Ianiv and I have been working from home in some capacity for about 9 years now. We both left our ‘corporate’ jobs to start our own company and also work with local start-ups in Vancouver, him as a software developer and me as a marketing & blogging & social media consultant. Our roles have varied through time, but through it all we’ve always required a place from home in which to work.
When we lived in our small apartment in Kitsilano, our “office” was our living room, him on one side of the room and myself on the other. It worked and we fit an amazing amount of furniture into such a small space. But we both found that it was hard to ‘stop’ work when the day was over, since our computers were always within sight. The laptops often traveled to the couch with us.
Damien ‘working’ at Daddy’s desk
When we purchased our current house, which had 3 bedrooms and a ‘den’ on the third floor, we set up two separate offices. I took the top floor with the window view while Ianiv took an office on the bedroom level. Since we had our two boys, we’ve had to merge offices. Since my office space was larger, and actually contained a couch at one point and a spare bed at another, it made sense to use the upper floor.
We have shared this office space for a couple of years now and it’s served us well. We are currently looking to build a custom desk to minimize the ‘stuff’ and maximize our space, which has been my motto for the past year (see my Pinterest board for my inspiration ideas). But I will say this – I am so glad our office is high up.
When you have kids, they naturally want to be with you. If one of us is up here working, we can (mostly) ensure that the chaos of the kids stays far away from the work space. Sometimes little feet come running up for attention from the other parent, but mostly we try to avoid that. Though the noise does travel, the physical space acts as a boundary both for us (mentally) as well as for them. I find it much easier to get into the headspace of work in a dedicated office, as well as to mentally release from work when I leave.
If you also work from home, how do you manage the work / life balance as well as the physical space issue? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Every night for many months, Ianiv begins reading to Aiden the same way:
“In the light of the moon, a little egg lays on a leaf,” which inevitably results in a comical / annoyed “Daddy!”, but which never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Sometimes it’s the little things about parenting that we remember long after.
The snow was beautiful this year! Last year it felt like we barely had a single snowflake, and this year we had a solid day of perfect snow. We built a snowman, made snow angels, and took the kids on a sleigh ride over to the cafe to warm up. Later on, we took them sledding at Victoria Park – a nice timid hill that they could both appreciate.
Damien didn’t quite know what to make of the snow. On his own, he mostly just stood there looking a bit miserable, though who knows how much of that was his dislike of being bundled into a snowsuit and gloves and how much was me standing up (since he’s super clingy right now). I remember Aiden’s first snow experience at this age resulted in tears as well! At least Damien enjoyed the sledding!!
We took Aiden skating during the Christmas break for the first time. We opted to go during a Public Skate time, which worked the best with the kids’ schedules. Unfortunately, we did not know until we got there that the skate aids (like the skating walker) is only available during Family Skate times, not Public Skate times. Who knew?
Of course, once you tell your 3 year old that he’s going skating for the first time, you kind of need to follow through. Since Damien was going to be due for a nap half way through our time at the arena, Ianiv opted to go skating so I could nap Damien in the Ergo. Unfortunately, Ianiv has only skated a handful of times and not even recently. Ianiv soon found he was not so steady on the ice!
Well, Aiden was excited and eager to get out on the ice. He balanced ok on the skates when he was walking but had absolutely no stability on the ice, even just standing. Ianiv basically propped Aiden up under the arms to take him around the rink and it was not a fast circuit!
Next time we will be more prepared for skating – still, Aiden enjoyed his first skating trip!
When little Damien was 12 days over, Sarah of SarahJane Photography, came over to our house for a newborn photo session (and Nicole of Mary Kay came to do my make-up!). I’d actually won a shoot with another photographer, but decided to pass on it since we were so happy with our family portraits while I was pregnant. By the time Aiden was a dozen days old, we had set up several home photoshoots; the reality of two kids is that there are fewer opportunities to take photos. With that in mind, we wanted to make Damien’s memories just as special as Aiden’s. In this case, Damien won out – with the help of a pro, we have some truly amazing photos!
It took Damien about 2 hours to fall asleep, even though he’d been awake for an hour by the time Sarah arrived. Bit of a fail there. Since Damien was diaper free, you can imagine just how many accidents there were during this time period (and they mostly landed on me – gross). Anyway, once Damien was finally asleep, we captured some beautiful moments. He was amazingly pliable once he fell asleep and had a massive nap after the shoot finished.
We bribed Aiden with a bag of candy to participate in a few of the photos (he really didn’t want to participate). Mexx should pay us for this photo of him:
See all the photos here.