I chose my profession for a number of reasons but the main reason was that one day, I hoped to have children. If that hope came true, I could work at home like so many accountants do and be a part of my kids’ daily lives. I didn’t know it at the time, but my profession went digital and I was able to spend five years working from home, entirely online except for the occasional work weekend in Vancouver. I was living the dream!

The Dream was work that fell on the weekends, which was neither here nor there when my kids were babies and preschoolers. As much as I have been clawing at Time to stop, I cannot control it and my kids are all in full-time school. I went back to work in an office almost two years ago (!) and while I love my coworkers — I’ve known most of them for ten years, before I ever birthed babies — I miss being the parent to greet my kids at the end of the day.

My firm was on four-day work weeks for the past three months and I had Tuesdays off. Tuesdays were my FAVORITE. Sleeping in, morning snuggles, and afternoons at the beach. This past Tuesday saw me with a day off while all three kids were at school. I sat down, uninterrupted, and got caught up on freelance work, home office work, and groceries (we like to eat). When the clock told me that the bus would be dropping the kids off in the next ten minutes, I went out front and sat on the hill with a magazine and my iPhone (of course). Before I knew it, they were scrambling up our driveway, chattering away and they even obliged their Mom with a photo.

I sent the photo out into the Interwebs with this caption: In my perfect world, I’d be here to greet them after school *every* day.

I mean it. It would be the perfect world for me. I just need to figure out how to make that happen.

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  1. Hannah September 22, 2011 12:59 am edit

    I love working from home and I love being able to walk the boys to and from school. For the past few months, they have been walking home on their own (it is only 5 minutes away) and now I love being here when they walk down the driveway. So yeah, I understand your need/want to do the same. I’m sure you will make that dream a reality, somehow. Maybe you can arrange to do shorter days with your firm, and then work the rest of your day from home? I don’t know how feasible that would be with your job, but sometimes if you don’t ask, you don’t know. I certainly never dreamed I would be able to work from home full time, but it is becoming the “way of the future” and our company has really embraced it over the past 5 years or so. We have quite a few remote workers now. I think they understand that a lot of people really want and need that flexibility for work/life balance, and they want to help people achieve it.

  2. Jen September 22, 2011 9:52 am edit

    My mom adjusted her “career” when my brother and I were both in school full-time just so she could be home when we got home from school, too. She put her career job in radio on hold for several years and worked (her ass off) as a private house cleaner. The hours allowed her to work when we were at school, and she made just enough money to make it work. (She did work some weekends as a radio DJ, for extra money, but our dad was home then.) Cleaning houses wasn’t glamorous, but she says it’s what allowed her to be there for us. I never forget that.

  3. Kim September 22, 2011 10:35 am edit

    I think your perfect world would require, no winter too {wink}

  4. Sundry September 22, 2011 11:37 am edit

    I know just what you mean. My work-from-home world isn’t perfect in every way (ha ha ha ha HAAAA no), but I am so grateful to be here when R gets home from school. I hope your dream—however it manifests—comes true, soon.

  5. mpotter September 22, 2011 12:36 pm edit

    here’s hoping you find it! and soon.

    y’all are smart & resourceful…. you’ll figure something out.

  6. Danica September 22, 2011 2:35 pm edit

    So sweet.
    One of the lucky things about still being a student is that I have been able to arrange my schedule to avoid afternoon classes. Sometimes that means heading out to class after dinner, but it is such a blessing to pick the kids up from school every day. (Not to mention having summers off to hang out with them.)
    I’m looking forward to grad, don’t get me wrong, but I am a little apprehensive about that big huge change that will occur when I’m working full time somewhere.

  7. ememby September 22, 2011 7:17 pm edit

    I’m so with you but at this point can’t see how it will happen but someday when they are both in school, I can only hope and work like crazy to get to that point! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Jenn September 22, 2011 8:54 pm edit

    I pick up/drop off my boys 4 out of 5 school days ( I work on Fridays- for pay that is). I am thankful that we are to make this work. Maybe we eat out less or travel only once a year and live in a 1980’s house but I wouldn’t trade my dream for any of those pitched on t.v. these days.
    Hope you can make that work for too.

  9. jewel September 23, 2011 8:23 am edit

    I am so inspired in your article..Work and hoping to get this point..I think they understand that a lot of people really need flexibility for work..

  10. alimartell September 23, 2011 11:05 am edit

    Sigh. That would happen in my perfect world too!

  11. Marianne September 24, 2011 8:27 pm edit

    I’d love that too. My husband and I have adjusted our schedule though so I see my daughter off in the morning and he waits for her at the bus stop at the end of the school day. Not quite perfect, but the best we can do right now.

  12. Kristabella September 26, 2011 9:20 am edit

    That would be my perfect world too. For all my talk of having a baby on my own, I really want to have a baby AND be a stay at home mom.

    My 22 year old self hangs her head in shame. :)

  13. Mrs. Wilson September 27, 2011 10:14 pm edit

    Me too. It makes me sad when moms have to work (when they’d rather be home with their babies). I’m absolutely loving my mat leave and dreading going back to work already.

    One thing I’ve noticed about you, though, is that you and Matthew place such high importance on at least one of you always being there for/with your kids. They’re lucky kids. :)

  14. hillary October 5, 2011 12:56 pm edit

    If you figure it out, let me know. I don’t know how I’m going to leave my little bud when mat leave is over.

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