November 28: Lovely rain


Today was a good day of rain with me working from home and then reuniting with the kids.

  • Woke up to the rain; looked outside at the yard and the trees and fell in love with this house again
  • Got ready for work which meant comfy clothes and slippers.   Working by the fireplace with Cocoa who kept me company while she ate and played all day.
  • Work was good.  Conference calls.  Client follow ups.   A good day.

  • Went to pick up Red, Twin Crazy, and Twin Husky early because of a doctor appointment later that day.   Bad move.  All had interrupted naps which caused problems later.  BUT – the reunions were priceless.  I hugged Red for I think 5 minutes non-stop just outside of her classroom; Twin Husky woke up to see me and grabbed my nose and hugged me.  Twin Crazy couldn’t stop yelling “Mommy”, “Mommy”, “Mommy” even though I begged her to whisper since her other classmates were sleeping.
  • I took a conference call on the way, during, and after Big Bro’s pick up.   I love “mute”.
  • We went to the pediatrician for Big Bro’s wellness visit.  The kids played great in the waiting room.  Big Bro was awesome during the visit.  The doctor mentioned that he is doing really good at being dirty.   How embarrassing.
  • The kids got to pick from a trunk full of crap toys – these crap toys really caused me issues when we got home; kids were tired and cranky, and these crap toys I’m sure were made in China and self-destructed within 2 minutes of play.

  • When we got home Twin Husky helped me with the garbage bins (our thing together).   Red played with Cocoa.  Big Bro did 2 pages of math homework and then went out looking for friends.  No-one was home so he took a shower and then watched some TV as I made dinner.   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky by this point were acting crazy.  No naps kills us.
  • Dinner was fine; dessert was fruit
  • Afterwards I colored with Red, Big Bro played with Cocoa.  And the Twins were going nuts.
  • Booktime was fine; we read a book about divorce and in the story the kid looks up to the moon when he misses the other parent.  I said that’s what I do too…. in fact that’s what I did the night before.  The kids were intrigued by this.  I showed them the photograph that I took… a big, full moon with little clouds scattered everywhere that picked up the moonlight and actually looked like lace… I took a photo and showed it to them tonight.   I asked them that whenever they miss me at night they should look up to the moon because I am doing that too.  And whenever they miss me by day, they should look up to the sky because I am doing that too.

I wish it were that easy.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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September 13: 10 days to go


It’s the end of a Thursday, a day where I have the “day off”, but I just finished 3 hours of work after the kids went to bed.   My first big meeting is 10 days away and I am getting down to the wire.

HIghlights of the Morning:

  • Chocolate Thursday – kids ate great
  • Twin Husky was pretending to fix a broken handle on one of the kitchen drawers.  And then Big Bro tried to play and fix it too, causing friction between the two.   Ugggh.  Big Bro is in a foul mood this morning.
  • Everyone got dressed quickly.  Red helped Twin Crazy get dressed into a cute little dance / ballerina outfit.  I had no idea what they were doing.   Twin Crazy looked so adorable and was trying so hard to hold back the smiles when I saw her.   Red is an amazing big sister.
  • It was Big Bro’s picture day.   He sprayed his hair down and I put in some gel.  He picked out a Star Wars shirt to wear.
  • On the ride to school, we talked about colors, fog, factories, and saw a car with a little tiny ball on its antenna that looked like a sun wearing sunglasses.  That made us all crack up.
  • Big Bro had a hard time leaving the van to get to his class.  There were tears.  It was hard for me.
  • Red’s drop off was great.  I set her up with her diva friends and she barely looked back at me.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were happy to be headed home with me.
  • We went food shopping which was a hit.  They both loved the “car cart” and were very helpful to me for the entire trip.
  • Afterwards we played outside, I cleaned up a bit, and I heard them laughing a bit too hard.  Their “devious” laugh.  They had filled up the bathroom sink with hand soap and water.  Uggh.
  • Lunch.   Books.  Bed.

