Author Topic: Improving my work at home situation  (Read 1522 times)

nic1

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Improving my work at home situation
« on: December 02, 2018, 06:58:24 AM »
I need some input from you guys that work from home.  In the last year I accepted a four day a week work from home position.  I still work in an office one day a week.  I left my office job due to some burn out and an awful commute with traffic that was taking up to 1.5 hours each way per day.  I wish I could say that I love working from home, but I find that by the end of the week I feel very isolated and bored.
I am in the medical field, have two children and a husband that travels for work extensively, also part of the reason I decided to take the work from home position. 
I have tried to set up activities/social events during the week for myself, but with the kids activities, homework, etc, it just is not going to happen.  I have no outside help with the kids and husband is never home before 8 pm.  I have tried to get paid help as well and that is spotty and difficult to get someone to commit. 
The advantage of working in the office is I love the people I worked with, but the work is exhausting, commute is awful and it is difficult to have any energy left at the end of the day for my kids.
So, has anyone felt like this and have input?  I'm not sure what to do at this point that would make me a bit happier.  I would love to just take a break from working, but really I need to continue for at least another 5 years.  I feel like I need to just suck it up until my oldest is 16 and can drive (three years) and then I will have more time to do things for myself, but I am struggling with feeling bored and isolated, 3 years is a long time.  Opinions please!

Freedomin5

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 07:21:46 AM »
I work from home three days per week and have been doing so for the past couple years. And I’ve found that I can’t literally work from home all the time. Whenever I feel isolated and bored, it means that I’m under stimulated. So I’ll go somewhere where I can people watch.  I don’t like talking to people (introvert), but I like having a few quiet people around me. So now I do most of my work at a coffee shop. I also make “work dates” with friends who also work from home. We both go to a local coffee shop / library, sit together, and do our own thing.

lhamo

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 02:44:03 PM »
You need help with the kids, first and foremost -- it is hard to juggle even a WFH FT gig with all the demands that go with kids schedules these days.  Can you find a college student to do afternoon pickup/activity drops, maybe help with putting dinner together (even if just cutting stuff up that you cook later), and housework/errands.  Even just 3-4 hours/day 3 days a week would probably make a BIG difference in how overloaded you feel.  Daily even better.

Are there any coworking spaces near you that you could try out?  Strict WFH doesn't work for everyone, and that gets you out into the world with a bit of adult socialization in a way that being home 24/7 won't.  Also can help create healthy routines, for example if there is a gym near the coworking space you can hit it on the way in or before going home.  Or walk or bike there if close enough.

eav

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 03:33:51 PM »
Just accepted a new job after going full time WFH for my old job for a few months (after moving). I agree working from home so much really starts to suck. Being in my pajamas unshowered at 5 pm really makes me not want to do anything with my day. I lost motivation to even perform well at work. Granted, that is a very small reason why I cut the cord, but it isn't for me. I really don't know how to make it work - I wish I had useful advice for you! I can see why people who WFH full time for years don't want to stop...its like getting sucked into a vortex not being able to get out.

Freedomin5

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 03:42:03 PM »
My parents worked from home as well. Eav brings up a good point about work routines. I remember my parents:

- Got dressed every morning in “work clothes” (for my dad it was a button down shirt and slacks)
- Had a dedicated office space for work that looked like an actual office
- Had work routines - went into the “office” at 9 AM, stayed there until 4 PM

nic1

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 03:56:00 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies, they have been super helpful, if nothing else just to justify what I am struggling with.
As far as help with the kids after school I definately need help, I had a lady set up that initially was supposed to transport my younger daughter for her allergy shots twice a week.  It dwindled down to one day a week and now is next to nothing, so I am back to square one.  This is a continual problem for me with finding help. 
This week alone they have dance twice a week, guitar and band lessons, one child has physical therapy, both of them have orthodontic appointments and one needs allergy shots twice this week.  There is just no way that myself alone can accomplish all of that, it feels overwhelming and honestly this is a typical week.
I also am going to look into becoming more portable so I can work at a coffee shop, or even out on my porch.  I hate being inside all day, by myself, I think if I could even do a couple hours of work out at a shop or on my porch it would help alot.  I have a very complex set up with multiple screens so I am not sure how it will work with just a laptop, but I plan to try once my husband is home to help set up.
I am definately more of an extrovert, so I also am wondering if I am just trying to make something work that I am never going to thrive with.  I do feel like if I could just do this 2 days a week it would be fine, I don't mind it a couple days, but by day 3 and especially 4, along with the demands of my kids I am downright depressed. 
Thanks again, any other input is really appreciated.

seemsright

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 06:25:34 PM »
What are your other options? If finding help is not working, hubby always gone? You sound burnt out. you and your hubby need to have a conversation about how you guys are going to fix your situation? Maybe both of you need a more flexible job. Juggling all of the kids stuff for more than one kid is not easy.

