On working from home and other domestic joys

I’m currently working at the university on a tiny part-time contract. While I like to go to the school to meet my colleagues and get some of the admin done twice a week, I must say I love working from home. When I think about why I like it so much, these are the things that come to mind:

–          When seeking inspiration I can have a look at our garden, and if the weather is nice and I had some time in the morning I can see our clothes hanging outside. I don’t know why, but it gives me a sense of peace.

–          I love the smell of coffee after lunch when E. is sleeping and I have five minutes to think about my dilettante life.

–          I can eat real homemade food (Basque style) and not a cold, sad sandwich eaten seated at a desk.

–           When I get into a silly mood and am unable to produce an intelligent word or articulated sentence, I can always clean the house a bit (for the joy of my partner who can then escape his domestic weekend obligations).

–          I don’t need to dress up to go to work.

–          I’m the first to see the mail.

–          I can skip the commuting, so I end up with more time to work.

–          I don’t need to pretend that I’m working in front of my colleagues, so I don’t worry if I go to the toilet or the kitchen too many times. Nobody can see me.

–          If things get really bad I can always go for a nap in bed. Although I think about it every morning when I wake up at 6:30 I’ve never done it, except when I was pregnant and constantly sick. At that time I used to fall asleep with my head on my desk for 20 minutes right after lunch, to be woken up by a student knocking at my door (I know, very pathetic).

–          I can wear a beauty mask for 20 minutes while reading an article.

–          I can put the chickpeas or beans in water if I forgot to do it the night before.

–          I enjoy the sense of freedom when I work from home. I can negotiate my hours, adapt my productivity to my mood or my inspiration and tailor my day according to my needs. Maybe I sound too enthusiastic here. Let’s moderate my emotions and systematize the information with my tiny female brain; what I want to say is that I can finally be on my own at home and do the work that I like (reading and writing) without constant interruptions. Regarding my needs, what I feel at this moment is that they are more curtailed than tailored.

–          I can put E. down for a nap. He is almost 19 months, but he still goes to sleep in my arms. A bit heavy, I must say, but I love doing it.

–          I can be at home when E. wakes up from his nap in a non-stop screaming mood until he gets his banana.

These are all reasons why I love working from home. No matter that at this moment I work at an improvised desk. My home office is really dreadful at the moment, as we haven’t made a decision concerning the furniture or the house. But most of all, I love working from home because I feel that my creativity is preserved and protected in this space, and this is probably the most important thing of all.

 Natalia

10 responses to “On working from home and other domestic joys

  1. How wonderful! LOL, I wrote about domestic life today, too. Er, um…I wasn’t as positive as you (hmmm, seems to be a theme with me😉. Anyway, love it that you can work from home!!

  2. Reading this post is so lovely for me. I’ve been very down on my work-at-home life lately, perhaps (um, definitely) because I’m trying to cram too much work into too little time.

    Is E. generally around while you do your work? How do you take care of him, yourself, and your work?

    • I should have added in my post that one of the joys of working at home is that E. is not around!! He is with the childminder from 8:15-1:30 (everyday) although in UK there are plenty of bank holidays, school holidays and royal weadings when the childminder doesn’t work. When he is around. no work is possible.
      Part of my happiness is due also to my tiny part-time job.I don’t have a lot of pressure and I’m also doing a PG on Coaching, which I’m very happy with.
      But you’re right, everytime I try to do too many things I end up not enjoying at all.
      When you work at home, you look after your son at the same time?

  3. I *sometimes* work while taking care of my son, but really only when I’m under serious deadline pressure. Unfortunately, that has happened more frequently than I would like this year. More typically, I work while he naps, at night while he sleeps, and during the three days each week while he is at preschool. I work more or less full time, but he’s in school only part time. The late nights are worth it to me (usually), because I don’t think I could give up my Mondays and Thursdays with him.

    A lot of this flexibility is due to the fact that I’m a freelancer. The unfortunate part of this aspect of my employment is the unpredictability. Yes, I desperately need a break right now, and starting next week I might in fact be getting a break called unemployment. But the break can’t go on too long — I don’t want to pay for it later, with extra hours working to make up for lost income.

    • Also I should add that it’s nice that I work from home today. Nobody cares that I’m still in bed, letting my hurt ankle heal.

    • That’s tough! I can’t work at night. Lucila can tell you more about her experience of working at night to finish her PhD. I need some sort of sleep to be able to write and read. I’m not suprised that you need a break. Maybe a hurt ankle is what you need at this moment to be able to give you some rest. That happens to me often. I’m under pressure and I don’t want to stop working although I’m exhausted and opp.. suddenly out of the blue, I develop a high fever for three days.
      Saying this, I hope your ankle is better.

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