Working at home

A lot of people dream about working at home. The whole idea of being able to avoid commuting and "be there" for your family without the constraints of office politics is a very modern day romantic notion. People have visions of lounging around in pajamas, tapping on a keyboard or talking on the phone until they can warmly greet their kids when they come home from school. The people in that scenario are invariably good looking, are in a spotless home (with a view), and are always smiling. The kids in the scenario seem well adjusted, happy and are always smiling. It's a dream lifestyle.

Or is it?

While it has its advantages, there are times when it can be maddening. Like when you can't get any work done because you have to shovel your driveway for the fourth time. And the kids are off from school, stuck inside-but for a raucous round of sledding after lunch- doing everything in their power to distract, annoy or otherwise undermine any semblance of tranquil work state you may be attempting at the time. Or when the hot water heater blows out on the day we all need to get showered up for an evening engagement and the water heater is buried behind boxes of Christmas ornaments, old bikes, that box of books from your wife's freshman year that she will NEVER look at again, an old bed frame and several old TV's awaiting recycle day at the town dump. Nobody is smiling in this scenario. Dad is covered in dust, swearing and in desperate need of a cold martini.

Yeah, working at home is great. At least the dog is cooperative-most of the time.

Despite my grumblings, I do enjoy working at home. My typical day involves getting up in time to get everyone off to the bus and a good, solid 4 hours to write, do SEO, build websites, investigate advertising or affiliate offerings and do some of the analytical stuff we webmasters hot dog men do from time to time. I currently have four sites "under construction" that I have to design, put out content and build links to so I can get free traffic. I try to get the stuff that requires concentration done before noon and leave the more menial tasks until after noon. That way, when the kids filter in, I won't have my concentration shattered-I'm doing something mindless anyway. By 3:30 or so every day, the whistle blows because that's when Little Miss gets home and she just won't leave me alone; six year olds are like that (they don't tell you this stuff in the "work at home" brochure).

Sometimes I will do more work at night, sometimes not; it depends what's going on. There are some nights, after Little Miss goes to bed, when it's better than the morning: quiet and with sleep ahead, not behind. There are other nights when, if the day has been productive, I slip into the comfort of the aforementioned cold martini and a movie in bed with Coach (that's Mrs. HDM). She's usually smiling.

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