Passionate About Sonoma County
and the Moms Who Live Here

Finding Balance when Both Parents Work at Home {Dream versus Reality}

Years ago, I remember having a conversation with my Husband. I asked him, “If you could have the perfect job in the world what would it be?” He replied, “It would be to have my own business, working from a laptop, on a beach anywhere in the world.” So the mission began, what could we do to fulfill this wishful thinking? Fast forward 16 years, we now live in Sonoma County and my husband has left his corporate job to fulfill that long-held dream. It’s now been a little over a year, and, surprisingly, it hasn’t been all roses and gumdrops. 

Hi friends, my name is Michelle, a new contributor here at SCMB. Real quick stats about me: I’m a mom to five kids, wife, mompreneur, and homeschooler. Our plate is very full and most days are ugly, but we do our best to fit it all in and ultimately make sure our family is feeling balanced, happy and moving forward. 

Making the Dream Happen

To be totally honest, blogging was not on my agenda of things I wanted to tackle in life. I didn’t understand it. But I found my niche and love in the frugal blogging space. With that came new opportunities for me as a stay-at-home-mom to contribute to the household finances. I never thought blogging could bring my husband home from his job in corporate america. But one day my blogging surpassed his income at his job. Whoa! A few years went by, and we finally found ourselves in a place where he could hang up his business suit and come home. We were counting down the days until we worked together. The kids were so excited. 

But Then It Got Real

We finally got what we had wished for so we are living the dream, right? Wrong! You see, I spent years running the house during the day, preparing for his arrival home. Laundry was done, Dinner was on the table, Kids were happy. All he had to do was be Papa when he came through the door. I was in a groove. He was in his groove.

But you see, now he was in my domain. 

You know, the ones where there are messes in every room, the kids are screaming, dishes are piled in the sink, laundry is being fluffed for the fourth time, and you keep reheating cold coffee in hopes to have just one full cup. Mom-moments are no big deal when they are unobserved by another, but now they were. He was constantly there to comment on all those mom-moments we all have during the day.

Now I was also seeing how he behaved during his work days. I was asking him questions like, “Why do you have to say that? What are you doing right now?” Oh and the worst…he has talk radio going the entire day. It was a weird work from home dynamic for both of us. We soon realized we couldn’t handle this day in and day out. But how does one learn to co-exist as workmates and partners?

Finding Balance

We needed to sit down and define with each other what the work day looked like, determining the roles we each play and where household duties will be taking place. We also needed to set some ground rules:

Respect

I tell you this because I, personally, let my emotions get in the way. I was always on edge. All it did was drive him away, not wanting to share his day with me. I needed to respect my husband in that he wanted to be the provider and take the stress off my shoulders while I dealt with the kids all day. I had to let him be that person. When things are a little rough with work for the day, I give him that time to vent, and I come back with a loving response.

Appreciation

Even though we’re both home with you and the kids, we don’t take each other for granted. We still do little things to show them that we appreciate all we do for each other.  

Routine

It is extremely important that we find a routine for your whole family. For us, I handle the kids and anything associated with them, during the day. He doesn’t jump in until after office hours, so our kids know who to go to for help during the work day. From the kids’ point of view, if they see you home that means that you are available to them (which really isn’t the case when you work from home). So we had family meeting and and made sure everyone was on the same page.

In All Things, Keep Dreaming!

As for wishful thinking…Keep on dreaming and conquering those dreams. It is what will propel you forward in all that you do in life. But be sure that you tread lightly and always prepare for the unexpected.

Ciao! Salud to a successful 2017 for you and your family!

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