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How to work from home


In a former life (before I became a full-time parent and yoga teacher), I was a journalist…

My goal as a journo was to avoid sitting in an office from Monday to Friday. I craved a working day packed with variety, new experiences and travel. And I was lucky, I traveled around the country interviewing amazing people with extraordinary stories.

But as time, cost cutting (and the nineties) evolved, I ended up doing my interviews by phone and sitting in an office, filled with wall-to-wall booths.   

 My journey to work involved the choice of ninety minutes stuck in traffic or a tedious bus journey attempting to stay upright while the driver negotiated ninety degree bends at 60kmph.

 It wasn’t long before I spent a big chunk of my day watching the agonizingly slow crawl of the hands on my clock. Life, I decided was too short for this.

 Then I fell pregnant and my life changed – and not just because I was the proud mother of a gorgeous boy, but I’d suddenly swapped my office for my house.

 Home ceased to be somewhere I stored my belongings and slept. Now it was our family nest. Then when Lucas was three months old, I lost my job (full-time or nothing, I was told).  I chose nothing… then panic set in.

 So rather than stepping happily into working from home, I was most definitely pushed.

 At the time it was a major adjustment, but within a year, I couldn’t imagine working life any other way. I now have three children and I’ve been working from home for nine years.

 I’m so pleased I don’t have to begin my day before dawn, rousing the kids and dropping them off at Before School Care. I’m delighted I’m not sat behind my steering wheel, silently seething as the traffic lights turn red. I’m thrilled I don’t have to sit in a meeting rather than attend my daughter’s dance show. And I’m so happy I can just race down to my office in my PJs and slippers rather than dress up in a power suit and heels.

 Yep, I have to say that working from home is great! I’m a huge advocate. Although I have to say, I’m a lot more passionate about what I do since having a major career change. Although I still write, I followed my heart and turned my passion for Yoga into my own business, Yoga Babes.

 Of course, there are drawbacks. Your home – once your oasis of calm, is now your workplace. It’s hard to ignore the dishes piling up in the sink. I find myself taking breaks to hang out the washing and feeling rather sorry for myself, but then there’s also the bonus of having my lunch while watching Oprah!

 There’s the nagging feeling that because you’re at home, you can’t really be working… so others can ask more of you than you think is fair. And it’s also hard to switch off or feel motivated, depending on your disposition. And unless you have a big support network, you can feel isolated.

 Luckily I continue to teach yoga, so I’m forever meeting new people and the school run has replaced my daily commute (and it’s far more fun!). I’m lucky enough to have a separate office, which I make sure I lock at night.

 On balance, I don’t think I could ever return to my previous office-based job. After all, it’s not like us mums will ever really be off-duty, so why not be paid for it?!

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