When Your Kids Get Jealous of Your Work at Home Job
Working at home isn’t all the picnic some think it is. You have to have great time management skills and plans your day to suit a variety of obligations. Yet you still need to be flexible.
I’m going through a phase right now with my 4 year old daughter, Ariel. She has become quite jealous of the time I spend working on the computer. She tries everything she can some days to get me to stop and play with her, even if I just spent the previous hour with her. It’s challenging.
We’ve had a routine for a long time, but as these things go, eventually the old routine doesn’t work.
My personal suspicion is that this has as much to do with her younger brother, 18 month old Gage, as it does my working hours. He’s always coming up and trying to get me to get him a snack or something. He only has about 4 words right now, having added “up” to “mama,” “bye-bye” and “uh oh.” But he is very clear about his wants and needs through gestures and grunts. And Ariel sees that he is always getting my attention, even if I would otherwise be working. Can’t really blame her for being jealous.
The solution in this kind of situation isn’t always obvious; in fact, I’m still working on this one. I know soon enough I’ll get things back in balance so that I can work as much as I would like to, while still spending enough time playing with the kids.
How am I coping right now?
Well, Gage is the only one to take naps, and Ariel’s preschool hours don’t overlap with that, so I don’t get the break that would be so useful that way. However, while Ariel has no interest in naps, I do let her watch a movie quietly while her brother naps if she likes.
Her favorite right now is Faerie Tale Theatre, which was a great find of my husband’s. They’re short, about an hour, so she isn’t watching a full length children’s movie, they’re great retellings of popular fairy tales, and you might be surprised at which actors were involved. Pretty impressive list.
Alternatively, we pull out the project box. She loves to do arts and crafts all on her own, sometimes with a bit of help from me, but many times I’m not allowed to peek.
I also just plain work fewer hours right now. Little enough choice about it, but it’s fine by me. I get a little work in during the day, and more after the kids are in bed.
If you have less flexibility than I have, of course, you may have to work more on getting your children to understand. Talk to them about what you need from them and find a way to make it easier on both of you. Get creative. It’s not always easy, and no solution lasts forever, but it’s a start.
It’s been said that being a stay at home mom is the equivalent of working two full time jobs. Add in a work at home job or home business and you’re really busy. Try to involve your family when possible in both your household duties and what you do professionally. It really helps sometimes if they know why you do what you do.
Succeeding in working at home is worth losing sleep. Your family has much to gain from what you do. You’re providing a great example to your children and doing something many people only dream of.
[tags]working at home,children,family,home business, work at home issues[/tags]