DaddyGeek is self employed. He works from home, in his office on the middle floor of our house.
In many ways, this is wonderful. When both kids are having meltdowns and I’m trying to cook tea, it’s a godsend being able to scream upstairs to him, asking for help. The extra pair of hands have saved my sanity on many occasions. It’s great not having to get him to beg his boss for the afternoon off every 3 weeks, while I take Sam to speech therapy. It’s brilliant not having to drag Syd on the nursery run every day.
The flip side to this is that I don’t feel comfortable inviting friends and family round during the day as I know he feels obliged to be sociable. If he is, he’ll have hours of work to catch up on later. I don’t feel it’s fair to have playdates at home as I know the noise disturbs him, and leaves him playing catch up later that night, or over the weekend.
Let me be clear – Hubby has never once moaned about visitors, or playdates, but I know he works better when he is free from distraction. His office is next door to our lounge. (We don’t really use the living room though, as we have a small playroom on the ground floor, which is closer to the coffee machine and the fridge(!) This is great – until we have visitors. There aren’t enough seats downstairs, so we have to use the lounge, which means no working for hubby.
He already works at least 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, but when I need him to help out with the kids on bad days, or so I can take them to one of their many appointments, he can be shut away in his office from 10am until 3am the following morning, pausing only for a quick meal or to help out when needed.
So…. When do we spend time together as a couple? Very rarely. Probably 2-3 hours a week watching TV of an evening. (On his half day). We see each other at mealtimes, but we are usually too busy stopping the kids from throwing food everywhere to actually speak to each other much.
Is this healthy? Definitely not. The past few months, I have been feeling pretty low. Various reasons, but mostly it’s been loneliness. I spend my days trying to keep the kids happy, and my evenings wondering if my hubby will be clocking off soon. This is one of the reasons we have decided to cease developing TypeDock – I need my husband back! DaddyGeek is missing out on all the fun stuff! He is there in a shot to help during meltdowns, or at bedtime and mealtimes, but he rarely gets to do any of the fun things.
One example: 2 weeks ago, we had the paddling pool in the back garden and Syd was going down the slide into it. She spent the best part of 2 hours crying for her Daddy, knowing full well he was in his office just above the slide. She couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to play, and DaddyGeek was gutted. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, and he was stuck upstairs, trying to sort out a glitch in the code on Typedock V3. I suspect this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Hubby is still self employed. He will still be working from home, but he is shifting his work-life balance and trying to work to live again, rather than living to work. He has never been a “clock off at 5pm” type of person, and I doubt he ever will be. I will be happy if he is sat on the sofa by 9pm though, and if we can spend weekends being a family, doing fun stuff together, rather than me emailing him photos and videos of our day.
Is having a work from home husband good? Sometimes. It’s not for the faint hearted though – I have no idea how he manages to get anything done!