I thought it would be fun to occasionally highlight a particularly funny, useful, or insightful comment in a post. I know you can't read all the comments, but I do! I love them all, and what better way to show my appreciation than by featuring your brilliant thoughts here.
The first featured comment is from Elizabethe, a longtime commenter who consistently provides excellent points and even sometimes makes up show tune lyrics on the spot! I found her advice on my post about working from home to be so helpful, I almost printed it out to tape to my wall. Here are her words of advice on navigating the world of the home office, complete with tips on fashion, diet, and exercise!
Hi Gertie, I work from home as a freelance writer and a SAHM. Here are my 5 uncomfortable truths about working from home (this applies to the work of motherhood as well):
1. Clothes are like money: bad clothes drive out good.
When you wake up in the morning you (or maybe just me) will always be pulled, as though in a riptide, to the ugliest, slouchiest pjs or sweats or jeans you own "just for today." Always.
Solution: Your nice stay at home clothes have to be just as comfortable as your slouchy clothes -- that means no tight waistbands, few buttons.
I've gathered a bunch of skirts I can wear with T-shirts and some nice wrap dresses. I have just two pairs of jeans (one in flat length, one in heel length) to wear when I need to. I wear longer skirts when I'm going to the playground.
2. If you are at home during the day, you WILL nap.
Just plan on it right now. It's natural to nap after lunch, like it's in the human physiology.
Solution: Wear something you feel comfortable napping in on the couch, whatever that is for you.
3. You will NEVER dress to look nice "just for yourself" no matter what your good intentions are.
Solution: plan to go out for lunch or coffee once a day -- to provide structure, and to make sure you see other people to get that motivation to look good.
4. You will be tempted to turn your home into a personal "nest" and alienate the people who live with you.
If you wear pjs and sweats all day (and sometimes even if you do dress up nice), the house will become more like your "den" and the people who live with you will start to feel like they are intruding on your lair when they come home. And that's not good.
Solution: Schedule two "transition times," once in the morning before you "go" to work, and once in the afternoon as you "leave" work. Spend this time cleaning up after yourself. You are there more, you'll be making more mess, you will have to clean more. Just get over it and do it (this is gender neutral advice, btw).
Most importantly, if you wound up wearing pjs all day, change into real clothes so they are greeted by a real person when they come home and not a den monster.
And finally, slightly OT, but a must mention,
5. You will probably gain weight unless you guard against it.
Solution: Pack yourself a lunch and snacks or go out to lunch and a coffee break, whatever you did when you were going into the office. Keep your old office habits at much as you can, until you can figure out what works right for you for working at home.
Whatever you do, don't torture yourself by planning to "throw together" a salad every day for lunch. A salad is the most labor intensive thing to make in the kitchen and leaves the biggest mess to clean up. In fact don't plan to cook anything for yourself for lunch, it will just make another mess that you will have to clean up (maybe you find cooking and cleaning a relaxing break, more power to you. I used to too, until I had to do it every single day while also finding time to work.)
Now, granted, it seems stupid to pack a lunch when you are at home all day anyway; but it really works. Make the kitchen off limits when you are "at work." This is even BETTER advice you if you are taking care of kids. I started packing my kids and myself a lunch and snacks everyday even if we aren't going anywhere, and it is so much easier on everyone and there is much less tendency on everyone's part to mindless snacking.
Good luck Gertie, I can't wait to see what you wear to work from home. =)
Thanks to Elizabethe for providing our first featured comment!