The Afternoon:

  • I had to lift Twin Crazy and Twin Husky as they were sleeping and put them in the car to pick up Big Bro and Red.
  • Pick ups were fine; ride home was fine.  I had some conference calls related to the forum coming up – coordinating with one of the speakers.
  • At home we saw a new delivery that happened while we were out…  our new patio dining set!!!!   IT LOOKS GREAT  and can seat 10 people.   I am pumped.  The kids were excited about eating outside from now on.
  • We played ball a bit, picked some weeds and fed the chickens.   Red played with Cocoa.  We had a snack at the patio set.   Big Bro and Red built a fort in the living room.   Twin Husky kept going pee pee and even went into the potty by himself when he had to poop.   No one knew he was in there until later – Red found him first and called out to me that he was going poop all by himself.   I had fun relaxing at the patio table reading a magazine while the kids played.
  • Dinner was great.  
  • I cleaned up the kitchen as the kids played.   Fired up some smoothie and the kids watched the rest of “A Bug’s Life”.
  • Got ready for bed; read books; kids were good.   Red was a bit sad at bedtime and needed some help.  

After the kids went to bed, I worked on conference stuff for a good 3+ hours.   This is stuff that cannot wait.   I am under the wire now and will likely be working on and off the entire weekend.   This upcoming week is my last week before the big meeting.   I’m feeling good though.  We have a killer Agenda, and a lot of Guests coming to the meeting that will likely become members.  I am hoping to convert 5 – 8 organizations as new clients which will make me look like a star.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

September 12: Back in the saddle again


This is a bit late; sorry.   It’s been quite busy here and I’m running on all cylinders –

Wednesday was a 1/2 work day for me. 

My Working Day:

  • Got up, made coffee, essentially worked from my bathrobe in my house for the 1/2 day.
  • Had a sales call with a potential member for a forum – it went excellent!  They will be coming to our meeting and have already agreed to sign on as members.   Awesome!
  • I did a lot of outreach for the forum coming up in less than two weeks.  It is stress-time now.
  • I called a quits at 1 PM and washed my face, put on clothes.  Headed to the car to get the kids.

The Rest of the Day:

  • I picked up Big Bro and got there in plenty of time.   I wanted some 1:1 time with him so stole him with me to run some errands, solo.
  • We headed out and bought a KitchenAid mixer and got an AMAZING DEAL at Kohl’s.   Sale, rebate, and Kohl’s cash back.   There is no way I would have ever been able to buy this machine at such a price ANYWHERE else.   I was psyched.
  • Big Bro and I went to get him a haircut.  His hair has been out of control and picture day was the next day.   Before the haircut, we grabbed a snack.  He got a chocolate covered mini-rice krispie treat, and I a chocolate covered strawberry.   I loved the time with him.    His haircut turned out OK.
  • Pick ups for the rest of the kids was fine.   Teachers were saying that Twin Husky was doing great with potty training.   I talked with the teacher in Red’s new class (who was also the teacher for Big Bro) and she commented that I looked great and happy.   We talked a bit about personal matters and about how Red is handling it.    Red ran to her old classroom and the teachers there gave her such huge hugs.  Again, I got the “you look great, happy, BEAMING” comment.  It is so true.   I feel like my life is so different and so much better than it was one year ago this time.
  • On the ride home Twin Husky told me that he cries sometimes at school because he misses mommy and daddy.  I am so glad he is at least saying his words and telling me how he feels…. I’m encouraging that with all of the kids.
  • We had an early dinner, ate pudding.   Twin Husky wanted a “huge” spoon.
  • Cocoa got a lot of attention from everybody.  Red was reading her a book.   Cocoa was snuggling into Red’s neck and kissing/ licking her neck.  So sweet.
  • We watched some of the movie “A Bugs Life” because Big Bro wanted me to see some of it and point out the really funny parts.
  • Book time was great and I had all the kids around me.

 

 

It was a FANTASTIC day – very productive at work and so happy to be back with the kids!

– Mama K

September 4: First days!


