For any parent who wants to be gainfully employed while caring for their family, working from home seems to be the most appealing answer. However, while working from home has its own advantages, it also has its own drawbacks. Jumping right into it and throwing caution to the wind might hurt your career, finance, and family life.
That’s why switching to remote work requires careful planning and consideration. If you’re a parent who mulls over the work-from-home path, here are some pros and cons for working from home you need to know:
Time with kids
One good thing about working from home is you get to spend more time with your kids. The time spent on the commute can instead be spent with them. You can take your kids out to the park, help them with their homework or care for them when they are sick. This allows you to build a closer relationship with your children as they grow up.
You can also be more in control of the entire household. You can personally monitor your kids’ meal and bedtime. Ultimately, you can ensure everyone in your family is abiding by the house rules.
Ironically, working from home can also take time away from your kids. This is especially true when you have deadlines to meet. In this case, you’ll need to hire a babysitter during your working hours.
Moreover, your work might seep into your personal life when work remotely. This can make stress more difficult to handle. When you’re stressed, you can become irritable around your children. Everything they do can drive you up the wall. Spending time with your kids in this manner is unhealthy for both parties.
Flexible working hours
When you work from home you have complete control over your own time. You get to create your own schedule and work at your own pace. You can also choose to work either early in the morning or in the wee hours after your children have gone to bed.
If you’re an excellent multi-tasker, you can work during the daytime while your kids are awake. You can attend to their needs while performing other household chores. You can even take your kids out for lunch or pick them up from school in between breaks. Having the ability to choose your work schedule enables you to earn a living while looking after your family.
However, having flexibility in time depends on the type of job you have. There are some remote jobs that require you to work at a specific time of the day. In addition, when you have kids and tons of chores to attend to, you’ll need to stick to a working schedule where your kids are fast asleep or aren’t around. Having to work at the same time every day is not at all flexible.
And as if being a parent isn’t already tiring in itself, having to work only when your kids are in bed can lead to utter exhaustion. That’s because you need to stay awake longer than you would if you weren’t employed. On your lucky days, your kids would stay awake way past their bedtime. You can only commence work when they’ve finally sacked out, and that’d be past 1 in the morning.
Working from home can make you more productive. You can avoid things that might otherwise eat up your time in the office. Since you work alone at home, no one will be popping by your desk every so often to gossip. There’ll also be no unnecessary meetings you’ll need to attend.
Having no one to entertain during your working hours will allow you to focus on a project. You can devote your time to completing your tasks and quickly clearing your to-do list. The quicker you finish your work, the more time you can spend with your family.
Working from home doesn’t always mean having zero distractions. Quite the opposite, distractions at home can be even more distracting. It will also require your prompt response. Every now and then, there’ll be a toy that needs to be fixed. There’ll be frequent fights among your kids you need to stop. There’ll be that favorite shirt they couldn’t find, which you swore you put in their drawer after washing.
When you have toddlers, even silence is distracting. Any parent knows there is nothing more alarming than when a toddler is quiet because that is when they’re up to something. Next thing you know you’re staring at your toddler’s artwork on the bedroom wall featuring your favorite lipstick shade. Or you’re having a heart attack because of the new hairstyle he gave himself.
Not everyone can juggle being a stay-at-home parent while making a living. Knowing that you’re able to do both can bring a sense of fulfillment. It can also boost your self-confidence, which can be beneficial to your mental health.
On the flip side, doing remote work can make you feel disconnected from everyone outside your home. Because you’re always at home, you miss out on social interactions. This can make you lonely in the long run, and eventually lead to depression.
Overcoming the cons
Being a work-at-home parent is not a walk in the park. It can be onerous and discouraging at times. However, you must not be disheartened because the difficulties it comes with are not impossible to overcome. You just have to create a plan before starting to work from home. This way, you can address the challenges you’ll encounter along the way more effectively. Knowing yourself well and identifying your working preferences can also spell your success as a work-from-home parent.