Working from Home with Children

July 14, 2010 Katja Presnal

work at home mom, working from home with kids, working mom, mommy guilt, work family balance

Honestly, I was a bit worried about this summer.

While I have been working from home for years, I have always been my own boss. This year, I have a full time job. And yet, this summer was no different than any other summers. Kids are not going to summer schools, nor summer camps. They are home with me the entire summer.

They are the reason I work from home, they are the reason I strive to work hard and strive for success. And yet, for some reason I, silly me, thought that this summer, while I would be working the entire summer (like the last several summers, falls, winters and springs), the children would bring me down.

work at home mom, working from home with kids, working mom, mommy guilt, work family balance

I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to work like normally (often 14-hour days), and somehow my plans, my work and my stuff would be messed up. At the same time I felt like a true messed up mom for even thinking those thoughts.

The career-motherhood balance is a tough one, and I don’t know if anyone has entirely mastered it, but I am sure trying hard. I have been home since I was pregnant with our first child, and I have to say – I am a better mom now when I also have my work and my business. Even all the business travel has been very good for our family. I have more patience with kids, they have more patience with me. We fight less, we have more fun. My children are very proud of me, and it feels good, and I wouldn’t trade it to anything.

work at home mom, working from home with kids, working mom, mommy guilt, work family balance

This summer still worried me.

We made plans for the summer, and part of it was to spend two weeks in Rockport, MA, on beach, and my dear in-laws with us and helping with the kids. The kids are having a great time, and yes, I have been still working. Maybe not 14-hour days, but more productive 12-hour days. I am learning, and my children are teaching me. They know that I have to work, and they are not trying to make me skip work. They wait patiently, and they understand.

And I have learned to manage my time a little bit better. (I said a little bit, I am trying!)

work at home mom, working from home with kids, working mom, mommy guilt, work family balance

Normally I start working around 7AM, take kids to school at 9 and pick them up at 3 – and during the time they are at school, I work, work, work. And even after kids come home from work, they do their homework, do crafts, eat a snack, all without me. I literally don’t do anything else but work ’til 6PM and then I take two hours off for family dinner.

And no, by any means that’s not healthy or smart. Or probably not the most productive way to work either!

work at home mom, working from home with kids, working mom, mommy guilt, work family balance

My children keep amazing me with their creativity, their independence and their smarts. This summer my children are teaching me better working habits, like limiting my working hours, and taking a break every now and then.

Funny thing is, by taking a moment to smell the flowers or eat lunch doesn’t actually take me down – I feel that I am more energized and I get more done! This is my written promise to myself that even when we get back home from the beach, and especially when I won’t have anyone else to hang out with the kids, I will limit my work hours, take lunch breaks, swimming breaks and hugging the kids breaks during my work week. Because they deserve it, and so do I. And my work will thank me for me to be more energized and for me to get more done in less time.

Oh – and one of the ways I am trying to get my weekly working hours closer to 50 from 70, I have been hiring new writers for Skimbaco blogs. I want to keep this blog high quality – and I want to start balancing my life better – and I also think you will be as amazed by the talented writes who will be writing here. Skimbaco is growing, but I feel that if I can not live life to the fullest, I wouldn’t be true to my mission to inspire you to do the same.

work at home mom, working from home with kids, working mom, mommy guilt, work family balance

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Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live globally inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (7)

  1. I’m reading this post Sunday morning as I try to squeeze in some work time before my family wakes up and I fulfill a “promise” to work out at the gym with my son and my husband. Then this afternoon take my daughter to the art gallery (another promise). Then Monday begin the whole process again working in PR for my employer in the day, writing for my small business at night, and somehow enjoying some quality time with my kids and husband in between.

    I feel your post in every way. Though my kids are teens – one off to college this fall and one in her 3rd year – that joy and guilt that we experience as moms doing things on our own terms, doesn’t subside a whole lot as the years progress.

    That’s okay, like you I wouldn’t trade this kind of joy and the eccentricities of my family life for anything in the world!

    Always love your posts Katja!

  2. I know so much how important living life to the fullest is. The last 2 years have been very scary for me, but now I know what it really means to live life to the fullest. I am convicted to show that to. I am very much a part of life, and life is very much a part of me. 2 Christmases ago, I wasn’t. Life is so important. It is meant to be lived, explored, soaked in and adored.

  3. This was such a great post. I often struggle with this with my 2 year old, and though I try not to be on the computer when he’s awake, it’s really hard to get the stuff you need to get done finished (both on and offline). I often wonder how you manage, because you’ve done such fabulous work on your blog and in social media–plus having 3 kids! It is nice that having a lunch or break with them energizes you and keeps things fresh.

  4. Naomi

    I loved this post, Katja. Your kids are amazing and understand why you do what you do. It sounds like they are similarly driven in their own pursuits and make the most of your time together. Plus a big shout-out to your husband! You guys obviously are doing things pretty well, if not the traditional, “right” way.

  5. I understand exactly where you are coming from with this post. I’ve had my daughter at home with since January when we pulled her out of preschool, but this summer, my three stepsons are with us. No summer camp either. For the first few weeks, it was really difficult to work with all four kids at home. Still is, some days. While my daughter understands that although I’m at home, I’m actually working, it took a while for my stepsons to understand that. This is the first time they’ve all been here for an extended period since I’ve been working at home, and it has been a challenge.

    But at the end of the day, while I’ve had to adjust some things to make it work, my husband and the kids have made adjustments as well, and we’re a better family for it. I get to watch them learn, and grow, and help each other. I get to watch them be creative, and even though I have to settle some arguments and part some fights in the process, it just wouldn’t be the same if I were working outside the home.

  6. This is such a great post. And so very true. I am amazed by the lessons I learn from my girls. They are the ones that truly put life into perspective many days. A lot of times I am learning from them, not them learning from me. They really do give me reasons to live my life to the fullest and teach them to do the same.

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