My husband is someone who, when an opportunity presents itself, thinks of the positive outcomes of the opportunity and not so much about the potential negative outcomes. Covid-19 gave him the opportunity he has always wanted: to work from home. He assumed he would be able to work normal hours and be able to concentrate on his work during the day. He didn’t think about the disruptions caused by his three-year-old who is all about daddy all the time or his rambunctious two-year-old daughter who needs to be involved in every little thing we do with no regard to personal space. We were deep in conversation about how difficult it is for him to work from home and really started thinking about different pros and cons of the situation.
There are many reasons my husband likes working from home. He loves that he is able to spend more time with the family. Since he doesn’t need to be in the office the same time as everyone else, he can sometimes move around his hours to work after the kids go to bed or during nap times. Not to mention the naps he takes when they nap, like right now as I type this. Time isn’t wasted on commute time to and from the office. He likes that he has time to make a good breakfast and lunch instead of packing food for at the office.
His working from home has also helped me out a lot as well, especially while pregnant. In case you didn’t know or were lucky enough to have energy your whole pregnancy, the third trimester is exhausting. Him being here in the mornings able to help get the kids up and breakfast in the mornings made has been extremely helpful on days I am slow moving. It is also nice to have him here for my appointments. My OB/GYN isn’t allowing anyone in the building with me, so him being home and able to watch the kids while I go to my appointments has made it a lot less stressful. Making dinner has been another thing that has been easier. When he was at the office, I never had a definite answer of when he would be home, making dinner planning hard. Now I know he’ll be home and he can help cook some nights too (which he is thrilled about)!
The main thing my husband wasn’t prepared for was the constant interruptions from the kids. They are not used to their daddy being home all day long and they love being with him all of the time, so of course they want to be in his office with him. They are constantly barging into his office whenever they want, and they are incredibly loud for two tiny toddlers. These distractions have made it difficult for him to concentrate on his work. It is particularly interesting when he is on a video conference and our two-year-old thinks she needs to be on screen with him, too. And although he can sometimes move around when he works, this isn’t always possible.
The hardest part for me is trying to keep them out of his office while he is working. When he was going into his work office, I could sometimes let the kids play and I could cook, clean, do laundry, a project, schoolwork or anything else I needed to get done. With him working from home, I have to watch them every second so they aren’t barging into his office bothering him while he tries to work. This gives me less time to do the things I need to get done during the day.
One thing that has really stuck out to me during this transition is that my husband finally realized staying home with the kids isn’t easy. What is that saying? “Raising kids is a walk in the park. Jurassic park!” Before working from home, my husband would make fun of me saying that I just watch Netflix and eat bonbons all day, and now he finally realizes just how difficult it really is.
Although the transition to working from home has been difficult, we are very thankful for his job and the opportunity to continue working. With having a baby due in just a few more weeks, I am thankful my husband isn’t in the office getting more possible exposure to the virus to bring home to me or the kids, but I am also more than ready for everything to go back to normal.