I’m the mama, and mama always knows best! We’re the ones who find things, kiss boo-boos, and slop-up the occasional vomit. Dad, he works, and has now suddenly stepped into Mama’s Land. Being home, working with that handsome fella, is it as magical as we’d dreamed? He’s exactly where he’s supposed to be, working, but underfoot, like the extra neighbor kid who never leaves.
For the past fourteen years, my husband has worked from home and I’ve homeschooled our four children. Let me tell you from experience, you can do this! We need survival tips! Not tips to survive the plague, but rather boundaries and creative ways to make sure there are no toes being stepped on.
Communication is key to any marriage or situation. Our husbands are not “mind readers”, EVER. If you feel a certain way about something, make sure you communicate it clearly, with love, and with respect.
We know love is an action beyond an emotion, therefore love with a clear strategy. As well as listen to the needs of your partner. For you, a new person has come into your workspace, and for him, he has to adapt to a unique work environment. Be as respectful as you would with a new co-worker and focus your energy on kindness and communication.
There’s no easy way to say this…you have to set parameters! Having a morning meeting is a quick strategy time to set your day up for success. Do you need to share child care time? Who’s making lunch? Is there laundry? You’d be happier if you knew what was going on and so would he.
Workspace is Workspace
Once the workspace is clarified, keep it your workspace.
Keep bedroom space, bedroom space, if possible. Should your workspace be your bedroom space, be flexible enough to end work when it’s time for bed. Sometimes work from home turns into work all day long. It’s important to stop at some point, as we all need rest and recharge. As well as continuing to make special time for other things and not just letting work consume the day. For example, keeping the romance going!
Do Not Disturb!
You know when you’re on a roll on a project or have that very important call? Space is needed. Our daughter laughed when I told her to put a flip flop on her door handle when she was studying for an exam. But it works! A DO NOT DISTURB sign kind of thing. It works with “work at home dads” too. I always used a sticky note. It can be a pretty hectic environment with everyone home, so make sure you have an agreement on the signs and even spaces to be left alone during important moments.
Be Ready To Re-evaluate
There is for sure going to be disagreements, but don’t let that cloud you and keep you both in turbulence. Listen to each other and find a compromise. You can do this! And know that compromise doesn’t mean, be a doormat, rather it means to take a step back and try to understand where he’s coming from.
He’s probably not been in a situation of children all day every day, and that can be pretty hectic. We know it firsthand! Also remember though, if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it!
Respectfully Get Away
Set a time each day to stay away. Maybe the kids underfoot are more than he can endure. Moms have that multi-tasking magic, while most dad’s focus is pinpointed. For us Floridians, the weather permits a walk around the block, bike rides, or catching rays on the beach. and circle several times!
We all need our own space too, and sometimes that is away from the house!
Even if it’s only an hour, give yourself something to look forward to at the end of the week. Be creative! Maybe cook a brand new meal together? Or maybe a pedicure! Okay, maybe that’s asking too much? Turn it into a date night and break out that fancy dress! You get my point. We’re all under stress and we all need our downtime after a jam-packed week.
Hubby working from home isn’t the nightmare you dreamed. Continue to practice the three G’s: Get up! Get dressed! Get to work! You just have an extra person join, that cute guy you married, and wanted to spend more time with.
Wrap those arms around that family you love so much and be thankful that you get that much more time together.
You got this mama!