look at me with that bewildered stare.
Stella Lost Her Groove: One of the many things that make my hubby and I so compatible is that we level and equal one another out. He is the serious yet outgoing worker while I am the serious yet creative worker. Like any creative thinker I literally get woken up with projects, ideas, etc. and write them down in my handy dandy notebook, that reference is for any old school Blue Clue’s fans out there. Well, my hubby in his lending a hand helpfulness moved my notebook. Hey, he dusted the shelf he would argue with a tissue since that is easily on hand and disposable making clean up a breeze. Then not remember where he placed it. Then continue talking to me about I don’t even know what while I am frantically writing down and trying to remember what it was that was a great idea that I had, after two children, 6 dogs, a husband, and all of that hair spray from my late 80’s hair styles let’s face it, my memory is simply not what it used to be. Now what was my point that I was going to make in this part of the article?
Saying Hello: I missed the excitement in the household knowing that my hubby was driving up the driveway after an entire day away from him. I missed him telling me all about his day, listening to the kids tell him about their days and what they learned, and the general love fest that followed him walking through the front door. So I often made him get in our SUV and drive down the dirt road to the farmers and turn around and we would pretend he was gone all day. The kids thought this was hilarious, however I am sure that I will be asked to pay the therapy bills when they are older and their future spouses shake their heads and inform them that this is NOT normal and only crazy people do this.
What I will miss whole heartedly about my husband working full time out of our home:
The Coffee!!!: I am an avid coffee drinker. However, I try not to drink coffee after a certain time in the afternoon or I find that I just simply have trouble falling asleep when it is bed time. Like any busy mom knows there are many days when you just lose track of time, school lessons run over, you get involved with playing with the dogs outside, etc. and by the time you look up at the clock you missed your window of opportunity by about 2 hours. Sigh! My sweet husband, albeit not an on time type of person, would like clockwork appear out of nowhere with a warm cup of coffee at just the right time every day. This was like love in a cup people!
So That’s What School Lessons Are Like: He was able to participate and engage with the kids in school lessons here or there when his work load allowed it. Even though we have been homeschooling with purpose since our son was 3 ½ he had never seen a lesson in all of its paint splattered clay in your hair glory. This time is something that we will all miss but that I know he will cherish forever.
Every Day Is A Family Day: Seriously, this is what it is all about. All the minor stuff aside every single day is a family day creating lasting memories without having to carve out vacation time to do so. Hugs are plentiful and love is all around. And even every meal was together and we did everything together.
Not Waiting For Return Phone Calls: I dread going back to the days of old when he texts or calls me throughout a work day but I am in the middle of a school lesson. So I text or call him back when I am free and he is then in a meeting. That dance happens all day long without fail. Time to call the cell phone company and change our plan. It was sublime to be able to connect all throughout the day without the need to wait around for the timing to be just right in both our days.
The Best Of Both Worlds: I was able to watch my hubby create a business from the ground up and succeed at a rapid rate. That was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget! I was able to be his wife, best friend, secretary, graphic designer, and all around Jill of all trades when he needed me the most.
Say Goodbye: Sigh! I hate saying goodbye for an entire day in the mornings. Bottom line is that he is my best friend and despite all of the above mentioned hair pulling antics that have occurred the last half a year I don’t want to usher him out the door five days a week. Perhaps if I hang onto his leg like the kids do he will have to stay? Or maybe there is a bring your spouse to work day? No?! Next thing you tell me will be that you actually have to work at work. Well, then sweet notes in his briefcase will have to do for now until we win the lottery. Which by the way will never happen since you have to buy a ticket to play. Even though it is the same odds to win apparently.
How many of you have or have had a work from home spouse and can relate to the above situations?
P.S. This article has been approved by my former work from home hubby. No feelings were hurt in the writing of this article; however, a few first drafts of this article may have been thrown at one another. If you write an article similar to this and find yourself in a wadded up paper snowball fight that results in a paper cut I am not to blame. Proceed with this article at your own risk because it may cause: irritability, sleeplessness, extreme soda consumption, the good old stink eye, white shirts to be turned pink in the wash, toothbrushes being hidden, etc .