Moms Working From Home

Working from home is so appealing. You have no commute, you're right there. Especially for moms that want to balance being around their kids, and being available to them, it's such an attractive alternative.
I switched from being a lawyer at Harvard Law School and realizing when my kids were about four and five, that I really wanted to be available to them, and so I went to work from home. Working from home opens a whole new set of issues for us moms. You have to decide whether or not you want people to know that you're actually working from home.

It can be as simple as deciding what part of the house to set up your desk in for your home office space. Do you want people calling to hear your baby crying, your children fighting, videos on loud volumes, or do you want to be in a central place where people can hear those things, and you can keep an eye on what's going on with your kids. I had to train my kids about what it meant when I was on an important phone call, so I had them create a "work at home" sign, so they would know that mom's at work.

Kids have a honing device when you're on the phone, so you need to explain to them how you welcome interruptions and when interruptions are really off-limits. For older kids, you need to explain an emergency interruption. For a lot of kids, a missing game piece is an emergency. The balance is, working from home you give up the colleagues, you give up the water cooler moments where you're surrounded, but you have this incredible luxury to work at home.

You don't have to worry about how you dress; you can show up in your sweatpants. It enables you to do a load of laundry, to make dinner in between your day, so it's a very attractive option. For me, having switched to working at home, my kids think I'm a stay-at-home mom, even though I'm working a considerable number of hours.

For them, I'm accessible, I'm right there, and I can switch my work hours so that when my kids who are now in school until 3:00, when they get home from school, I can carve out four hours to be free for them.