Now I know it’s not everyone’s cuppa green tea – working from home. And I am the first to admit that it really is not always easy. You have to be super focused and have to ignore the pile of washing up or a full clothes basket when you should be calling your customers or planning the next years cash flow.
There are often times when I wish I could go into a nice clean office and leave the mess and the kids behind, do my job, get paid and feel part of the minimalist furniture. Instead I commute to shed 66, my rather beautiful, green shed 20 meters from my back door.
On a normal day I drop children at school for 8.30am occasionally go into town – to do the weekly shopping or send out orders at the post office and rush back to Shed 66 for 9.30am when the other members of the Rockabye staff come to play, I mean work.
Two days a week I look after other people kids after school so they can look after mine the other two days and Fridays I finish at 3.00pm ready to have time with my kids. Seeing as though they are the reason I set up this business it seems only right that I get to spend some time with them.
Anyway, although all the advantages around school are obvious and I know I have my cake and eat it too, but there are the disadvantages too. The first one being that I never have in between time between having my work head on and being a mother – I am often in the middle of a call or a webinar or something when kids walk in and I have to carry on as normal – even though I am signing them with my eyebrows to leave the biscuit jar alone – like that would ever work.
One minute I am trying to chase a dept, getting a new design off to print or sending a last minute email the next minute I am in the kitchen cooking tea and doing homework – there never is any transitional time that I think as adults we all need to get into the mindset of the next role.
On Monday though I have to say that I had this whole working from home malarkey down to a fine art and I really did see the advantages of working from home.
Melda my long term office assistant left a week or so ago and Suzie was starting on the tenth March – great I thought Monday morning, new staff, all good. What I had failed to plan in though was that it was my son – Fred’s 5th birthday that day – and we decided to have a party after school for 14 school friends.
Now in our house birthdays are a big deal – balloons and bunting are up – pile of present s – parties oh and I have to MAKE a cake – we are not allowed to buy one – the thing was that I had ran out of icing sugar the night before and so when I woke up on Monday morning nothing was ready – I had a list and a plan and a baked empty very boring chocolate cake but no fancy batman Lego cake – no way.
Suzie started at 10 and after a quick shop at 8.45 I was knee deep in black sugar icing and cake crumbs and scouting round the Lego box looking for Bat Man’s head and the lamp post ( as you do ).
Lucky my husband Simon was off work .and as a good planner does written a to do list . It looked something like this:
• Get toilet roll tubes form craft drawer for batman monoculars
• Put party ring biscuits on strings for washing line game
• Hide bats in the garden
• Find gold coins
• Plant magic beanstalks – get soil in yog pots (14)
• Get wellie for puss in boots -wellie throwing
• Flour and bowl for Goldilocks porridge game
You get the idea.
I also had a spread sheet of activities left over from Scarlet’s party a few years ago, so I scrubbed out Dr Who and put in favourite Characters and.. voila – I almost felt organised.
I had party bags and labels done and pass the parcel wrapped – I was wearing my superwoman knickers with style today.
At 9.50 I had battled with the Lego men (and women – blimey that are feisty) made a Batman guitar Lego cake – filled it with chocolate butter icing and love and went to wash my hands. As Suzie would be arriving any minute I gave Simon the job of sticking Smarties to the bottom of the cake just to complete it, job done.
Suzie, as she would be on her first day, was right on time and she came in to the house to say hello and I made her a cup of tea, as we were walking up the garden path to the shed said she said “ oh I like the guitar cake isn’t your husband amazing?”
I was absolutely speechless – work like a nutter and then someone else comes in and takes all the credit – now there’s a life lesson. Anyway Suzie had a first day of figuring things out, I popped back to the house ensuring that the Smarties were stuck to the cake to a high enough standard and that Simon was working his way down the crazy list and then went back to training Suzie and everything ran like a dream.
I collected Fred at three and the fun began. Biscuits were chomped from the washing line, gold coins were found in the grass and magic bean stalks planted. And guess what – when it was time to sing Happy Birthday we made one little five year old boy very happy indeed.