I’ve been working from home for 11 years. More than a decade of doing something that wasn’t even possible when I graduated from college. I started working from home when my oldest was 18 months old and I have raised two more children behind her all while squeezing in time to write content, organize projects and maintain websites.
At the beginning, I kept K in day care two days a week so I could use those days to have meetings and drum up business. I stuck with the two days a week until K was four and her sister was two. Then they started preschool and my focused work time was reduced to 2.5 hours a day plus nap times. That’s pretty much been the gig for the past nine years. I’ve taken the kids to school, crammed in a workout and focused project time all before lunch. Then the afternoon schedule depends on who is napping, who is having playdates, who is able to sit with me for a while and “work” on their coloring books… you get the idea.
But now – now the youngest is in first grade. That means by 9:05 every morning I have 6+ hours of uninterrupted working time at my disposal. This? This is a very new feeling for me.
I’m only a week into this new schedule but so far I find that I use my mornings for workouts, errands and house projects. Then I use my afternoons for work projects. It’s all well and good for now – I have a lot of stuff to catch up on around the house. However, at some point I’m going to need to fill more of my time with paid work. I’ve given myself Labor Day weekend as my deadline. After Labor Day it’s time to reach out to some contacts, to see if I can find some new clients and more work.
When I started this, I wasn’t sure how long I’d stick with it. I wasn’t sure I’d like being away from the stimulation and challenges of an office. Once I got it all working though I realized that I’ve got the best of both worlds – I get to use my brain in professional ways every day while taking breaks to draw on the driveway with chalk or take a bike ride with my son or take the kids to the beach. I’m lucky enough to have this flexible gig where I just have to look up from my laptop to see my kids. And I’ve decided I’d like to keep it this way indefinitely.
I never would have predicted how the past 10 years have worked out. Now it’s time to figure out how the next 10 years can take shape. Well… after Labor Day weekend anyway 🙂