In positive news, today is the first day in almost 3 years that Craig and I are working in the house together alone, sans children. The last time was when we still had a nanny for Claire, right before James was born.
People are often incredulous about our life. It does raise a lot of questions:
How did you get a job working from home? How can I work from home?
I've been remote since 2005, when I joined a technology team that was scattered around the country. It made more sense to work from home, so I've been doing it ever since. I believe that currently my whole team is remote. But before that, I was in an office. So was Craig. He worked for his company in Virginia, but when we wanted to move back to Charlotte, he lobbied to be able to keep his job and work remotely. He apparently made a compelling argument, and he's been working from our home office since 2007. So my advice would be that you will likely first need a job in an office that has the capability to be done remotely. (If you want a good job, that is. I'm sure there's some scammy ones out there that don't require that, but I wouldn't recommend them.)
How do you get any work done?
We're a team. Craig's job is very task-based, but mine is project-based. Craig needs to be at his desk and attentive at all times, so I take (took) most of the burden, except when he gets a break at lunch. I do 90% of my work at night, because it doesn't always require a lot of interaction. (Which leads to raised eyebrows sometimes when people see what time I send emails. But I'm a night owl anyway.) The 10% is conference calls or phone calls, when everyone can behave for a little while, or I do it during nap time. We juggle. It works.
How can you two work together all day and be together ALL DAY?
It can be rough never having a break in between your work life and your home life. That's probably one of the most challenging aspects. It wasn't so bad when we didn't have kids because we could each do our own thing, even though we sat at a desk across from each other. But kids demand a lot more interaction. And there's no commute time to wind down or shift gears. It's challenging for sure. But you make it work.
Which seems to be a theme for a lot of the things we do around here. In the words of the inimitable Tim Gunn, you "make it work." You do it because you have to. You do it because you love your family. You do it because you need to be able to support your family. You do it because working from home rocks, and gives you a ton of extra time with your kids and you wouldn't give it up for anything. So just do it. Git er done. Cliche, cliche. (Good) parents just do what's best for their family.
The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...