Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a 26 year old stay at home father that works from home with a 2 year old son. I used to be a salesmen in a more corporate setting where my quotas were over 1 million dollars per year. This put a lot of strain on my family and I because I was always thinking about work. I believe it was a blessing in disguise when the let me go. That is when I decided to start my I own web design & company. My company is located in Houston and is fairly successful. Now, I enjoy what I do tremendously because it is something I am passionate about and I get to spend more time with my family.
The most important things in my life are God and Family. Taking the time to spend with them is essential to my marriage and relationship with my son, Caden. I try to be an active member in my community by volunteering to help friend in need or coordinating fundraisers when I can.
My hobbies include playing the guitar, working in the yard, and training for 5k’s with my wife. My wife and I try to keep our hobbies similar because it gives us more time together and I believe that is essential to maintain a connection when having such a busy life.
As a work at home parent what is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is getting people to understand that working from home is just like having a real job. Working at home is not what people think it is. If you are successful, you are just as busy as would be at a an office. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way. My wife is a teacher and has the summers off, which you think would be nice right?
It is very difficult to get work done when your spouse is at home with you taking the day off or comes home early. It can be very distracting and they naturally want demand more of your time. My wife sees it as an opportunity to spend more time with me, while I have to remind her that she has to treat it just like I am away from home at the office.
My clients work from 8-5 Monday through Friday so I have to as well. As a web designer things go wrong and fires have to be put out. When they need something fixed during working hours, I can’t tell my clients, “Hold on Ms. Smith; let me just finish shopping with my wife and I’ll get to that later when I have time for you.”
Understandably, my clients want the same attention that large firm would give them. So, in order to compete with that, I have set very strict boundaries at the home while I am working.
What is the biggest advantage to being a work at home parent?
The biggest advantage is the flexibility. While boundaries must be set, I am still my own boss. I can change around my own schedule to take a day off. If my son has a doctors appointment, I can arrange to take him to the doctor. Not only can I work from home, but I can work from anywhere. Because I’m a web designer, I can simply take my work with me when I go out of town or on a trip.
Having flexibility gives me peace of mind because I don’t have to worry about what my boss is going to say if I request a day off. I simply make my schedule and inform my clients.
As a work at home parent what advice would you give other work at home parents?
My advice is to set up your office in a bedroom or somewhere where you can shut the door. At first, I had my office in our formal dining room because it had a lot of space. Unfortunately, that room connected with our living space and every time I sat down with the family, my computer was staring me right in the face. You still need to separate your work from home; even when you work from home!
Don’t lose sight of what is important and at the same time, set boundaries so you don’t get distracted from your work. It is definitely a balancing act, but once you get it down, it can work out pretty well.
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