Stay at Home Mom and Work From Home Dad–how to deal

Back in September Big G’s office had a fire which sent everyone home for almost a full month. At first it was amazing. I mean, Big G is my favorite person in the universe. Having more time with him was incredible and awesome. Even though he was working, it was like being on a vacation. He planted himself in front of the laptop, on the couch next to me and Little G, and he worked while hanging out with us. It was utopia!

But utopia only lasted for a week or two. Soon Big G stopped getting up in the morning with Little G, something he’d chosen to do in order to make sure they had some one-on-one Daddy/Daughter time, and I was picking up the slack. Our schedules started getting disrupted with another mouth to feed, and someone in the bathroom when I needed it. I felt like I needed to make sure we were available during his down time, so we sort of hung around not doing anything all day. The messes started to accumulate faster than I could hope to keep up with them. The dirty dishes, the laundry…I started to drown in it all.

It was almost a relief when he went back to work. Yeah, I missed him, but things were easier to manage without a third person around all the time. Apparently things at the office began to transition. Big G had outgrown the job, and the company itself was heading in directions he wasn’t sure he wanted to go. The problem was that he was pretty crucial to the running of the company. So, he worked out a deal where he was set to leave in the new year, and he’d work from home until then. Part of this was to help them learn to live without him while completing tasks they just didn’t have time to assign to other people, and part of it was to help give him the time to start looking for work. Big G is brilliant. So no one thought he’d have any trouble at all finding a bigger pond, but the whole working from home thing…for months…was going to be a huge challenge.

It’s not an uncommon issue. In fact, with technology advancing so quickly there are lots of companies that are having their employees work from home to cut the overhead of running an office. Lots of families are now finding themselves having to share work time with home time, and work space with home space. Add to that the rigors of having a stay at home mom in the mix, and this can cause a significant explosion. That’s not to say there was any explosions on the bizzaro front, but there was a real need for change.

It wasn’t a tough conversation, but it happened. I outlined my needs, he outlined his and we came up with a solution that worked for us. For one, when Big G was working, he had to go to work. Luckily for us he already had an office space in the basement with everything he would have had in his office outside the house. He still wanted to get up with Little G, but didn’t mind if I gave him a break every so often. For his own sanity he had to go through the motions like he was leaving the house. That included getting up, getting coffee, taking a shower and getting dressed. When he went to the office, he was working. This kept him out of our hair for the day. At lunchtime he’d come up and eat with us, and then go back down.When he was done at work, he came upstairs and was home for the rest of the  night. That alone was amazing. Previously his commute was at least an hour and a half. So even if he left work at 5, which never happened, he wouldn’t get home until 6:30. Most nights he wasn’t home until almost 7:30. So now, at 5/6 o’clock, he was home!

The best part was naptime. Little G’s naps usually gave me the ability to get some housework done in peace, but with Big G home, I got an hour or more to do THINGS. He had a monitor speaker next to him, just in case, and I’d be able to get out of dodge while she slept and he worked. Most times it was errands, but occasionally I could go out for lunch with a friend, or get my nails done.

I even wrote an examiner article about it (click here to read it), because we were really able to make it work. Today is Big G’s first day of work, and I sure do miss him. But most of all, I’m really happy that we were able to make it work while he was home!


Do you have a work from home hubby or wifey? How do you guys make it work?

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