Today Twin Crazy and Twin Husky started “traditional” daycare, versus the “home” daycare that we’ve had them in since they were babies.   And it was Red’s first day in a new “classroom” at daycare – “Pre-K”.   I decided to drive down to co-parent’s neighborhood to see their first days in action…
Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up early and left the house at 7 AM, with my phone free of pictures and fully charged.
  • I got there way early – there was hardly any traffic.  So I went to co-parent’s at 7:45 AM.   Red was having problems with socks.   I offered to take her into school and meet the rest there.
  • Red and I waited for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and I took lots of pictures of her.  For some reason I missed her like crazy yesterday.    I just kept thinking about the times she says “what can I do with you” and I’m always too stretched to really spend any time with her.   All I wanted to do yesterday is sit down and color with her.   I missed her so much; so this morning I grabbed extra hugs and kisses and tried to make her feel extra special.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky came in, with their little backpacks.  Sooooooooo cute.  They were really excited.  They checked out their cubbies, the sofa, the potties, a crayon activity (and talked to each other about the colors), the play-kitchen, the doll house….   Twin Husky carried his Tiger non-stop and even took off his shoes when he sat on the little couch.   They had no problems with our leaving.  They looked like they were already having a blast.
  • Red’s drop off was fine.  She was shy at first, but then warmed up when she saw some friends.   Her face was glowing and she jumped right into activities with her friends.
  • I missed the ferry, so I decided to work from Starbucks.   The commute was literally 5 minutes.

 

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I set up at Starbucks, got another coffee.   I was actually very productive.   I had several conference calls and got closer to firming up the Agenda and attendees to the forum we are having later this month.
  • I followed up on old invoices
  • I started to confirm the Agenda for the other forum we will have in October.
  • I did some admin items such as timesheets

 

The Rest of the Day:

  • I called a quits at 4 PM and went clothes shopping at Kohl’s with $3o Kohl’s Cash.  I spent an incremental $2 on 2 dresses and a pair of “skorts”.  I’m psyched about the killer deal and will wear one of the dresses tomorrow.
  • I did some food shopping – again with coupons.  Safeway’s deals are great and they give you discounts on gas which I really appreciate these days.   But, I saw that they double charged me for bread and believe it or not but I actually spent the time to go back to get the $5 returned to me.   Again, watching every dollar.   Oh how my life has changed.
  • I had the kids tonight since co-parent is on a business trip.   So this Tuesday night with them was a gift.
  • Pick ups were EXCELLENT!   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky looked tired, but very very happy.  Again, Twin Husky was carrying around his Tiger.   They were eating snacks.  They seemed really happy – each with their own seat right across from each other.  I asked if they were set up next to each other for naps and the teachers confirmed yes.   There were no tears.  I am thrilled.  They had a great first day.
  • Red was excited at pick up too; she had a great day and I came back with lots of art.
  • Pick up for Big Bro was fine; he goes with a neighbor who is a life-saver to me.
  • On the way home we reconnected and caught up with each other.  We talked about the past few days and the birthday party they went to and Big Bro’s owie and the first days of school.  I talked about the guinea pig and how I bought her different greens and how big she’s getting.   It was a great ride home, but we hit traffic.   The kids were happy despite this.
  • I started dinner as soon as we got in; the kids were playing with Cocoa.  And drawing.  And cutting pictures out of magazines.
  • I did homework with Big Bro.  He read some words, counted to 100, and wrote a sentence about the drawing of his family.  His sentence was “I have a new pet.”  He spelled out all the words and the sentence by himself.  I can’t get over it.
  • We ate well except for Big Bro.  He still has stomach issues.   This has been going on way too long… almost one week.  I think I need to take him to a doctor.
  • After dinner Big Bro took it easy on the couch while the rest of us took out the garbage.  I usually don’t have them on these nights so this was fun with them.  They “helped” me carry the bins down to the street.
  • We all picked out the clothes for the next morning so we can get a jump on that without hesitation tomorrow.
  • Bedtime was great; they got changed without a problem.  Books were no problem.  Getting them to sleep was a minor problem – the girls wanted to talk.   They talked about what scares them.  Red is scared of alligators but I assured her that the zoo is very far away and there is absolutely NO WAY that the alligator is going to escape his tank and walk all the way over here.   Twin Crazy agreed that the alligator does have a big mouth and could eat us.   And bugs.   And that the bugs would be mad if the alligator ate the other bugs.   Big Bro was busy looking at Cocoa eating her new dandelion greens.  We sat there for awhile looking at her eat.  I asked him if he likes having a pet and not only did he say “Yes” right away, but he immediately said that he wants to have a dog too.   Twin Husky was excited about the day and kept saying that he is a big boy.