I think it is time to look at your entire lifestyle and try to make it more fit what you want. This forum is for people trying to get their time and freedom back. It might be time to redesign the entire situation.

This is why I fired the second our investments made my income and dh took a easy 40 close to home with massive flexibility and we have one kid. Our goal is time and freedom. 

nic1

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 07:15:14 PM »
Seemsright, you are right on with your comments.  I am burnt out, on many levels.  My husband is military so there is no flexibility or changing his situation unless he gets out and he has 6 years until retirement so that is not even on the table.  We have both made sacrifices and are commited to him staying in for 20 as that is a big part of our puzzle to be able to retire semi-early, probably early 50s. 
We have talked about this together repeatedly, I started working from home because I thought it would improve my quality of life and give me more freedom, unfortunately that is not how it has worked out.   He is supportive in whatever I want to do, but I can't seem to figure out what I want to do, that is the bigger problem.
One option would be for me to just tell my work from home boss I will only work 2-3 days per week and see how that goes.  I actually asked him last year and he asked if I would work 4 days, so we compromised but it still is not working the best for me.  I agree I feel like I need to totally redesign some things.  I value being outside, being active, feeling connected with community and friends, and I want the best for my kids of course, but I feel like all I do is work inside and drive kids around.    I don't feel like my day to day life is at all in line with how I want to be living. 

Gin1984

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 07:44:42 PM »
Do the kids have after school care?  What about care over Xmas break?  Can your husband help find help for the house or kids and not have it all on you?

Secretly Saving

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2018, 07:48:04 PM »
  I am burnt out, on many levels. ....   I don't feel like my day to day life is at all in line with how I want to be living.


I can totally relate to your post.  I am burnt out too and I feel like I'm living a life that isn't my dream, doesn't support my goals, and where I'm stuck.  I wish I had advice, but just wanted to say I understand and can relate.

Unique User

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2018, 08:12:44 AM »
Are your kids in school during the day or do you have kids at home with you?  I second another poster to find a college student to help with driving around.  My sister has posted at the university where she lives and found college age helpers.  Maybe call the financial aid office of your local university/community college/etc?

BicycleB

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2018, 08:29:27 AM »
Is your husband's commute in the opposite direction from your old one? If not, can you move near the job?

Glad your husband is supportive. You are a person and have value along with the kids. 3 years is long enough that even a major move, like selling a house and changing schools, can reasonably be on the table IMHO. Ditto an increase in the rates you are willing to pay for help with the kids... if you double the pay, you might become house helpers' Local Employer of Choice. Keep exploring your options. "Just suck it up" is reasonable when necessary, but likely there are other solutions at the end of the look-for-better-options tunnel.

Good luck!!!

trollwithamustache

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2018, 08:35:21 AM »
1. Working from home is isolating. Are their professional related people you can lunch with? or friends?

2. Some office jobs showing up and being available is part of your duties.  Working from home can be exhausting if you self impose too much of a pressure to be more productive to justify working from home.

3. Take a hard look at your schedule pre and post work from home. Specifically that commute time, how much is now wasted vs what gets used for you? (this helped me find some home gym time, you peccadilloes may be different of course.)

Mike in NH

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2018, 12:28:59 PM »
nic1, I have worked from home for years and as an extrovert it definitely has had it's fair share of challenges, but I learned to love it and would struggle going back to office life at this point. I agree with others that mentioned having a process.

1. Have set hours and stick to them.
2. Have a specific place dedicated to working, I'd advise against it being a dining room table, living room, etc. because you don't want to end up associating those places with the stress of work.
3. Get outside every day even if it is just for a short walk. It wouldn't seem to be that drastically different...but in an office you are outside going from your car to the building, you are up and walking around during the day. It's easy to become a lump at home and not even realize it.
4. I have regular 1x1s with people at work so I have regular human contact i.e. voices and not just IM/email. Use video conferencing if you have it.
    4a. With my closer friends I usually have IM windows open and ongoing conversation throughout the day, work related or not
5. I set myself at minimum 1 personal and 1 work goal every day, no matter what I at least get those things done.
6. Go to the gym at lunchtime, breaks up the monotony of the day, I see some people which is nice even if I don't talk to anyone.
7. I use my outlook calendar to schedule blocks of time to work on different things, helps me focus and stay on track.
8. Recognize what you may have as distractions (cell phone, tv, personal laptop) and remove those things from your working area.

