Working from home parent style

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Working from home parent style

So, me and my sister have found ourselves working from home together. The ultimate flexible working dream. We officially have it all. The benefit of almost zero commute bar the school walk at 08:20, decent coffee and biscuits on tap, delicious lunches, own choice of music, no irritating colleagues or tyrannical bosses  (c’mon we’ve all had them!) except… Well… babies. For some reason unbeknown to either of us, we both after having our eldest children practically independent (well in junior school at least) decided to have another baby in the last 20 months.  Lucy did it first and I followed suit 10 months later.  Obviously, we both love and adore our respective womb fruits but my God,  I think we forgot how demanding they are and the last time we didn’t decide to leave our jobs and start up a new business either!

We’re not and were never realistically expecting to be able to work from home whilst at the same time looking after the babies as it’s just impossible. For proof of this see the image alongside this article. That photo was taken when we had both been talking shop and got carried away forgetting for 20 minutes (yes that happened in 20 mins!) that one person was supposed to be watching the children. The plan is always one works while the other is clown/ nurse/nanny/mum/educator on how to use a fork without poking your cousin in the eye. The bigger plan is we get them into childcare as soon as we can but just maybe the childcare regime won’t need to be as rigid as it would if we were working 9-5 and we could practise what we preach and have some flexible working and work life balance harmony going on.

Fact is you have to be incredibly disciplined and pretty much super human to try and do it all at the same time and words like mumpreneur (bleeeuuughhh hate that word) really don’t help. I don’t believe you can always be 100% perfect at either the parenting or the other job you do and sacrifices still have to be made. I also believe that it’s ok not to be perfect and that no one is. We’re so used to viewing everything through a filter. It can be lonely and it can feel like you’re the only one struggling for perfection and nowhere else does that ring more true than if you’re a parent who decided to work from home. It can be wonderful (and it is and I’m so grateful) but it can be really hard too. There are plenty of inspirational stories out there I just think it would be nice to know sometimes that you’re not alone when it’s a struggle too. A little solidarity and a little bit of honesty goes a long way.

At Works Diverse we’re huge advocates of flexible working and employees having the best work-life balance that they can. One of the objections we can sometimes get around working from home is that it can lead to isolation and this is true it sometimes can. After all some of the best ideas and the most pleasure can come from collaboration around the water cooler or over a cup of tea on a new idea and that can be missed when you’re working sedentary at home full time. Video conferencing like skype, facetime, messenger or whatsapp, can help bridge the gap but scheduling in some time for a brainstorming video call can feel a bit forced especially if communicating that way is something you’re not used to doing in a work capacity. There are a number of different solutions that we suggest and its quite dependant on the business, but one that I think works quite well is to get in the habit of having a daily facetime or video call with peers and managers as well as having face to face meetings as often as you can.  Oh, and if you happen to be working at home and looking after two under twos don’t get distracted too much or you too could end up with a house like this!

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Christie Haggis

Christie Haggis

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About Works Diverse

Works Diverse Ltd is a company based in the UK providing a certification service for businesses to show their commitment to a fairer, more equal and diverse workplace and business.

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