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Working From Home With Katherine

Working from home has definite pros and cons — sure you can lounge in your sweatpants and shoot off emails from the couch but it’s also hard to draw the line between your personal life and your career, add kids into the mix and it’s even more challenging! Telecommuting, flex schedules and remote jobs are rising in popularity every year – and it can be a great opportunity to pursue your career while still being home with your kids.  In this new Mama Notes series we’ll be chatting with different mothers who are making this career choice work – we’ll hear hacks that work, what’s difficult about this work set up and advice for how to achieve balance and success while working from your home. If you’re interested in sharing your story email submissions@themamanotes.com.

Tell us about yourself and your work. 

 

I’m originally from Peachtree City, GA – it’s as cute as it sounds – and just recently moved to Maryland so my husband can attend medical school through the Army. We have one little girl who is almost two and are hoping to add to our family in the next year or so. I graduated from The University of Georgia (go dawgs!) with a degree in English. I work for a large professional services company doing corporate communications. I’ve been in the field for nearly 10 years and with Deloitte for about a year.

Did you start working from home before you had kids or after? 

My last job offered some work from home opportunities but I started working remotely full time after Luci was born.

Are your children home with you or do you have childcare/school? 

Until recently, Luci has split her time between daycare three days a week and being home with my husband two days a week. But, he starts medical school at the end of the summer so Luci will be in daycare full time.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

I’m usually up between 5:45-6 so I can get everyone set for the day. I lay out Luci’s outfit, make coffee, snacks, lunches, plan activities, etc. Luci is up between 7 – 8 and we jump right in! I start work around 8:30 and Luci goes to the park or the library or a class with dad. Everyone has lunch together around 11:30 and then Luci is down for a nap around noon. I work until 4 – 5 depending on the day and I get started on family dinner! That’s super important to our family – we always want to sit down together and have a meal at the end of the day. We usually do an activity as a family after dinner like going for a walk to the nearby park, playing in the sprinkler in the backyard or doing sidewalk chalk. Then bedtime for the little around 7 ish and mom and dad get to relax! I’m so fortunate that I love my husband more and more every day. So, those couple of hours at the end of the day are so cherished!

What’s your best work-from-home hack?

Always having a schedule for the day. I try to plan activities for Luci and my husband so it’s easy for them to just jump right into their day. There’s not that “what will do today?” lag that then turns into an hour of everyone just wandering around the house! Likewise, I take thirty minutes every morning to plan out my work day. I prioritize projects and check in on anything that’s waiting on feedback or approvals.

What’s the biggest challenge about working from home? 

In some ways, the worst days are the ones where everyone in is in the house together and Luci just wants me to come play. It breaks my heart that I have to sit upstairs working while I can hear them laughing and having fun. Especially when that bright little face comes running into my office so excited to come show me something. I have to admit those are the days I take frequent breaks – dance parties are too good to pass up sometimes!

How do you stay organized with life and work? 

I took a course through my work that suggested you keep one “To Do” list that contains work and personal tasks. I hated it at first, but then I realized that I wasn’t missing things as often! I can now remember an important deadline at work and that we need to buy a birthday present for a party coming up.

How do you like to unwind at the end of the week?

Family time is my unwinding time. I’ve never felt more like myself than as a mom and a wife. So, while a lot of people (probably most!!) want to have a glass of wine by themselves and retreat a little, I want all the QT I can get with my babe and my husband! Don’t worry, there’s still wine involved…

What are you reading right now? 

I would love to say something intelligent, but mostly I’m just reading emails these days!

And what’s your favorite kids book? 

I love the Nancy Tillman books. The messages are just so spot on!

If you could offer one tip on how to balance working from home while being a mom what would it be? 

Be patient – with yourself, your family, your co-workers – and connect everything to the bigger picture. Just take it all in stride. There are some days where I feel like the stress may crush me alive. But then the next minute, hour, day comes and I can breathe a little easier. At the end of the day, I work to provide a better life for all of us and when I can focus on why I do what I do it becomes so much easier.

Read more work from home stories here.

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