It was a great day; I was actually a working mom again which feels good but also extremely exhausting since I am out of practice.   We are going to have a VERY early morning tomorrow so I need to get some things done tonight.   I will work from Starbucks again tomorrow but for only 1/2 day; I’m looking forward to getting home with the kids at a more reasonable time tomorrow so we can eat earlier, spend more time together, and not be stuck in commuting traffic…  I want to talk to them more since their conversations either crack me up, surprise me from the intelligence, or both.

It was a GREAT day.  One that I will remember because of the “first days”.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

August 27: Big Bro’s first day of First grade!!!


I wake up at 6:15 to quickly grab a shower before the kids wake up.  This is a BIG day.  For many reasons.  This is the first morning that I will be driving the children in early morning rush hour traffic to co-parent’s neighborhood for school and daycare.   This is the first day back after my mini “staycation” with the kids and my mom.   But most importantly, this is Big Bro’s FIRST day of school and FIRST day of FIRST grade!!!!

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • During my shower I faintly saw a 3 foot tall body through the textured glass.  It was Twin Husky, usually the first of the four kids to wake up.  He was standing there, smiling, thumb in mouth and Tiger tail in hand.  He was talking about how my closet door does not close (because there’s too much stuff in it) but how the bathroom door DOES close and he shows me.   How can kids be such conversationalists as soon as they wake up?
  • We whispered to each other so the other kids would be able to sleep as long as possible.  I had already set up the shoes for the kids the night before, and also organized Big Bro’s lunch, but this AM I also organized:  four piles of vitamins, an “on the road” breakfast (grapes and tortillas), four water bottles, Big Bro’s lunch in the lunchbox (along with a note from mommy), jackets.    I also promptly put on the kettle so I could brew my own luxury… Boden coffee.
  • The kids started to wake up.  Big Bro and Red were already dressed from the night before (they were very excited).  I just had to do diaper changes for the Twins since they would be dropped off to their old daycare in PJs.
  • The kids seemed ready to go and excited.  I prepared them for this morning.   They eagerly ate their vitamins.  Brushed teeth.   I helped zipper jackets.   I wet, combed, and put gel in Big Bro’s enormous head of hair.  And off we went.   I got the kids belted in the van, and then distributed their water bottles and breakfast.   We were off.   On the road.   In motion.   The kids not skipping a beat.
  • It took about 30  minutes of highway driving in rush hour traffic but it was moving and not bad at all.  We talked about the fog, how it hugged the trees ahead of us.   Twin Crazy was very talkative, as usual.   By the end of the ride, Red was asleep, and Twin Husky was close to it.   As we got closer Twin Husky started to cry.  He said he didn’t want to go to “school”.   He starts pre-school with Twin Crazy on Wednesday and we’ve been talking about that.  I guess he feels a little bit nervous.  How sweet.
  • Twin drop off was quick, efficient.
  • Red drop off was slower, a bit clingy.  She looked gorgeous in her new clothes and short hair.   I informed the teacher that she was having a hard morning so she took some extra time with Red as I was leaving.
  • Big Bro drop off.   I loved it.   We parked the car, and walked together to the school.  I talked about how proud I am of him.  How great First grade will be.  How pretty soon he will be reading so much more and learning so much about things.  How this is a big day for him.  How it might feel different compared to Kindergarten but he will have his friends there and his teacher will likely be very nice.   I told him that I was so happy to be walking there with him.  Just me and him – no one else.   And I asked him if I could hold his hand as we walked through the streets of a quiet neighborhood – since I knew he would not want to hold my hand as we got closer to the school.   I apologized for the long ride in the morning.  He said that he actually liked the long ride.    I was surprised by this and want to explore it further with him….  
  • We arrived and there were lots of families there with their kids.  Lots of smiles.   The pledge of allegiance was over and announcements were over, so it was time to go to the classrooms.   His teacher did not want the parents inside – so she greeted each child at the door and the parents said their goodbyes at the door.   Big Bro went in without a problem.  No tears.   I sneaked a peek into the classroom once he got seated, and caught him looking back towards the door to sneak a peek.   I did not want to cause a commotion and quickly left.  
  • I felt really good on the way to the car.   The kids were great this morning and the ride was manageable.  Now I just need to do some thinking of fast breakfasts that can be “on the go” that all will like.   This will be my new project.   Any suggestions Mamas?

