Before March 2020 I was grateful to work at an organization that allowed a flexible enough schedule that I could work from home one or two days a week when needed. I had always felt I was more productive in the office and I was never really that interested in working from home full time. Then everything got shut down and working from home became critical in reducing the spread of COVID.
The first month I was working from home (one month before I went on maternity leave for my second child) I found myself sharing whatever flat surface I could find with my husband (also working from home) while our 2 year old ping ponged between us. Like most families who were navigating staying at home, it was overwhelming and incredibly difficult to focus on anything for more then 5 minutes.
With the arrival of my second child at the end of April I went on a 3 month leave but as my maternity leave came to an end, I found myself facing the challenge of adjusting to working remotely, permanently. There were a few pain points I struggled with:
My work space was in my kids playroom so I was constantly dealing distractions
I had a “shared” desk with my husband and when he worked from home (which was every other week) I was displaced to the living room
Working on the couch or in the kids playroom or at the dining room table was starting to take it’s toll on my back
I was constantly moving my work equipment and had no where to store things when I wasn’t working (and if have ever been around a toddler you’ll know they find the most expensive computers the funnest to play with)
As September 2020 approached, I started to adjust to working from home. I had more flexibility with my schedule, I was spending less time in the car commuting, saved money on parking, didn’t have to wear a real bra anymore and had time to stay on top of a few chores at home when I took lunch. I discovered this flexibility made me a better worker, it gave me more mental energy and time to get work done.
But as the kids got bigger, the available space we had got smaller and I decided that it was time to conquer a looming project. It was time to clean out the basement so I could have a dedicated office space.
We bought our home from my mother-in-law and she ended up leaving all my husbands childhood things in the basement. I’m talking at least 30 years of stuff. With a baby and toddler in tow finding the time to clean out the basement was a real challenge but thanks to help from my parents and extreme patience from my husband progress was made, slowly.