The other thing I would do if I were you is to consider what you want to gain from this? Not sure if your 1.5 hour commute was total or each way, but that is not an insignificant amount of time. You can change your life with that 6-10 extra hours per week...it's time to workout, time to read, time to cook better meals, clean up around the house, do laundry. All these things that people traditionally struggle finding the time for, you now have some time to tackle! I like to think of WFH as increased efficiency, because I don't spend the time/energy/money getting ready and commuting to work. Helps me think of the situation as a benefit, less as a hindrance. Good luck. 


nic1

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2018, 06:53:37 PM »
So many good suggestions, thank you all!
I do have set hours that I work every day, and I am pretty goal oriented, and I am pretty self motivated most of the time.  I have a certain amount of work I need to do each day, so procrastinating or not being productive really is not an option.
I am very behind the scenes and do not talk to anyone most days.  That could be a good thing as there is no conflict, which is nice....but it again feeds into the isolation.  The work is a bit tedious, not super rewarding, but is not totally boring and uses my knowledge and skill set.  Honestly after being in my field for over 16 years there is a tedium to anything I would do so I am not naive to that.
As far as my office location it kind of sucks, it is in our bonus room and there are no windows.  I would love to have an office space, especially with windows, but our home just does not have an office  or even a spare bedroom, and we do not want to move as that would push retirement even further down the road.
I do take a break at lunch to do yoga daily, that is honestly the best part of the job is having that lunch break.  I would love to take a quick walk after working too, but until I have help with the kids I am running kids everywhere and by the time I am home it's dark.  That really bums me out, but there isn't much I can do about it right now. 
I definately need to get someone else to help with the kids and am going to get on sittercity again to do that.  I am not kidding, I look for someone at least once per year, pretty much for the last 10 years trying to find someone to help me.  I actually pay pretty well, 15 dollars an hour, but maybe I need to pay more.  I really think the problem is I only need very minimal hours and people just move on to other opportunities.  I was back at the office today and while I really enjoyed seeing my friends, my commute was awful, I had less than 20 minutes break the whole day, and it reminded me why I left (my work from home job is for a totally different person doing something totally different).  Thanks to everyone who has contributed, I have some work to do to try to improve things. 

historienne

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2018, 08:13:25 AM »
I was going to say - you may need to pay more.  If the hours aren't great for applicants, you need to make it a desirable job in other ways.  Money is the most straightforward, but maybe there are other perks you can think of.  And even if it means you can only afford someone a few days a week, that's better than the current situation sounds like. 

Also - do you have a coworking space near you?  I do wonder if working someplace like that 1-2 times/week would help give you some more human connection in your day. 

lhamo

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2018, 10:48:27 AM »
Bump the pay up to $20 and add hours/responsibilities like grocery shopping, laundry, meal prep (even if only chopping stuff up to make it easy for you to throw together when you get back from your walk).

One of the options I am considering if I ever need to go back to work to bump up the stash is a household manager type role like what is described above -- I can totally manage the kid routine, meal prep, routine cleaning, etc. in 3-4 hours/day.  Great PT employment option for moms whose kids have left the nest, etc. 

Catbert

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2018, 11:01:46 AM »
How did you handle the kids stuff when your worked in an office?  You may need to revert to that whatever it was. 

That doesn't solve your isolation problem but it will give you more flexibility to do so.

SquirrelStache

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2018, 04:00:59 PM »
I also WFH 4 days a week, and have done for several years now. We purposefully moved closer to my husband's place of work because of this, but my drive into work is all highway and less than an hour in traffic. We don't have any kids, and I can very easily go several days without leaving the house. I do talk on the phone fairly regularly in my job, but I am getting to the point of feeling disconnected from my company and work colleagues. As someone said above, it's hard to get up the motivation of taking a shower/getting dressed if you aren't going anywhere.

