When we tell people we both work from home, it’s usually met with a healthy amount of curiosity. What do you guys do? Who works when? Which one watches the kids? And I totally get it. It’s taken us a good few years to get to a place where our work-from-home schedule feels effective and like it blends well with our family life. And especially in the last few months, with adding a newborn to the mix, it’s become even more important for us to hammer out a schedule.
When Henry was born and we were working from home, we kind of winged it. And for a while, it worked. We would just kind of pass the kid back and forth, and whoever didn’t have him would grab some time to get work done. When Henry got a little older and needed more from us (hello, toddlerhood!), that stopped working. We realized we needed some help, and we found a wonderful little daycare school for him for three mornings a week. He loves it and it has helped him thrive. A little time away from us has been great for him (and for us too!).
After Maggie was born, we decided to set ourselves a work schedule. I was feeling overwhelmed because no matter what I was doing, I felt like I was shortchanging something. Kids, work, the house, Ryan. So we sat down and wrote out a schedule of which one of us was in charge of the kids. Seriously, this one little paper has organized our lives.
I know that sometimes I speak in superlatives, but I’m being completely serious when I say that this simple schedule is organizing our lives. Before we tried it, I would just feel guilty all day long. If I was with the kids, I would feel guilty that I wasn’t working. If I was working, I would feel guilty that I wasn’t with the kids. And everything always got only half of my attention. But this way, I know that I can be 100% wherever I am (which was another goal for the year), because I can see what time I have and where.
We each get one full work day, and the other days are split in half – one of us works until lunch and the other works after lunch. And whoever is working is treated like they’re away at work. If Ryan is in the studio and I have the kids, we just function as though he’s not home. On the flip side, whoever has the kids is fully focused on them, so that they’re not being shortchanged with parents who are always checking their phones or slipping away to write an email. On the days that I have the kids, I can plan playdates or outings. And on my big workday I usually plan larger projects, with more writing or editing on my half days.
I know that this schedule is still limiting. I know that I’ll never be one of those creatives who is working 24/7 and pumping out huge photo shoots or crazy content. But I also know how INSANELY lucky we are to be able to work, be with our kids, be in our own home, and support our family. It’s such a blessing during this season with our family, having such young and tender kiddos. So no matter how busy or jam-packed a day gets, I’m always grateful for that.
But I digress! Do you work from home? Do you work and also watch the kids? I would love to know how you organize your time, or if you are in the winging-it club. Let me know! xoxo