They wield that spanner and throw it in your work with us much force as an Olympian javelin tosser.
The great thing about working from home is that you can be
there for your child, there’s no boss to call, no permission needed. But there
is also nobody to cover your work.
Working from home you learn pretty quickly
that if you want something done, you do it or it doesn’t happen. And despite
the fact that people sometimes think we are the majority viewership of daytime
soaps and nothing else, working at home is hard work. It can be hard to find
your stride at the best of time.
When your child is home sick, you want to look after them.
Most of the time I’m quietly freaking out. Is that colour normal? Do we need
antibiotics? Oh my gosh, is that a fever!! I admit that I’m that mother who
always thinks the worst. I’ve watched too much Grey’s Anatomy and far too much
House, and too often I have trawled Google Medicine in search of the mysterious
Initially it’s the paranoia that gets me. My child is dying; I don’t have time to
focus on work!
In the early days of motherhood, I was an inch from having our
GP on speed dial. Once this stage passes, I often realise that my child is
suffering from an entirely non-fatal form of the flu. Deadly? No. Needy? Yes.
Muuuuuuuuummy’, they call from their kingdom of blankets on
the couch. It’s like they know that you’ve just begun to be productive. What is
it now? More tissues? Maybe they need some Vicks Vapour Rub? I’ll inevitably
spend an hour trying to convince them to suck on Soothers with Echinacea,
rather than Butter Menthol which they eat like candy.
As the tissue pile grows, my email inbox grows. I just can’t
find a rhythm.
I realise how much I need those hours of solitude during
school hours, the quiet calm of an empty house, interrupted only by the
telephone and door knockers.
Perhaps it sounds terribly callous to be whinging about my
child being sick when they are the one suffering from the runny nose, the sore
throat and the headache. It’s mostly because I just want to be with them, I
want to be on the couch with them, in a dressing gown, sipping tea and watching
mindless telly. My attention is so divided! My child is sick and they need me,
but I have so much to do. Clients counting on me, emails to respond too and
deadlines to meet. No one is going to do it but me.
It is days like this that the work/life balance is thrown
and I’m left in a bit of a mess. Usually after some Vicks, some Panadol and antibiotics
my child is good as new and off to school, and I get on with my work.
Perhaps sometimes it’s actually good for me, a reminder to
slow down and remember that family always comes first, no matter what.
How do you manage and cope when you have sick kids and you work from an
office? Join the discussion.
Leah Gibbs is the Founder and Business Manager of Lifestyle Careers Lifestyle Recruitment and Work At Home Mums.
With an award winning National Jobs Board, recognised blog and the No. 1
leading website that supports Australian & New Zealand home based
professionals, she has written articles for major magazines, newspapers, online
resources and professional organisations. She has also been featured on the
Channel 7 Sunrise Morning Show and is often called upon by the Media to provide
her expert opinion. Empowered by her passion in playing Career Cupid and her
previous experience in the job services industry, she embraces job flexibility
and is a huge advocate in promoting working from home and flexible employment.