 

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I drove back home instead of going into the city, since I needed to be there to accept a furniture delivery.  I received my kitchen table today!   Yeah!!!
  • On the way home, I received some calls from potential clients related to the forums I am organizing.   I am inviting “guests” in hopes that they will see the value of the meeting and convert to paying members.   The Agenda is working as a sales tool.  It’s generating interest and I received two phone calls on my way home.
  • At home, the table arrived shortly after I did.   It looks big.   But I think it will work (it has too).   I was just used to open space, and now it is filled.   It is very “barnlike” which I love – it feels comfortable, low key, and functional for the space.   I can’t wait for the kids to see it and to have our first meal together.

  • I spent the day a bit in a daze.   Organizing meetings for tomorrow, handling some logistics.   Delegating some tasks. 

The Rest of the Day:

  • I decided to call a quits at 5-ish.
  • I pulled weeds, put the pool and slip-n-slide in the back of the house, and put some logs in my trash bin.
  • I left a message for Big Bro to call me when he got home.
  • I ate left over cheese and tomato salad for dinner.
  • I talked to Big Bro.  It was mostly me asking questions and him saying “yeah” but he sounded VERY happy.  I told him again how proud of him I was.  I asked him if he felt nervous at all and he said No.   We talked for more than 20 minutes which I thought good for a kid of six.   He was the most talkative about his lunch.  How I put in a napkin, a note, and chocolate cake.  I’ll pull more out of him when I see him.  I can’t wait.

So now I’m chilling out feeling good about the day; I miss the kids but they need their time with co-parent.  It is so quiet here without them.  The sun is setting and the crickets are chirping.  I will have a busy day of meetings tomorrow, but I am glad about that since I feel like I was in a daze today.  

My first born had his first day in First grade today.  And there were no tears.  And he was excited.  And he sounded so happy when I talked with him at the end of the day.    And this room is coming together – the kitchen table is finally here.  What a milestone.  Now it will really feel like a home.  

I am looking forward to watching True Blood on the DVR.   And getting an early night’s sleep.   This is shaping up to being a really good week, so far.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

June 20: Loss of my Virgin Mouth


I like Wednesdays. I get to work from home for 1/2 day:

Highlights of My Morning:

  • I woke up early and started my day at 8 AM. I started with an instant coffee while booting up my computer.
  • I have a brand new printer/fax/scanner/copier. I love it. It is soooooooooooo fast. And small. I faxed out Big Bro’s report card to co-parent and felt productive already. Then I had issues with the fax – the report said it didn’t send. It took me awhile to figure out I had to actually switch the phone line to the fax machine to get it to work. DUH.
  • I had a second instant coffee and checked email. Nothing major to respond to.
  • I followed up with some invoices.
  • I updated our sales pipeline for one of our forums.
  • I took a break and decided to walk to the back of my property. There are some trees back there that are turning orange. I am a bit concerned about them and I wanted to see where they were on the property lines. Then the fun started. I have a fence in the back that is completely pulled down – and a well-established trail, I believe from the deer (that ate the leaves off of my new fruit trees). The strange thing is that there is about 6 feet of “no man’s land” between my torn down fence and the fence from my back neighbor… and these trees are actually part of this no-man’s land. It is kindof cool back there…. it reminded me of the trails I used to walk and explore as a kid. But it scared me to think of my kids back here. There were big holes – not sure what from or what kinds of critters. And strange forts. Plus lots of debris. I have a lot of work to do. First, I need to figure out if these trees are mine – where does my property line end? Then I must do something about these trees – depending on if they are mine or not – regardless, their limbs have to come down and out of my space. Lastly, I will need to get a proper fence put up. It won’t take long to contain Twin Husky or Big Bro from this mess. I just see more $$$ coming out and I don’t know where it will come from. I decided to go back to work to earn some money.
  • I don’t really remember what else I did – I talked to my mom for a bit and I had a conference call to discuss a pricing strategy for one of our forums. We need to rethink pricing to get more members in – non-profits, start-ups, and smaller organizations. It is valuable to have them part of the forum but the price tag is a barrier to get them in. So we’re experimenting a bit to see if we can get some over the line. I have a number of sales calls coming up so am glad we came to conclusions on this.
  • I ate lunch. Got dressed. Headed out the door.

    Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • I headed into the city for a dentist appointment. You may not believe this, but I have all of my teeth – all wisdom teeth – and have NEVER had a cavity…. until NOW. I couldn’t believe it. I thought there was something funky going on in there. For years Dentists raved about my “virgin” mouth… all teeth in, and absolutely no work done on any of them. I prided myself in my cavity-free mouth. BUT ALAS NO MORE!!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!!! A cavity. My mouth is no longer a virgin.
  • I headed in to pick up the kids. On my way I stopped at a grocery store to pick up some things. I shopped frugally and focused on sales. I got 3 containers of raspberries, buy 1 get 2 free. YEAH!
  • I picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Daycare said that they kept talking about the big couch and big TV at Mommy’s house. Too funny. My couch is so small and the TV is tiny compared to our other one. It’s funny to me what they choose to talk about.
  • We picked up Red and Big Bro at Red’s school. It was great to see her. I asked how she was doing (fine…, whew). She ran in my arms and I couldn’t get enough of her. She seemed older to me. Very much a little girl. She had a pony-tail in from her teacher and I think that is what made her look different to me.
  • I was careful with Big Bro when I saw him. Fist pump. I caught him playing with Twin Husky. They are so cute together now.
  • We headed to PetCo to get a new guinea pig. Our other one officially had ringworm (poor thing) so we picked out another. This one is chocolate-brown and a female. She is so sweet. She is actually quite social and does not immediately hide. Maybe the other one did because he felt sick. Poor guy. I hope I don’t get too many questions about where he is now. Twin Crazy was concerned that a Chicken would hurt the guinea pig when we got home. I assured her that this would not happen since it would be safe in a cage.
  • We drove back and I had fun throwing Vanilla wafers back to Red and Big Bro during the ride back. I would hear little “got it”s the whole way back. It was fun; we talked about the commuter train and the radio and I even caught Twin Crazy dancing a bit in her car seat.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • We got back home and disinfected the guinea pig cage. We all worked together; the kids were so cute doing this. Big Bro was holding the guinea pig as he was cleaning the cage. Such a little man.
  • We played ball and also a wheelbarrel of water.
  • We ate dinner. And lots of fruit afterwards. Strawberries, pears, blueberries, and one of the packages of raspberries.
  • We played with more water. I weeded.
  • I knew when it was time to come in – Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were pooped. I read to each of them and put Twin Husky down first. He had no problem laying in his bed with his Tigers. He asked me to rub his back. Then our whispers “I….. love….. you”.
  • I worked with Twin Crazy next, while Big Bro and Red were playing with the guinnea pig.
  • I thought everyone was brushed and down for the count when the girls just started acting silly. Pee pee, water, itchy vaginas. Everything that Red would say, Twin Crazy would say too. It is so sweet how they are sisters and so close in age. Also a bit frightening. Twin Crazy tried not to smile to me as she was repeating everything from Red. Too cute.
  • I showered which gave the girls time to actually go to sleep.
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    I’m sitting here now on my “big” couch listening to the crickets and enjoying a cool breeze. It’s fun to have the kids here again. And also a new little creature that really is so cute. Red wants to name her Isabelle – but that is the name of the birthday-girl neighbor from across the street so I don’t think that would be a proper name. We’ll have to work on that.

