When you work at home, it's so important to keep to a schedule for so many reasons. For me, sticking to a schedule makes my work feel legitimate and makes me take it seriously. As a freelance writer and editor, the flexibility I love can also bring me down (I'm a HUGE procrastinator). Having a schedule also reminds me to FINISH working at the end of the day. It's really easy to "be done" with work when the kids come home, and then turn the computer back on while making supper, and then "just check my e-mail" while the kids are playing outside...and then...

...then suddenly it's bedtime and I haven't really paid any attention to my partner. My home partner, not my business-which-seems-like-my-partner-during-the-day. I sometimes find myself putting off time with my husband just to check one more thing on my work, to tweak a story I'm writing or to "work ahead" on some editing jobs. "Wanna take a walk?" he says. "Uhh...let me just finish this one paragraph," I'l mutter, and he'll go back to reading, or walk by himself.

But really, what's more important than the relationship that, for me, started it all? I wanted to work at home so I could be a happier person at home. My office job was making me sick and snarly -- and I'm a laid-back person -- and part of the decision to work at home revolved around my pledge to be a better person. A better partner, lover, mother and (wait, did I say this?) homemaker. I would be doing work I loved on my terms, and that would make me happy.

It has made me happy. Very happy. And because of John's work, I am able to be flexible and work how I want to. I need to remember to uphold my part of the bargain, and foster the relationship that makes working at home possible -- not only because I couldn't do it without him, but because really, he's my partner for life and I love him.

Don't let the flexibility you have as a work-at-home mom flex itself out of control. Keep your working hours separate (unless there's a REAL emergency), and be the person you want to be at home. How do you balance partner time with your work at home?

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