Home is where the...Everything is!
I’ve been working from home for about 5 years, or roughly a third of my professional career.
I made the decision to choose the #remoteworklife in 2015 after over a decade of work in the whirlwind environment of various advertising agencies, as well as some time spent in corporate marketing. I loved the hustle and bustle of working in an office, but I was missing precious time with my then 3-year-old daughter. It was time to shake things up.
They say home is where the heart is. Working from home places two dear things to me in the same location–my family and my career–and gives me the opportunity to balance them (some days are better than others).
But, enter: Coronavirus. Where home is where EVERYTHING is. My now 8-year-old, at all times. My family, at all times. And all of the same responsibilities: household and work.
It’s overwhelming. But at the end of the day, I know I’m blessed. I’m grateful to be a part of an inherently remote, brilliant team, the PPM family. They’ve kind of started to blend in with my own. I especially value the extra time I get to spend with my daughter. I’ve learned more than I could have ever imagined about her education. Even more about her blossoming personality.
I hope she remembers these days when she’s older; when it’s time to decide on a career of her own. I hope she remembers where to center her heart, and how to dig in when things get hard.
(Working From Home Quarantined With an 8-Year-Old) (Obviously.)
- Do your most important thing(s), first thing. Morning, either before or after she’s awake, things are quiet. She’s sleeping or occupied with breakfast. It’s the best time to think, so I do the thing(s) I know will require the most of it.
- Have a list of activities your kid can execute solo. We go through this list each morning. When she says she is bored, she knows where to go.
- Some coursework: Stuff they can do on their own. Definitely some reading.
- Some screen time: Approved video games, shows, etc.
- Some creativity: A craft, a Lego build, a story to write
- Some empathy: A letter to be written, a drawing for someone else
- Some exercise: Playing, practicing, moving
- Some chores: Because 8 is definitely old enough to vacuum. Just saying.
- Show your kid your schedule. In the morning, when we talk about plans for her day, we also talk about mine. I show her the meeting times. I tell her when I will be available.
- Let your kid see you at work. Place some boundaries. My daughter is an only child, and while that’s made her independent, she also wants human contact as much as the next person. I don’t keep the door closed constantly. She wants to see what I do. It’s positive for her to see me working. I tell her when she can and can’t be in my space.
- Be a step ahead. When I wrap up work for the day, I know what the next day entails. I make sure I’ve got anything I can prepare in advance ready. I thank myself tomorrow.
Interview with Reagan Grace Kelly
KK: What does Mommy’s company do?
RGK: Talk to people about the Internet. And sometimes I hear you talk about…content?
KK: What kinds of things does Mommy do when she is working?
RGK: You type really fast, you can even type with your eyes closed. Talk on video calls. You let me spin in your chair.
KK: What do you think Mommy likes most about her job?
RGK: You like to work with Mrs. Gaby and Mr. Mike. They have a girl like me. You just really like it.
KK: What do you think you want to be when you grow up? What do you think you can learn from Mommy?
RGK: An architect. I want to draw buildings. You show me how to work hard.
KK: Why is it cool that Mommy works at home?
RGK: So you can help me with my homework. You get to play with me. If I don’t feel good you can be home with me.