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  • Kristen Herring-Asleson

Work from home? Work from office? Both? Gah!

My sister, brother and I were fortunate to have parents whose business was also part of their home. This meant, they were always home when we were. Even though the gallery door was shut during business hours, we knew if we opened the door a crack and peeked in, we would get at least the attention of one of them should we need something on an urgent basis.


And, let me tell you, as a kid, everything was urgent.

Now, with kids of my own and experiencing summer while running a business, it is understandable some of the frustrations my mom felt back in the day.


We lived outside of town, with no television, and our activities were not always as tame as reading a book. In fact, we were quite creative in how we managed our time, and there never seemed to be enough of it.


Just to share a little, we spent hours combing the pastures and woods for treasures that may have been left behind by people of decades past. This never got old, and aside from the wood ticks we found at the end of the day, it was pretty harmless. Eventually, those discovery walks included fires and perhaps boiling the fish we had caught from the quarry or stream. Never will I forget when our dad caught us eating bullheads, freshly boiled in the tin pail I used to feed the horses from. I am pretty sure he was proud of us and smiled even though we got in trouble for starting a fire and not cleaning the fish.


There were times when my sister, Kendra, would bail on the summer activities my brother, Kyle, and I would cook up. Such as sneaking mom’s sharp knives out of the kitchen to perform dissection on the roadkill at the bottom of the driveway on Highway 63. Not sure if she was squeamish, afraid of getting in trouble or just thought art was more fun, but she missed out on a lot of anatomy lessons.


In addition to all the activities we entertained ourselves with, there was plenty of “kid taxi” time for mom. Occasionally, we were late should a customer be taking up her time, but we got there eventually. Like working moms everywhere, she balanced piano lessons, 4H meetings, supervising 4H project completion, Indian Princess meetings, CCD, and of course, our chore list.


Needless to say, summertime and kids require an extra level of organization. It takes weeks to get the schedule just right, especially when juggling more than one child who is in a different age bracket than the other. Even with a well-planned calendar, working moms wake up mumbling, “Where do we need to be today? Who needs to be there? And, at what time?”


There are advantages to being one who works from home if there are no schedules or meetings one has to follow. But, if there are, it really is no different than being away from the home office to work.


Some mothers who work away from home lament there isn’t enough quality time with their children, comparing it to those who do work from home. But in essence, it is about the same.


Personally, my day hours are filled with work, but I taxi here and there all day long. Thankfully, summer days are longer, and there is plenty of sunshine and time when work is done to get in those quality hours with our cherubs (not sure that would be the word my mom would have used).


So, of the two, who has an easier time with summer, kids and schedules? Is it the mom who is working from home, or the mom working in a brick-and-mortar building? In all honesty, neither are easy, but it can be fun.

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