When Is The Work Day Done For A Work-From-Home Parent? | Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Work from Home

When Is The Work Day Done For A Work-From-Home Parent?

Many relationships run into trouble when they fail to honestly discuss and plan for the needs of a home business.

The partner who works outside the home may come home feeling tired and ready to rest – after all, they did their work for the day – but looks around and sees chaos. Children needing/wanting attention, housework left undone here and there, and their mate chattering about the joys and troubles of the day, seeking affection and assistance with it all.

It gets even worse when you add a home-based business into the mix. You’ve now added pressure to run a business and consistently create income. Things that normally involve more than one person or department.

  • A/R and Billing
    You won’t get very far if you can’t manage your accounts receivable and accounts payable. An accountant can help you set your system up but you do need to know how to use it and how to read your reports. After all, overdue accounts won’t collect themselves.
  • Content/Product/Service Development
    Without a product or service to sell, you won’t make any money.
  • Customer Service
    Happy customers mean repeat business, referrals, and income.
  • Human Resources
    The business may be too small to offer a benefits package but you do need to know when you can take time off and how much you actually get paid. Your accountant can help you determine how much tax and other deductions you should pay but it is up to you to stay on top of that.
  • Marketing and Advertising
    You need to let potential clients know you exist and help craft the impression they have of you and what you do.
  • Technical Support
    Tech helpers can become tech nightmares when gadgets stop working like they should and software starts glitching, losing important data. It needs to be fixed quickly so that you and your clients can get back to work.
  • Web Development
    Your website is a living business card. Until it goes down or gets hacked. All that content you worked so hard to create needs to uploaded and properly formatted. It needs to be updated and kept secure.

Focus Is The Key

The stress and strain builds up every day with both sides may be thinking they are carrying the heavier load and could a better job than the other partner.

“It must be nice to stay home.”
~ Snarky Comment

A traditionally employed parent‘s primary focus during work hours is the job they are paid to do. (Except for the times they are on social media like Facebook but that’s an entirely different post.)

A stay-at-home parent‘s primary focus is the well-being of the children and upkeep of the home.

Meanwhile, most work-from-home business models force the work-from-home parent to choose between the kids and the home or the business. Often many times a day!

It can be hard emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Downright frustrating and tear inducing on one day, absolutely a praiseworthy effort on another:

  1. You’ve struggled with writer’s block and are finally on a roll when the baby starts to cry.
  2. You need to record a tutorial or lead a live teleseminar but the older kids are happily running around, chatting and laughing loudly.
  3. You finally put out all those household fires – washed the dishes, got the laundry started, put the baby down for a nap – when the phone rings. It’s a potential client but you still need to make sure the older kids eat a healthy lunch.

The bad news is that there isn’t an easy, one-family-fits-all answer. It all comes down to what you and your partner have chosen to focus on and what both of you think “the work day is done” means for the work-at-home parent.

P.S. Do you have a resource suggestion, an idea for a post or tutorial, or want support on your journey? Contact me here.
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