Overall, I think the charm is wearing off for me. I'm hoping that some upcoming changes at work will give me some more options. I am fairly introverted, but being around fun people does bring out the extrovert in me (which doesn't happen so much these days, and I think it's having an effect on my overall mood).

Good luck on improving your situation. You are definitely not alone :)

Unique User

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2018, 04:26:43 PM »
I definately need to get someone else to help with the kids and am going to get on sittercity again to do that.  I am not kidding, I look for someone at least once per year, pretty much for the last 10 years trying to find someone to help me.  I actually pay pretty well, 15 dollars an hour, but maybe I need to pay more.  I really think the problem is I only need very minimal hours and people just move on to other opportunities. 

Have you called your local college/community college/vo-tech?  A couple hours a day at $15-$20 sounds like an ideal college student gig if they can work it around classes.

Ynari

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2018, 07:04:34 PM »

Have you called your local college/community college/vo-tech?  A couple hours a day at $15-$20 sounds like an ideal college student gig if they can work it around classes.

I'm getting my masters in education (middle school teaching) and got hired as a part time nanny off the organization's email list. I think I was the third nanny they'd found the same way, and we all stayed for about a year before getting teaching jobs. Hours can be tricky (it was harder to find someone after me since they only needed afternoon care at that point), but I think this suggestion is a good one.

One thing that may help how it feels to work: Is there any significant difference between your at-home workspace and an office? My SO was having trouble working from home (computer programmer) but was really struggling, until we realized he was working on 1 monitor at home but 2-3 monitors at work. We got him another monitor and one of those moveable arms. It's not perfect but it made it much more doable. If it's slightly more inconvenient to do your daily tasks at home, it'll frustrate you a lot faster.

BicycleB

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2018, 07:48:24 AM »

I definately need to get someone else to help with the kids and am going to get on sittercity again to do that.  I am not kidding, I look for someone at least once per year, pretty much for the last 10 years trying to find someone to help me.  I actually pay pretty well, 15 dollars an hour, but maybe I need to pay more. I really think the problem is I only need very minimal hours and people just move on to other opportunities.  I was back at the office today and while I really enjoyed seeing my friends, my commute was awful, I had less than 20 minutes break the whole day, and it reminded me why I left (my work from home job is for a totally different person doing something totally different).  Thanks to everyone who has contributed, I have some work to do to try to improve things.

You're really honing in on the problem! Though sometimes there's turnover in any position, especially entry-level-ish ones. Once a year doesn't sound crazy.

Could you find someone else who is a Very Few Hours Employer, and combine with them to hire one person so that the employee gets enough hours? Maybe in conjunction with the other suggestions?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 07:50:36 AM by BicycleB »

DayLight

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2018, 11:29:40 AM »
I've been working from home as a freelancer for almost 4 years now, with kids in school. It can be a drag, and some of the advice posted by others is useful for me too. Sometimes it feels like I just glide from urgent task to urgent task all day, which are mostly kid/ dog/ household needs and work deadlines, I just don't have a real schedule that would allow for exercise, grooming, etc.

On the kid thing, I wanted to echo the question about how all the kid activities and allergy shots were taken care of when you were working in the office? Is there a solution there? It seems like you are trying to isolate the exact help you need with limited hours, but on a practical level not many people could commit to a job with so few hours- it's just not cost effective for them with driving to and from, all the communication needed, investment in getting to know the kids and where everything is, etc. Maybe it would be worth it for you to pay a helper for more hours or send the kids to part time daycare.

I have finally started paying for after school care for my younger kid until 6 pm- it has really helped me structure my day.  Now I don't have to manage afternoon pickup, feeding, homework, and feeling like I should have him doing some enriching activity, all while I should really still be working. 

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2018, 02:25:00 PM »
I work from home all but about 3 days a month. Like Daylight, I send my youngest (9) to day care every day.  I found a day care that combines after-school care with tae kwon do (his favorite extracurricular activity), so by the time I pick him up he's DONE with activities.  It's a big time-saver.

I had an hour commute both ways.  When I do go into the office, I left the house at 6:30 am and returned about 5.  Now that I have a 10 second commute, I start working at 7:30 (when the kids get on the bus) and work until 5 most days.  That's an extra hour a day...which works out great because we average a minimum of 2 doctor's appointments a week during my scheduled working hours.  I'm able to take them to the doctor and still put in 36-40 hours a week.   

