20 Mar Working From Home, My New Reality
by Tammy Fluech
Working from home with children is a balancing act. It’s like driving 150 miles per hour through a circus while carrying a stack of your grandmother’s prized china – and that’s only the first hour of the day, my friends! Since day one of owning my own business, I have worked with children from home, two to be exact. When my kids were much younger we had a routine. It was not consistent, but I tried to make so as much as possible. I worked for an hour here and there, and then during naps I plugged away and cranked out most of the day’s projects.
Then we relocated from Florida to Georgia, and I finally got my dream office, downtown in a historic building. The kids were both in school, and working in my office is so much more productive creatively. I freaking love my office; if you know me at all, you know this. No one touches my things (and if you are a parent you’re laughing because you get this). However, in the current situation, time has reversed and I find myself in the home office once again. When this all started happening, I said to myself, no problem, this will be a piece of cake! Silly me. This time around they are 12 and 10, and we are schooling from home (which is something very new for us all). Along with being a small business owner, I am also becoming part teacher, guidance counselor, lunch lady, school nurse, and who knows what else. I already respected teachers, but now there are no words. You are all saints; I bow to you.
So all humor aside, are we gonna make it? Can we do this? The answer is yes! The first week is tough for everyone and we have to expect that. As time goes forward we will adapt because we have to – for ourselves and our sanity, but mostly for our kids. Now, how do we do this? Trust me, I am no expert, but based on week one and some experience, I do have a few tips I think may help.
So all humor aside, are we gonna make it? Can we do this? The answer is yes! As time goes forward we will adapt because we have to – for ourselves and our sanity, but mostly for our kids.
I don’t care if it’s your backyard or a trail or the front porch. Take a minute and breathe. We are lucky to live near Jekyll Island, which is my happy place. I will keep taking them there to the beach and to hike away from people as long as I am allowed. Just go see the sky, however you can make that happen safely.
Talk to People
You need this. Talk to your clients, ask them how they are. FaceTime with them, and with family and friends too. Seeing someone’s face brings joy, plain and simple. No one cares what you look like but they will remember the laughter and kindness in the conversation.
Do something outside of your normal routine. Bake a new dessert, cook a meal you’ve never tried, color again like you did when you were a kid. Just take a chance and enjoy it. No one is judging and it’s a great outlet.
Add Classes to Their Online Classes
We are gardening as an added class to my kids’ online classwork. It will help them understand the importance of food, and they can help keep the critters away too. My daughter didn’t want to get her shoes dirty the first day, but now she looks forward to seeing how things grow. Hopefully, it will leave a lasting impression.
This is one I have to work on more myself: creating a schedule so that I don’t work day and night. I need to check out of the office by a certain time, so that I can make myself slow down to do the other things that will be a stress releasing, like gardening, taking photos on a nature hike, or drawing for fun. It’s the perfect time to connect with family and friends but also takes effort (even though we may not want to admit it as creatives).
So yes, with a little effort we can do this. Some of you are already experts and work from home already in the creative field. Some of you are just starting here with this new reality or getting back into the home office situation like I am. Either way, try to stay calm as I am also trying. Let’s be kind to each other. Be patient with your clients who are also worried about their own business. Be mindful of your family who you are probably also driving a little crazy. Don’t forget to be good to yourself through all of this. I promise you will come out better on the other side for it!
Tammy Fluech is the founder of Typebird Creative, a design studio that focuses on branding, graphic design, and illustration. With over 17 years of experience in the design field and 10 years of owning her own business, she always feels she brings a creative perspective to any client project.