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Ask the EP Experts


Grace Housholder
Are you feeling a bit stressed out as an EP...and need a new perspective? Ask Grace, author of The Funny Things Kids Say, to help brighten your day!

 EP Humor Q&As

Q. I can't seem to get myself out of the "office." The work is never done and it's always right here so I figure I should be working. My 6 year old daughter is the reason I took a leap and began working from home but she never gets any time with me.

Part of the problem is that I sometimes don't realize how close a deadline is and take too much time to spend out of the office. Another is that I have to do more than usual to prove to the bosses that working at home doesn't mean I'm loafing around in my slippers, even though I took a 30% paycut to do it.
Finally, I'm an organizational freak and if the house or the office is in disarray I clean first, then work.

My daughter is great and doesn't cause any problems. She takes it better than she should that I work an average of 14 hours a day at least 2 wks out of the month. Please HELP!

A. As the old saying goes, "A man works from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done." You have to face the fact that there will always be more work to do. But you won't always have a precious child at your side.

You say your daughter is "great" and "doesn't cause any problems." Because of her easy disposition may I suggest you try setting up a work station for her in your office. It doesn't work with all kids (it only worked with one of my four children) but when it does work, it's delightful. She can do homework, read, pretend to type (or really type) at your side.
Because you like to be organized, I would also suggest making a daily work schedule that includes specific time to be with your daughter. If this time is written into your schedule, you won't feel "guilty" about spending that time with her. After all, it's in the schedule.
Also, if you have a positive attitude about what a blessing it is to be able to work at home, your day will go more smoothly. Think of all the things you don't have to deal with - commuting, expensive work clothes, sitting in a cubicle, office politics...That reminds me of one of my favorite "Funny Kid" stories:
At the dinner table Don was letting off some steam that had built up from the day's office politics. His 9-year-old son was surprised by his father's frustration. "But Dad," he protested, "aren't you pretty high up in your company's anarchy?"



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