On weeks we don't have doctor visits, I go to the gym or the grocery store or the library in the middle of the day.  I also make an effort to take ergonomic breaks throughout the day.  Every two hours, I take a 5 or 10- minute walk (outside, if it isn't raining).  This helps to relieve some of the tedium, gets me some Vitamin D, and generally refreshes my outlook on the day.

In the evenings, I've just resigned myself to running around.  That's what comes of having 3 busy kids.  You might look at creating a carpool, though, if you can, for some of the kids' activities.

nic1

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2018, 07:08:17 PM »
To clarify, before I started working from home full time, I did have a babysitter monday through wednesday, however that person moved on.  The issue is I do not need a babysitter, but I do need help, more like a kid uber.  My oldest is 13, youngest is almost 11.  After school care is not an option because their activities are not offered there, my oldest is in competetive dance and actually wants to own a dance studio, so her dance education is important, my youngest plays two instruments and has lessons.  They also have so many appointments right now it is crazy, physical therapy for an ankle injury, orthodontist, allergy shots.  It is something every evening.  If I wasn't working all day I feel like I could be mentally prepared and have everything in order to do the night time routine, but working all day it is just too much and I am so exhausted by it all. 
I went back on sittercity and am going to try to find someone for 2 hours twice per week and increase pay to 20 an hour.  We will see, hopefully I will find someone.  I think I am going to ask for a couple more days off a month as well, I do not need to work all these hours, I just feel guilty for asking for less work when I initially agreed to this schedule.  It isn't worth being miserable though, so I need to make some changes.
I am going to try to figure out a way to work on my laptop as well and maybe go to starbucks a couple days a week to work.  If I wasn't so rushed doing everything for the kids I think this would work better, so hopefully once that falls into place I can do that.
Thanks for the replies, super helpful.

remizidae

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2018, 07:25:45 PM »
The issue is I do not need a babysitter, but I do need help, more like a kid uber. 

Have you considered calling an actual Uber (or taxi) for the kids? Or giving them a phone and having them call for it? 11 and 13 ought to be old enough to navigate that--maybe not for a medical appointment, especially for stressful medical stuff, but a parent doesn't need to be there for music and dance lessons.

blingwrx

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2018, 12:46:43 AM »
I think cutting back hours is the way to go or just taking a few years off until your oldest can drive(that's if you could afford to) would be ideal since it seems you're burnt out.

I worked from home for a few years and right now I just downshifted to part time freelancing from home, stress levels are lower with less hours, I do miss the extra money, but my physical and mental health are worth more to me. I'm happy to have back the 10-15 hr commute time each week. The flexibility of WFH is a blessing if you can manage your time well, though I do agree it is isolating, so definitely take time in the day to take walks, go to the gym or do other physical activities to destress and get fresh air.

You also need to see the light at the end of the tunnel, things will get easier, physical therapy will end at some point. Allergy shots twice a week? I had allergy shots for years usually over time it should dwindle down to once a week, then once every two weeks and then toward the end I was just going once a month.

It could also help if some of these things could be done by your husband on his off days and give you some time to do your own thing. On the weekends do meal prep for the week, knock out as many errands and task things as you can to make your work week easier. Sometimes I even work a few hours on weekends so my weekdays are more free.

Villanelle

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2018, 04:34:09 AM »
Seemsright, you are right on with your comments.  I am burnt out, on many levels.  My husband is military so there is no flexibility or changing his situation unless he gets out and he has 6 years until retirement so that is not even on the table.  We have both made sacrifices and are commited to him staying in for 20 as that is a big part of our puzzle to be able to retire semi-early, probably early 50s. 
We have talked about this together repeatedly, I started working from home because I thought it would improve my quality of life and give me more freedom, unfortunately that is not how it has worked out.   He is supportive in whatever I want to do, but I can't seem to figure out what I want to do, that is the bigger problem.
One option would be for me to just tell my work from home boss I will only work 2-3 days per week and see how that goes.  I actually asked him last year and he asked if I would work 4 days, so we compromised but it still is not working the best for me.  I agree I feel like I need to totally redesign some things.  I value being outside, being active, feeling connected with community and friends, and I want the best for my kids of course, but I feel like all I do is work inside and drive kids around.    I don't feel like my day to day life is at all in line with how I want to be living.

Many base CDCs offer respite care (the programs go by different names).  Even if they don't you can try for drop-in spots, or a regular spot, though there may be a wait list, if they offer after hours.  Nearly all of them have a parents-night-out at least once a month.  It's better than nothing, at least.  That doesn't help with all the driving and lesson time, but it might give you a few hours here and there to take are of yourself. 

