People often ask me how I manage work-life balance when I’m working from home with little children demanding attention. I have no idea, because when I started working from home my kids were already teenagers so I didn’t have to deal with that kind of situation. However, my friend Chiquita Elaine who has two adorable little children kindly shared her days as a freelance translator. Here are some of her stories.
When you work from home, simple things such as making a phone call with your client can be tricky. Can you imagine making an important call with the sound of children babbling/crying/fighting in the background? So, I usually go upstairs and lock myself in the bedroom when taking a call, after making deadly threats to my kids, of course. I once told my kids that they are strictly not allowed to follow me upstairs when I’m in a call, unless someone is dying.
This backfired spectacularly when my then 6-year old boy banged the door with all his might, screaming “Moooom, I’m soooo huuuuungry, I’m dyiiiiing. Are you done yet? How many more minutes?”
My instruction has become more and more specific over time. I once told them that unless a) someone is bleeding or b) there is a fire, they have to stay put. To which my son answered, “What if someone gets electrocuted?”
My 6-year old slammed the door yelling, “I HATE your clients! Why can’t you stop having more and more clients?” and she ended up crying in her room for more than half an hour, while I still have 3 more IPOs and 2 80-page-ish agreements to juggle.
It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, but I hope my kids can one day understand that I work hard for them, and yes, for my self-esteem and sanity as well. There is a sense of satisfaction that money can’t buy when you do your job well or when your clients are happy and feel that you are helping them.
Yes, it is not always rainbows and butterflies but it sure is a joyride and I’m loving every second of it!
D2: Mom, I think we have to go on a holiday.
Me: I know, honey. But I’m swamped right now. Let’s wait until I don’t have too much work to do, OK?
D2: I know, just bring your laptop. You can borrow Daddy’s internet, and you can work on the plane, or in the hotel room. Or we can find a Starbucks. It has wi-fi, right? And I can play or swim with Darrel and Daddy, you know. So can we go next week?
Do you have hilarious stories about working from home with little ones nagging you but you heroically managed to complete the task on time with unrivaled quality? Please share them with me in the comment.