The work-from-home dad’s every waking minute is a juggling act between what’s very important, working from home to provide for his family, and what’s most important, that family. With the clear distinction between work and home gone, the work-from-home dad now has to find his own dividing line and then try to keep from crossing it too many times.
If you’re going to be a work-from-home dad, some boundaries have to be set. Boundaries not just for the work-from-home dad, but also for the family. Though dad’s primary responsibility may be his family, working from home to take care of the family is part of that responsibility and not secondary to it. Family members must understand that even though dad is working from home, he is not available to solve every problem, mitigate every squabble, or help with every task demanding a man’s touch.
This said, fatherhood is the work-from-home dad’s primary responsibility, and he needs to make sure that when he is off duty, he is not still focused on work. A few guidelines set out and understood by all involved will help the work-from-home dad find a balance between work and home.
Set clear work-from-home hours so your children know when you are available and when you should not be disturbed.
Leave the office when your time is up, and become the stay-at-home dad instead of the work-from-home dad.
Gently remind your children that you are working, and make sure that they understand that you are working from home to take care of their needs and you are not trying to ignore them.
If the mother or other caregiver is not present to meet the child’s needs while you are working from home, allow for more interruptions and work from home when the children are occupied with their own tasks. Children need parental attention, and although you may feel like you are doing what’s best for them by providing for their needs, ignoring them will lead to unpleasant consequences in the future.
Don’t feel like you must control what goes on in your home and at your job as you work-from-home. As your children grow and mature, offer them some autonomy in deciding how they accomplish their chores and how they spend their free time. Make your expectations clear, and as long as they are not disruptive or dangerous, allow them some independence and see what they do with it. They will be happier and you will get more done as you work from home .
The work-from-home dad’s job is a challenging one as he tries to balance work and home. With some guidelines and clear expectations that everyone in the family understands, working from home can be a great experience and a profitable enterprise. If you’re struggling trying to balance work from home and fatherhood, make sure you’re not trying to do both at the same time. And make sure that each role is getting the undivided attention that it deserves.