I feel I need a disclaimer on this post, as I’m writing more from a time where there was no Covid. I always wanted to write an update after making the decision to go back to work, which was as lockdown hit. Working from home has become the norm for so many people now and who knows, this may continue well into the future after this pandemic is history. I know some people of course now have no choice but when I was on my last maternity leave it was something I was debating doing and decided against full time. And I’m so glad. I don’t want to work from home.
When I was on my third maternity leave this time I was in a real turmoil. I genuinely didn’t know what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to work and that thought in itself was a bit scary but I wasn’t sure about coping with the 3 kids, drops off and pick ups and school. I chewed it over for a long time. I wasn’t even sure about a complete career change! Most working Mums will know the score; you go back part time thinking it’s the best of both worlds but there is always that niggling feeling you are not doing the best job of either and you miss out on career progression. Go back full time and you may feel guilty for missing things with your child at home! Don’t go back at all and worry about being at home with the kids full time and possibly not having anything for you. It’s TOUGH! I know I was very fortunate to be able to have a choice and in the end I was even more fortunate to be allowed to go back two days a week.
I love my blogging and I decided one day a week at home would allow me to do some, rather than cramming it all at night and around the kids, which currently is very difficult. I know I don’t have the time but put my all into it. I don’t know if I ever will really. When I was off I debated trying to make more of a go of it and work from home part time instead. However, after being back 7 months I am so glad I didn’t go down that route.
Simply, I don’t like working from home full time and this is why.
I Don’t Want to Work from Home
For the last 7 weeks I have worked from home on a Tuesday. I’ve had a reasonable amount of work to get done and my own blog posts, I’ve wanted to write myself. But I soon learnt I wouldn’t want to do it full time or even 3 days a week.
– It’s lonely. I have my husband at home but he is busy most of the day. Sure it’s great to shove the telly on when you work. But it’s not the same as having my work mates on a Thursday and Friday; to stop and talk to for a bit, share an opinion or have a quick giggle. Plus the phone rings, so real people to talk to.
– I feel more motivated when out at work. It’s too easy to shove the telly on or have a quick break at home. I can’t do that at work.
– I’m distracted by a job at home. I see some mess I want to clean it up. I may shove the washing on or have a quick hoover. You don’t feel like you are working at home sometimes and it’s hard.
– I’m sat down all day. I know some people are good at going for a walk but so far I haven’t. I quite often do some exercise in the morning and use it as an excuse to be lazy all day! Now at work I have a 20 min walk to and from my car, which does me good. Plus I walk to get lunch both days.
– I eat better at work. Crazily!! I think at home I feel quite pressured to get stuff done before the school run so don’t eat as well! At work I take healthy snack, stop for lunch and I feel less stressed. I don’t have the school run and I come home when I can, as no nursery run now.
– You can leave your work at work. I find that hard at home. I’m always trying to do a bit of work here and there as it is, so foley working from home, this would be worse. I like being able to switch off from my job when I get home.
The Best of Both Worlds
I am so glad I decided to go back to work 2 days a week, as it is really is perfect for me. I do actually really like my job and I love my work colleagues. Work has been my saviour over this Covid-19 pandemic. It’s kept me sane and I had the smoothest back to work transition after my third baby. Their was no anxiety or insomnia, which I suffered with after my previous two. I don’t wake up thinking I don’t want to go. I like the change at the end of the week. The walk to work, a different lunch and my variable days; I’m just glad I didn’t give it up.
I get a day at home to work, get to pick my girls up 3 days a week and then get to go to work Thursday and Friday.
I know I don’t want to work from home full time and sometimes you have to try a bit of it to make that decision. I’m just glad I made the decision to go back to work after my third baby.
I’m with you on this. I work full time, but after being made redundant after my last job I did ask my OH whether he’d prefer me to be at home. He didn’t have a view thankfully (good (non) answer from him), so I’m back in the office 5 days a week with slightly compressed hours to do an early Friday finish and one school pick up. Our work is pretty flexible, we have lots of home workers, but I knew it wasn’t for me (the office only being 15 mins drive is a bonus after 1 hour commute each before in all my other jobs). Now with Covid I’m at home 5 days a week for the long term, and while I can cope with it, I know wfh wouldn’t be for me. Maybe 1 day a week. As an extroverted introvert I love being in an office, having buzz and people around me, my OH isn’t chatty at all, so I just get to chat to a 9yo and when tennis is on, other adults there. The upsides are I get to do the school run 5 days a week, and I can nip out to the post office or shop if needed. The flexibility is great. But it’s not healthy for me – at work I can plan and stick to my meals, I don’t eat with the family in the evening during the week as we all eat elsewhere, I walk at lunchtimes. So it’s definitely not healthy for me. I just hope eventually office working will be able to go back to normal and I’ll get more enjoyment out of work again. Some people are cut out for wfh, others aren’t.