Being a stay-at-home mom for the past few years, I have gotten used to the flow of my day. I’ve gotten used to summer days on the go and slow winter days that drag on. My kids and I have perfected our daily schedule, and even when the days are long, I can always count on the evenings we spend together as a family flying by!
So when my husband took a job that required him to work from home full-time, I had some really mixed feelings! At first I was thrilled to have my favorite human home with me all day, but pretty soon we both learned things weren’t going to be as easy as we thought. Between the kids interrupting his meetings and him interrupting our daily routine, we quickly decided that we needed to set down some rules to make the situation easier for both of us!
One of the most important things we needed to sort out was that my husband needed his own space/office to work. For this we actually ended up selling our house. At first my husband was working out of our bedroom, and while this works for a lot of people, the layout of our home made this unrealistic for us. I utilized our bedroom all throughout the day, and interruptions were way too frequent for him to be productive.
Once he was able to establish an office in our new home, working from home was so much easier for him. When he starts working for the day, he can shut the door to his office and work without interruptions. To be at his most productive, he needed his own space to block outside distractions.
The other big problem was that our daily routine was often disrupted when my husband would take breaks. This might sound like a small issue, but we SAHMs know how important a daily routine is! He would often come out of the office and grab the kids a snack or turn the TV on when I wasn’t expecting it. Or he’d come out for lunch early, so I’d have to move our lunchtime and afternoon activities around. And while it was never a day-ruining issue, it led to many tantrums and frustrating moments, and we knew it needed to be resolved.
During the day, mama’s routine is king! Before dad hands out snacks, takes the kids outside, or turns the TV on, he always checks with me first now. Sometimes those surprise breaks in the day are just what we need -- a little extra time with daddy is one of the greatest perks! But other days, the kids need the routine, and we have things to do and places to be! As long as we keep in contact throughout the day, each of us can prevent the other from having our day disrupted in a negative way!
Some of the perks are pretty obvious! We love all the extra time we get with daddy! In the summer he’ll take daily walks with us, and in the winter we’ve talked him into building a snowman or two with us during the day. In a pinch I can leave the kids with him if I have to run a quick errand, or he can watch the baby nap while I have carpool duty. He gets to eat breakfast and lunch with us every day, and there is nothing better than an extra set of hands at mealtime!
We were also able to downsize to just one car. And while this might not last forever, it has saved us a ton of money, and we’re not complaining about it!
It has also been so rewarding for me -- my husband now sees how crazy and hectic my days often are, and he has a little more gratitude and empathy for me in my role as a stay-at-home mom. And who doesn’t love a little more appreciation?
Missing Each Other
An unexpected hurdle we faced was a little too much face-to-face time. When he worked away from home, I always looked forward to the moment he walked through the door and we were reunited. But with him always home, those reunion moments are gone. We now try to make a point of acknowledging each other when starts and finishes up work, giving each other a hug and kiss before he leaves and when he "comes home". And we make sure to always ask about each other's day every night, even if we got front row seats to it all day.
But, most importantly, we give each other the opportunity to spend time away from the home on the weekends and throughout the week!