I love being self-employed and being able to work at home. I am sure I never really needed to write an entire column to convince you it is a sweet deal if you can get it. There are a few disadvantages such as not having a guaranteed pay check at the end of two weeks or having to be careful in managing my own income for taxes and benefits or the occasional bouts of panic when client work is sparse. But for the most part, I love being able to make a living doing something I am passionate about, and being able to do that without ever having to leave the house.
The freelance writing deal is even sweeter now that I am a father. I get to drop in and check on Everett whenever I feel like it. Everett being nearby has a few occasional disadvantages though. I’ll be in the writing zone creating a masterful piece of pay copy, but then get shaken out of it by either his cries or my wife’s pleas for help. In an office setting, Emily wouldn’t be able to call me and ask me to fetch the burp cloth. The interruptions are minor and rare, and aren’t enough to take away the wonderful feeling I get from being close to Everett.
I’m very lucky that I get to see Everett throughout the day. I know working at home has allowed me to bond with my son in a way some other fathers won’t be able to. I’m sure there aren’t too many fathers that are insanely jealous that I get to change Everett’s diaper during my lunch break, but there is more to those five minutes than just peeling off a smelly diaper. It is during those times that I get to sing and talk to my son, and often it leads to him presenting me an award-winning smile that warms my insides.
Being at home also has allowed me to witness all the special moments that come along. I’ve heard many fathers lament about finding out about their child’s “firsts” when they arrived home from work. When Everett started to engage with the toys on his play mat, or when he displayed more neck strength or he giggled and talked to Emily, I was only a room away from being to experience these special moments.
There have been a few times when Emily has had to leave the house, and I’ve had to juggle looking after Everett while also finishing my work. It does make things harder, but I’m also thankful for those moments. When the work is really important and Everett doesn’t want to lie down, I’ve been able to use the infant carrier that straps him to my chest. If he doesn’t settle, then I’ve become quite the expert typing with one hand. Of course, I’ll take an occasional break from my furious typing to look down at Everett and tell him a quick story. He usually repays me with a story of his own and showcasing that always-captivating smile.
I’m sure I would be way more productive if my son wasn’t around to distract me. It can be hard juggling pay copy with trying to be a father (though my wife is magnificent and definitely does a major part of the current parenting). I wouldn’t give up this current scenario for my own private island and an army of servants. This situation has allowed me to bond with my son, and create a connection that I’d never been able to achieve if I went off to work every day.
I know a few fathers that have babies that don’t even want to be held by them. When the baby cries, it is only the mother than can soothe the baby. I don’t have that problem. If Everett is really fussy and a guest can’t seem to calm him down, then I’ve almost always been able to soothe him with my voice. Of course, Emily has the one secret ingredient that really makes Everett calm and happy, but I know Everett likes to be in my arms when he isn’t hungry. I love the fact that if Everett hasn’t seen me for a few hours, then he’ll instantly turn his head if he hears my voice and I can tell he wants to be held by me.
It is awesome being able to work at home, and it has countless benefits. The greatest thing has been the opportunity to bond and grow close with my son, Everett.