You decided to work from home so that you can find a good balance between work and family. This also means that each of these aspects of life needs to support each other. That’s why support from others is a must to make working from home a success. Specially for parents who strive to work from home with young kids at home, support from others is essential.
Support can come from various quarters. It can be your spouse, the grandparents, a helpful friend or even paid help such as nannies or maids.
If you work only a few hours a day and need someone to look after the kids during this time, you can enlist help from grandparents who will be happy to have some quality time each day/week with the loved grand kids. You can also swap play dates with other work from home parents so that you get a few hours of quiet time a week to focus on work. You can get your spouse to handle the kids when they are back from work each day so that you get a few hours each evening to carry out your work. Weekends/Holidays are also good times to depend on your spouse to watch the kids, so that you get extra time to finish up urgent projects/deadlines.
If you work from home full-time and need to keep regular business hours, then it’s recommended to hire permanent childcare. This can be a nanny who come home each day and take care of the kids while you are still around at home but need to focus on work.
For work from home parents the priority is usually the kids and work, which means you need to find support for other things such as cooking and house work. As such it is worthwhile to invest on a maid to look after household chores and some cooking. Living in Sri Lanka this is one advantage we have as still there is a lot of opportunity to get hired help at reasonable costs (I know this is not the same in other countries, especially in the western world).
I personally depend on various sources of support to help me achieve success with working from home. I have employed a maid to help with the bulk of household activities which frees up my time for the kids and work. I usually do my work while my son is in pre-school or late at night. However on days where I need to finish up urgent projects or during school holidays and unexpected sick days, I call upon the grand parents to help out with the kids or I use the weekend or holidays and get my husband to take care of kid duties while I finish up my work.
There is also another type of support that working from home people require and which is often overlooked. We need the people around us to understand, accept and respect the fact that we work from home. Which means our friends should understand that we aren’t able to take that phone call in the middle of the day for a gossip session, our extended family need to understand that we are not able to entertain them randomly for a visit during a weekday morning, our kids (specially the older ones) needs to understand that we need some quiet time to finish our work and our spouse should know that we cannot do all the house cleaning and cooking by ourselves just because we stay at home. Gaining this understanding and acceptance from the people around you is also considered valuable support for the one working from home.
So as you can see, people who work from home need support from others to make working from home a success. So plan for this support and enlist others as much as possible as this is a must to Make it Work.