We've completely done a 180 around here. From Tyson working a few states away all last fall, to working from just a few rooms away. While I abso-freaking-lutely prefer the latter over the former, having daddy - aka my husband - who works from home definitely has its pros and cons. Just over a month into our new normal around here (well, before baby arrives in less than another month to screw THAT all up), and this is what I've found.
- No commute. Tyson is able to spend more time with the kids and me simply because he doesn't have to spend time driving anywhere. He is happy to get up with the kids most mornings, which means I usually get a chance to shower. If I'm downstairs by 8, he's working by 8:30. When I need to start making dinner at 5, he leaves his office...and walks right downstairs to entertain two little distractions that would otherwise be underfoot. Extra bonus that winter weather like we've had the past couple of days doesn't affect his working hours - he still "leaves" and gets "home" at just the same time.
- He can take breaks to help. This was much more crucial in the early months with twins, but if I need him to step in for five minutes, he usually can. Just last week I dumped a screaming-tantrum-y-you've-been-doing-this-for-10-minutes-and-I-don't-know-what-else-to-do-with-you Brooklyn on him for the five minutes it took for me to finish unloading groceries and get lunch on the table. While it's rare for me to take advantage of his time this way these days, it IS nice to have the option.
- He can work anywhere. Tyson already works remotely. If we're visiting his family in Sioux City, he works from there. When the car needed new tires, he scheduled an appointment, brought his laptop along, and worked from the auto body shop. His vacation time gets saved up for when we actually need and want him to take time off...huge blessing!
- He's always around. Now while we really don't hear or see much from him during the day, he does have a knack of coming downstairs for lunch JUST as I've put the kids down for their nap and am ready for some peace and quiet of my own - no kids, no husband, no touching, no talking, just QUIET. And while he's always happy to see me, well, sorrynotsorry honey, but I don't always have quite the same enthusiasm to see him.
- But when he's gone, he's GONE. Obviously this past fall was an exception, but there will still be times when it will be necessary for him to travel to be at the main office or one of their client's offices. While a week of him gone cannot possibly compare to 3 1/2 months of being away, a week of no daddy/husband around is still nothing to look forward to.
- Interruptions. Kids are kids, and I'm sure that Tyson hears more of them during the day than he might like. Sometimes I might be the problem, as I was last week when hanging some things in the nursery...pounding nails right into the shared wall between the nursery and his office. While it's pretty crucial for myself and the kids to get out each day anyway, I do make getting (almost) every morning a priority, so he gets the absolute assurance of peace and quiet.
- Guard their space. While his office is FAR from "finished" (it kind of became my dumping ground for things last fall post-move...and by "kind of" I mean "for the love of God please don't open the closet door"), he's completely set up with his desk, computer, etc. In particular, Caden and Brooklyn do NOT get to go in the office. They literally didn't even know which room Tyson worked in until a week or two ago. The door always stays shut, and we're going to keep it that way.
- Keep a schedule. While there are times that he needs to work ahead or get hours put in before holidays and whatnot, the average day sees him working from roughly 8:30 am - 5 pm. This is a FAR cry from grad school when his hours were basically: all the time. Always. Is he working right now? Yes. It is sooooo wonderful to have him around in the evenings and on the weekends. It's important to us as a family that we have these boundaries set up, so that family time actually is our time, instead of just feeling like time we've borrowed.
- Communicate. This is something we could do better on, but Tyson needs to let me know if he will be in a meeting - especially with a client - and absolutely cannot be interrupted (thankfully he was NOT the day I decided to pound a bunch of nails into the wall). Same goes for him, when he agrees to come downstairs at 5 so I can make dinner...and then is delayed for 10-15 minutes by a meeting, which unfortunately seems to happen more often than not. Just a quick text will do.
We're only about 5 weeks into this, so we're still figuring this all out, but so far so good. We'll continue to change and adapt to the needs of both Tyson's job and our little (but growing!) family.