    I’m feeling reasonably good. Tired. Thinking about the yard. It would have been good to get out there a bit before it was dark but the girls were just to amped up. Maybe I’ll have some ice-cream instead. Screw it. I already have a cavity – my mouth is no longer a virgin so I guess just bring those cavities on!

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    Gig Tips: Some initial thoughts on telecommuting


    This is a new kind of blog entry for me.  Last week this time, I would have been talking about a Daily Journal where I was balancing being a mom and going to work.   I would have likely talked about Chocolate Tuesday.  But this week, and every week going forward, will be different for me.  I am no longer in that house with my children on Tuesdays.  I am in a different home.  I will have the children the second half of the week.  

    So, this leaves me with some time on my hands. 

    I’ve been wanting to balance this blog with career-related information that I believe could help working mothers.   There is so much out there to think about and every now and then I come across something that I believe is REALLY useful.  Also, after 20+ years in the workforce, I feel like I have some perspectives to share of my own.  I also believe that there is a very strong overlap of skillset between being a mom and managing a job/career.   I noticed a sharp difference in HOW I worked after having children – some traits for the worse, but some for the better.  Sometimes managing down to your subordinates, up to your bosses, and across to your peers feels like managing a set of Toddlers…. I see the connections frequently, as I’m sure you must as well.

    So anyway, this is a test for us.   This may work out well, or it may not.  Who knows.  But I like trying new things.   Let’s see if this kind of post is useful or mildly interesting for people.  If so, I will continue.  If not, I will focus on weeding my backyard instead.  🙂

    ****

    The subject of telecommuting is something near and dear to my heart.  I have the very good fortune of working for a firm where its employees are out of the office most of the time for work anyway… yes, extensive travel is NOT a good thing for work/life balance HOWEVER working in this kind of environment has provided me the opportunity to begin the discussions with my employers about the possibility of my working remotely… carving out a portion of my working week where I can work from home.

    I am lucky that I work for a company that believes that “people on the go” can still be productive – this is what we’ve built our business on. But face-time is still important in this line of work as well.  Face time can be important when you need to work with teams.   Sometimes working face-to-face is more efficient – and yields much better results.  But, sometimes you have those “heads down” kinds of tasks where it actually is better to be alone – with less interuption – and more time to focus on what you need to get done.

    I believe that telecommuting/workshifting has been PARAMOUNT in my happiness; being able to feel productive at home with your work frees up your time, makes you feel more in control of your life, and simply enables you to be there more for your children when need be (e.g., volunteering, still working if your children are home sick, being able to cook a home-cooked traditional dinner on those days, etc.).

    So how was I able to negotiate this kind of working arrangement?   How did I begin?  How did I manage to sell the concept to my management?

    I do not know the answer 100%.   But I do know that my tenure there meant something.  That my value to the company was worth more than the risk of having me leave.   I approached the concept as a “test”; let’s see if this works for you, for me.  And I’ve worked VERY hard to make sure this arrangement is humming and that I’m not dropping the ball.  It has taken some time to refine, and there were some kinks that had to be worked out – for example checking email even when I’m not “on the clock” so I can respond to clients, communicating to EVERYONE when I am available and when I am not, making sure I am reachable, setting up a proper workspace in my home so that I can be productive….. there are many things that make this work for me.   And I could probably write more about this if people are interested.

    I also have one thing to share that I recently came across at TeleworkResearchNetwork.com:  Lister, Kate; http://TeleworkResearchNetwork.com, (2010), “”Telecommuting Benefits: The Bottom Line”.   

    http://www.teleworkresearchnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/03/Bottom-Line-on-Telework-in-the-US.pdf

    I thought that it was interesting how they decomposed the value of “workshifting” to the individual, the company, and society.  The website is also interesting and focuses on the topic of telecommuting.

    Maybe this could help you in discussing the potential with your own employer?   Maybe it could help you to paint the benefit that they could see from a workshifting arrangement?  

    Check it out and let me know what you think!

    Thanks for giving me the time to read this “experimental” post –

    – Mama K

    image sourced from: http://ecoeng49.blogspot.com/

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