I was surprised when I saw this article posted on Apartment Therapy early this week.
The post is titled Making it Work: Working From Home With Kids. Immediately, I found the headline a bit of a paradox. I think we can all agree it takes oodles of work to keep a household running while wrangling children. And because of this I think it impossible to hold a full-time 40+ hour-a-week job along with acting as primary caregiver. In fact, where I work, I have signed an agreement saying I am NOT a primary caregiver to anyone when I’m working from home. I have also agreed that my work remains seamless whether working in or out of the office.
After reading the article a few times, I came to understand the writer may imply she’s not working a traditional job that’s even close to full-time hours, but she never actually says what job she’s doing or how many hours a week she’s expected to put in or if it’s on a project-by-project basis.
To have a headline like Making it Work: Working From Home With Kids, and then follow it up with this photo gave me the willies. Look at this woman in the photo. She’s got a glass of wine and a bowl of berries in front of her. And she’s wearing a lovely afternoon cocktail dress. She’s working? It looks more like she’s pinning images onto boards called “Suzy’s 5th Birthday Party” or “Backyard Inspiration” or watching The Mindy Project on Hulu. Thank goodness Apartment Therapy explains at the end of the post that this image is actually extracted from a house tour photo session with a gal named Jamie posted a while back on their site. I feel like a more appropriate image could have been chosen.
This is also the kind of post that teeters dangerously on the edge of understanding what work from home actually looks like or is like.
Case in point, my husband was psyched when I became mobile (working away from the office, at home, generally) one day a week. He said to me, ”This is going to be great when we have kids.”
“I mean, you can be at home when the baby is little and take care of her while you work.”
Oh man. I had to reel him in. I explained that when I’m working at home, I have the very same load I have at the office and while I may be dressed differently (hey, sweatpants!), I am still busy all day. I don’t have time to change a nappy or warm a bottle or entertain a toddler. I hope this made sense to him. I think it did.
Making it Work: Working From Home With Kids? I don’t think so.
Apartment Therapy received quite a few comments from other readers on the topic. Read on!