Last week, I was driving my dog to the vet’s office to get spayed, in St. Louis rush hour traffic. I was sitting there with my little one in the backseat glued to Veggie Tales, the dog scrambling around the vehicle and I found myself getting pretty road rage-y.
It was in that moment that I truly realized just how privileged I am to be able to work from home. The benefits of being self-employed because I have a husband who is willing to work a day job because our savings wasn’t enough for him to not work. Basically about how lucky I really am!
With that in mind, here are 5 things I love about working for myself.
No Traffic –
You get in your car and drive in traffic to get to a job you hate.
To pay for a house that you’re never home to enjoy,
And the car you drove to work in.
Isn’t there a better way?
There was a time, mainly while I was in college, that I thought an office job was the be-all-to-end-all. I came from a fairly poor family, so to me, getting a college degree and then a middle-of-the-road accounting job was exactly where I wanted to be.
What I didn’t realize was that commuting would suck up so much of my life! Even living just 7 miles from work, I was driving 20-30 minutes each way with traffic. It made me feel road rage-y and angry by the time and got to work. Couple that with the mommy guilt of being away from my daughter for 10 hours a day, and I was a wreck.
Now, my commute is approximately 13 seconds, I see my daughter whenever I want, and I love it! I work better, more efficiently, and I can think clearer without having to deal with all of that traffic!
I Can Wear Whatever I Want
Working an office job, I had to maintain 2 (or 3!) different wardrobes! Say what you will, but when I came home to my infant, I just could wear my office clothes or they would have been ruined by all of the messes a baby makes. I also tend to have an extensive collection of pajamas, because, well, who doesn’t love pajamas?
But back to the point, I now wear jeans and t-shirts every day, yoga pants when I’m not feeling the jeans and you know what? I’m even more productive in laid-back clothing than I ever was in office clothes! Plus, it’s much less expensive!
I still have all of my office wear through, because occasionally I need to throw a nice top on over my yoga pants for a Skype meeting, but beyond that I wear what I want! I found that the key, at least for me, is to wear form-fitting bottoms. If I wear baggy sweats, I get absolutely nothing done, but if I wear form-fitting yoga pants, I’m crazy productive. So, I don’t worry too much about what I’m wearing as long as the bottoms are form-fitting and it seems to work for me!
Quality Time with my Kiddo
When I was away from my daughter for 11+ hours a day, I had exactly 2 hours a day to spent with her from the time I got home from work until she went to bed. But in that 2 hours I also had to clean, pay bills, cook dinner, and whatever else needed to be done. It was extremely hard on me physically and emotionally.
And then there was the Mommy Guilt. I literally felt guilty every single minute that I was away from her. Yes, she was at home with her dad, so she wasn’t at daycare, but still I felt guilty. Mommy guilt is so irrational, but the more I tried to stop feeling guilty, the more guilty I felt. I felt like I could never get enough quality time with her, like she was somehow being deprived because I wasn’t there, even though I knew in my mind that this wasn’t the case.
Now, she goes to a babysitter from 9-12 each weekday morning so I can take meetings and things, but she’s literally right across the street with our neighbor, and 3 hours isn’t long enough to make me feel guilty. When she wakes up from her afternoon nap, I’m completely done with work and have from 3-7 to spent time with both her and the husband – it makes my heart really happy!
I Can Set My Own Hours
Usually, I stick to a pretty strict schedule, mainly because I’m a creature of habit. My husabnd leaves for work at 5:30 am, so I start work at 5:30 am. The kiddo usually wakes up about 8, and we eat breakfast from 8 until 9 when she goes to the babysitting. I then work from 9 – 12, we eat lunch from 12-1, and then I work for a couple of hours while she goes down for her nap.
This schedule works well for me because it breaks up my work into 2-3 hour chunks, broken up by mommy-daughter time! What sets my own hours apart from my office job hours is that I make them, and I know that I can change them at any time, without asking anyone, and it’s totally ok.
The other day, I was super sick, feeling achey and I had a fever. Knowing that today was not going to happen and that I just needed to take a tylenol and spend the day resting I rescheduled a meeting and moved on.
I didn’t feel guilty for missing work, like I did if I took a sick day from my office job – and I didn’t sweat it! Everyone gets sick, and since I’m my boss I couldn’t guilt myself into work!
I Can Actually Make Time for Exercise
2015 will be the year of balance for me. I’m focus on efficiency so I can get more done in less time, and I will NOT work more than 40 hours a week. Going from working 75+ hours every week to only working 40 (from home, so no commute!) has allowed me to make time to hop on the elliptical, take my daughter for a walk, or *gasp* even muster up the energy to do P90X, which I hate!
Next step: A gym membership! I know all of the PF bloggers out there preach against a gym membership, but the gym near us that I want to get a membership at has childcare, which would be amazing! I have a certain income level I want to hit, but once I hit it we’re going to pull the trigger and pay for 2 years at this gym up front!
I Get To Cook Again
I have always loved cooking. To me, there was something so satisfying about chopping, stirring, and plating the perfect dish. But working a day job, spending time with the family, cleaning and everything else left very little time to actually cook.
Dinners usually were mac’n cheese, or something like that – quick and easy – not meals I truly enjoyed. We’ve noticed a dip in our grocery spending, and I know we’ve been eating healthier, because not only have I had time to cook, I have really been enjoying cooking!
Working for myself hasn’t been all sunshine and roses – in fact I’ve run into quite a few issues that I hadn’t anticipated, but so far, the benefits far outweigh the problems! When I work an office job I had doubts about whether I was cut out to work for myself, but especially this year I’ve realized a couple of things:
- I motivate myself better than any boss
- I really don’t like answering to authority
- I carry way too much guilt
- The only way to get rid of that guilt is to be my own boss
I continually set goals for myself – not really because of the money, or even to show you, my readers, but because setting goals keeps me motivated, focused, and excited about this new chapter!
Would you ever consider working for yourself? Or, if you already work for yourself, what things do you love about it?
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