Blessing and a Curse

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I am going to vent a bit... My lovely husband works from home. Meaning, he doesn't have an office to go in to work. His company is based in California, and his office is in our house. In. Our. House. Doesn't it sound like a dream, ideal situation? Most people tell me they think it would be - but really, it has it's pros and cons. And this morning, the cons are far out-weighing the pros...

  1. No commute time
  2. No paying the gas for a commute
  3. No lunches to pack/money to spend on lunches out
  4. On rare occasions, he eats lunch with us
  5. Sometimes if the kids are napping, he can let me run errands kid-less (BIG plus!)
  6. If someone is in need of a priesthood blessing or a ride or something, sometimes he can get away and help them out
  7. No commute time
  8. No paying the gas for a commute
  9. Once in a very rare while, he'll even do something with us during the day without having to officially take the morning/afternoon off (like go to the swimming pool)
  1. He works ALL the time. Since his employees/co-workers/customers know he has a home office, they expect it to be no problem that they call at 6am or 8pm and have him fix something. And he's salary with no overtime...
  2. He has conference calls ALL day. Sometimes they are really important (customers, his boss), sometimes they are moderately important (coworkers, employees), sometimes they are just fluff, but I don't know the difference - so my job is to keep the kids quiet enough when he's on the phone (ALL day) so that the people he's talking to on the phone think he's professional. (And nothing screams non-professional more than three children yelling happily in the background)
  3. Since DH's office is downstairs, keeping the kids quiet means mostly staying upstairs from 7:30am-6pm. We have been blessed with a good-sized home, and there is plenty of room upstairs to play, but the laundry and kitchen and access to the outside are all downstairs. I spend 80% of my day following the kids around and saying "Shh! Daddy's working and he's probably on the phone."
  4. PJ knows that Daddy is home and has no problem running to him whenever she feels wronged. I won't even know something happened and be doing something else and all of a sudden, I hear DH bringing her back upstairs. We could use a gate at the top of the stairs, but we have to buy a custom-size gate because the opening is too wide and then she would scream at the top of the stairs for him, which is almost just as bad.
  5. He almost never eats breakfast with us, rarely eats lunch with us, and often misses dinner as well. And since he's working while I'm making all three of these meals, I have to be quiet then too and try to make the kids whisper.
  6. I don't have people over during the day very often. I would love to have friends over, playdates, etc, but I try to only do this when DH is out of town. Because if it's hard keeping my three kids quiet, imagine everyone else's kids too... And he is definitely not a fan of the days I teach preschool...
  7. I get sad when I hear my kids playing house and the Bubbs is the mom and she repeats several times in a very grumpy voice "SHHH! BE QUIET! Your dad is on the phone! And you cannot go downstairs unless you ask me first!"
  8. I feel like a prisoner in my own house. I try to do laundry, dishes, etc between the hours of 6pm and 6am so we don't bug Daddy, but some of that time I should be sleeping, right?
  9. He works ALL the time
  10. He is on the phone ALL the time

PLEASE don't get me wrong, I am SOOOO grateful that my husband is employed and can provide for us on basically his one income. We have been HUGELY blessed, and I understand that. But I feel better already venting. And it would be nice if some people would feel a bit sorry for our situation instead of telling me, "You can't complain! I would LOVE it if my husband worked from home!"

It will probably be much more ideal when I have children in school all day and then it's just the two of us at home the majority of the time, but probably by the time that happens, he will have a normal go-in-to-work job. :) He says he wants to work on "sound-proofing" his office to help the situation but... we'll see. I have a better idea. I think I know what to get him for Christmas -

What do you think? He could fit his laptop in there, right? And we have wireless internet, so that shouldn't be a problem! The economical outside office... that would make the work-at-home thing perfectly ideal! :)


Rachael said…
lol, I LOVE that idea I think you should do it ;)!! I have a hubby that works from home 2 days a week...I LOVE IT but he also doesn't have calls to keep the kids quiet for and if the kids want him he lets them sit on his lap for a short time...there is down falls though....My computer is in the same room so if the kids are being extra needy and I am on the computer it can make his concentration hard and he gets frustrated if it is critical that he gets lots done so we usually leave and shut the door and it works out ok!!! I think you should ask him to have meals with you...Colby does and it makes it soo much nicer to have him around even though he quickly eats and heads right back to work. He should be able to take the time for a breakfast, lunch, dinner...NO employee should make anyone work through ALL 3 meals!!
Jen said…
Nice outside office!

I am truly sorry. I am not going to tell you I'm jealous; I'm not! I would die if I had to tiptoe around and my biggest complaint even with grad school is when he's "here but not here".

My philosophy is... leave! and come home when you're all finished to loving arms of the family that missed you when you were gone. :)

Not much help, am I??
Shauna said…
My husband also works ALL THE TME and sometimes he works from home too.....I get the "here, but not HERE" comment perfectly!!! It's so tough. My sister and I joke that we're Married-Single-Moms....join the club! Love the doghouse picture, that's a classic!
RachelFlores said…
I totally understand where you are comming from. Your house is not your own, you are living with kids in an office from 7:00-6:00. Look into the soundproofing thing for him. Since no one is seeing his office, could you just roll out some of that really thick insulation and lay it against the walls and doors? It wouldn't be pretty, but it should cut down on the noise a lot. I hope you guys find a better solution.