Being a Mum working from home is great, no commute, no work wardrobe, no office politics and you’re there if the children come home sick and to attend all the school events. The only trouble with being a Mum working from home are the distractions. There are so many things that can distract you when you’re at home, from unexpected visitors to unfinished housework, it’s a wonder we get anything done. We had a chat with some bloggers who work from home and here are ten things that can distract us when we’re supposed to be working.
Beth from Twinderelmo sums this one up. “Facebook stalking. I can quite happily tell you where my school best friends cousins daughter went on holiday last summer and where my neighbours dog goes to get him nails trimmed…”
Babies and Small children
If your trying to work with your children at home then they bring their own host of distractions, as pointed out by Natasha from Mummy and Moose, the sound “Mum mum mum mum mum mum” is pretty much constant.
For Alex from Lamb and Bear, nap refuseniks are the problem “Seriously, if he naps it’s either on me or on the sofa for half an hour. In that time I have to eat, drink, shower, pee, work, get dressed, oh and make sure my eldest is fed, washed, dressed and happy!”
Tracey from Kids Cruises blames Holly and Phil for distracting her from working but it’s not just daytime TV that’s the problem. For Amy, from Amy and Tots it’s Paw Patrol “I can never turn those dogs off! Its like the children know!” For me, it’s a case of take your pick of TV distractions. The latest show on Netflix, a new box set on demand or the stack of Masterchef on the planner. It all seems far more appealing than working somedays.
While this is never a problem for me (my husband wishes it was) housework can be a distraction for some. “Like the dryer finishing. I have to empty it, fold, put away or even iron as I hate a big pile. Ends up taking forever” Emily from Babies and Beauty
Other people working from home
Occasionally me husband works from home. I’m thankful it is only occasionally. The first problem is the laptop. While I usually work on my iPad you can guarantee that the day he works from home and needs it, I will too. The other problem is the noise. He needs to make phone calls for work plus he dictates for the secretaries to type up and the noise is sooo distracting.
Research has found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to a task following an interruption. So when a mum working from Home opens the door to take a parcel for a neighbour or answers the phone to someone selling double glazing, they don’t just lose the minute that it takes to do the job, but also the 25 minutes it takes to refocus.
As a former librarian I love to read. Unfortunately books can distract me in two ways. If I’m reading a really good novel then the temptation to pick it up during the day when I’m supposed to be working is high. The other problem is that whenever I don’t know something my immediate response it to find a book about it. This inevitably leads to a good hour spent on Amazon reading reviews to choose THE best book, followed by more hours reading the book.
Food is one of my favourite distractions. Bek from Dillydrops says “I seem to have to get cups of tea regularly and snacks.” and I’m just the same. The problem with being a Mum working from home is that when the children are out it’s my chance to eat all the things I don’t want to share with them!
Volunteering (and being volunteered)
One of the great things about being a mum working from home is that you can help out with school events. The trouble is that once people realise you have that flexibility you’re expected to help with everything. It’s difficult to make it clear to people that sometimes, work has to take priority.
And finally, the big one. “Anything and everything – for some reason anything will seem more urgent than work does at the time. Yesterday I felt the need to organise my sons 9-12 month clothes by colour. He’s 7 weeks old I have a hell of a lot of work to do. This is why I can’t work from home.” Kirsty from Life with boys
Want to read more about working from home? Check out what I wish people knew about being a Mum with a business.