I am a work at home dad (aka WAHD) — and proud of it.
Before we get too far in to this discussion, I think it is important that you realize exactly what I mean by “work at home dad”.
I don’t mean simply that I’m a dad who has an office (or workshop) in the home. Rather, I’m talking about a philosophy. So here is the core of what I’m talking about.
A work at home dad is a father who has made the choice to fit his work into the life of the family, rather than the other way around.
It really doesn’t matter where the work is done. It may be in an office or workshop in (or close to) the home. It may be done at customer sites or even in an office somewhere. The crux of the matter is that the family is priority #1.
While there are always going to be elements of the career that require a fixed time, as much as possible the family needs will be scheduled first.
I drive my kids to school most of the time. And I pick them up. When it comes to the extra curricular activities, I will do most of the running around. In fact, some of our friends call me “Mother Bill.”
I will often be the one doing the shopping. And sometimes the cooking. I try to avoid the cleaning, but sometimes I get roped into that too 8=)
Doing this helps my wife have the flexibility to run her business. Her work schedule is more regimented since she is a paralegal and has to arrange her schedule around the court (not much flexibility there).
I am glad that I’m able to do all of this for my kids and my wife.
But it does put a tremendous amount of pressure on my work time. I have specific times that are dedicated to the family that are usually reserved for work time in a 9 to 5 job. Time is more fragmented, which makes keeping focused more difficult.
I also help my wife with aspects of her business, and that impacts the time I have left for my own projects.
Sometimes I’ve found myself resenting the intrusions (usually when I’m under pressure to get something done). But I have to remind myself that this is what I signed on for. The benefits of this lifestyle definitely outweigh the costs.
So I’ve had to learn how to better manage my time. Time management is not a skill I naturally have. And I can’t say that I’m an expert at this point either. But I’m getting better.
This site is dedicated to sharing the things that I’ve learned (and continue to learn) with respect to time management. While it is coming from the perspective of a work at home dad, most of the principles can be applied to anyone who wants to make better use of their time, whether you’re a work at home parent or not.
The most important thing that I’ve learned is that time is not money… it is far more valuable!