Friday, 5 June 2015

Working from home‏

For the last 8 years I worked from home. I was going to quit my job in Tokyo when I was moving to Australia in 2006, but my boss then told me that I could continue the job because it was web management job.

Whenever I told someone about my job situation, everyone said how lucky I was and then said "when you have kids, it will be really good that you can work from home" and I always believed their words.

this was my office space at St Kilda East apartment where I used to live

Then I had my son Nico last October.  I told my boss that I'd take only 4 months parental leave and get back to work in March. My work was like a bit typical Japanese old fashioned company and I knew they didn't like giving me any parental leave (even without pay), so I tried to make up the time quickly.

When I started work again, it was with a part time shift from 10am to 2pm. Nico was 4 months old. Obviously he didn't sleep through night so I felt exhausted every morning. I usually drove my husband Paul to station before my work and Nico slept in the car, so by the time I started my work he was totally awake and needed my full attention. He wasn't turning or crawling so I put him in a bouncer net and tried to do my work, but soon he started grizzle. It wasn't long before I found I couldn't do my work while Nico was awake. I could only do my work when he was sleeping like an angel.

But I was lucky that Paul's parents lived just around the corner and Mum (well, Paul's mum, but I call her Mum too) often asked me if I needed her help. First I hesitated to ask her but soon it became like a routine for mum to come to our place in the morning and take Nico for a walk or to their place. I couldn't do without her help.

After losing my job, I've decided to become a business owner, but still work from home. I don't have a set time for my work now though, so I don't have to ask mum to look after Nico anymore (she loves him so much, but I know she's already busy with other grand kids !). So, how do I work?

I am experimenting it a bit now. I do my house stuff when Nico is awake in the morning. He's usually happy in the morning so he doesn't mind following me doing vacuum cleaning or sitting in the pram with his favorite toys while I'm doing dishes. 

When he's awake afternoon I try to take him for a walk, go shopping, to nana and pa's place or play with him at home.  Then I do my work while he's having his morning and afternoon naps and after he goes to sleep at night.

It's been only 4 days since I started my business but it seems like a pretty good system. I found it pretty productive. When do I rest? I usually watch Japanese TV shows with Paul after dinner and that is my favorite resting time.

Nico is now only crawling so it might be a bit more difficult when he starts walking around or goes without morning naps, but being my own boss is pretty good. I can decide my priorities. I don't have to make excuses to anyone when I can't do something. Working from home is not as easy as people sometimes think, but now I'm really enjoying it.

Do you have kids and work from home? How are you managing? Or, do you wish you could work from home? I'd love to hear your experience or advice!

With love,

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