Also, approach one of the other parents at the various lessons and offer to pay $40 per month for them to take your kid to all the lessons that month. (Or $20 for half the lessons if you still want to attend some.) If they live anywhere near you, it's free money.  Reach out to the command spouses group and see if anyone wants to start a babysitter share.  If you can watch someone else's kids in addition to yours for a few hours, you can buy yourself a few free hours.  (In addition to various command groups, you might also consider this with the other dance and music moms, or just with your kids' friends' moms.) 

And find a reliable sitter.  Try Care.com if sittercity doesn't work.  Just because the last person flaked on you doesn't mean there isn't reliable care.  If there are college-aged kids living nearby, ask them about driving your kids (for a fee).     

It doesn't seem the WFH is the problem.  If you worked outside the home, you'd be just as over scheduled, with a commute time suck added in.  It seems like you need help with the kids, and rightfully so. 

lhamo

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2018, 11:40:11 AM »
I hope this doesn't sound rude, but what's your salary?  If you are only making $20-30/hour yourself, then bringing in more help may not make financial sense -- cutting back hours so you are not so overwhelmed is probably the best strategy.  But if you are making $80-100k/year then paying someone more for more hours to eliminate some of the drudgery is well worth it during this busy time in life, assuming that you otherwise enjoy your work and are just struggling to cope with the overwhelm.

I suggest you look for someone 3 hours/day, 5 days/week at $20/hour.  Preferably someone who could also be flexible to do an hour or so in the morning in case you get an early morning medical appointment (I do most of my DD's orthodontist appointments in the morning before school, drop her off after -- yes, I have to get her up earlier but it really makes the rest of the day easier to plan).  And have them run errands for you while the kids are at their appointments.

Does the second kid REALLY need to play two instruments?   I think parents have a hard time resisting the urge to overschedule.  Unless they are totally passionate about/dedicated to both, I would have them drop one.


nic1

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2018, 12:09:15 PM »
Unfortunately we do not live on base.  My husband is active duty Air National Guard, so there are limited resources for military families. 
I don't take offense to the salary question, it would not make sense to pay someone 20 per hour if I am only making that. 
I make between 80 and 100 dollars an hour, so it is worth paying someone to help me for the most part.  I honestly don't love my work, but I don't hate it.  I think if I had downtime after work, and I could be outside, I would not mind it.  I have a great boss and it is somewhat flexible.  I really struggle with being in front of a screen most of the day and the lack of interacting with people. My clinic job that pays on the higher end is actually very stressful, extremely busy and exhausting, and has the awful commute, so I don't think going back to that is the answer, but it does provide a social outlet. Again, if money were no issue I would take a complete break from work, but it is part of the equation, and I am not willing to give up my salary at this point.
As far as the kids activities, my daughter only goes to lessons for one instrument, the other she does at school, so that is rarely an issue for me.  Their activities are really not bad, it is everything else that is medical related right now.  One has dance twice a week, the other has music once a week and then on saturdays they have dance.  It is the therapy, shots, orthodontist.....I keep thinking it will get better, but this has been the last 2 years, it just changes with what appointments are necessary. 
If I could outsource the things I do not need to be there for it would really help.  I did put in an add for help 3 days a week for 2 hours and upped pay to 20 an hour, hopefully something will work out.  I am also going to ask for another 2 days off a month, I feel like I just need more freedom in my life and even with outsourcing I still am tired of working 5 days a week. 

Freedomin5

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2018, 12:31:45 AM »
If the medical appointments are just routine, then consider having the older one (and even the younger one if he/she is mature) go on their own. Call them an uber, give them a phone, and have them contact you once they arrive.

At age 13, I was taking the bus on my own to my piano, music theory, and Chinese lessons. I also went to routine dental appointments on my own. The dental receptionist would just call my parents if anything came up. By age 17, I was driving myself and my 10 year old sisters to most of our lessons and appointments.

lhamo

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Re: Improving my work at home situation
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2018, 09:32:06 AM »
In many places in the US, kids are technically not allowed to take mainstream rideshare cars until they are 18.

You may be able to find drivers who skirt this rule, but it is increasingly risky.

Some Seattle moms started this parent carpool app as an alternative -- not sure how many cities they operate in currently, but might be worth a look:

https://www.pogorides.com/