Apr 15, 2008

To Work or Not to Work: That is the Question

Valerie J. Steimle

Terri Wagner has gone off on a business trip and has asked me to be a guest blogger this morning. I haven’t posted on here in over four months and was glad to do it.

My life has made another change since I last wrote. I no longer homeschool my children and I work fulltime during the day. This works out well because I am home at the same time as my children are home even though I have to send them to public school.

Last year sometime, there was a writer’s contest for women to write about working at home. I was very excited to start my essay and be done with it way before the deadline of December 31st. But as it moved closer and closer to that day, I realized I was no longer going to be at home working my normal hours during the day as I was joining the ranks of the 8 to 5 crowd. My essay would have been invalid although I did think to make comparisons on both life styles as a valuable tool for the essay but suffice it to say I decided against the whole thing and thought to put down my ideas here:

Working at home vs. Working at the Office
Working at home has its advantages and disadvantages and I think most of us know what those are.
1. Having flexible time to do as we please.
2. Being in an environment, where we are comfortable.
3. Not having to travel to a place to work.
4. Not having to dress up to go to work.

1. Distractions away from work getting done.
2. Having to be disciplined enough to motivate ourselves to do our work.
3. Getting "cabin fever" after a while of not getting out at all.

I have been in both work situations. Thinking about doing the forty-hour time is so exhausting. It takes such a big chunk out of the day and there is no time to do anything else. If only there were some kind of compromise. For example if we would only have to work 20 hours a day in an office making the same amount of income, then there would be enough time to keep our house clean and laundry done without having to stay up late to accomplish all of these tasks. I never get enough sleep. Or just having enough income from another source so we wouldn’t have to work outside the home for our income would be nice too but not very likely for me.

No, this "work for our living" thing needs to be dealt with in a practical, manageable manner and our plan of domestic accomplishments will just have to fit in somehow to our week’s schedule so we won’t be tempted to get checked into the loony bin. All this working does sound good on paper but how realistic is this lifestyle? This dilemma will always come up because not everyone has the ideal situation. We just have to work at it and hope for the best. I wonder what state Terri’s place will be in when she gets home?


  1. I'm happy for you that you were able to find a job that lets you be home when the kids get home! We discussed this issue in a RS pres. meeting today. There are so many different family situations. I like to apply Pres. Oaks talk...Good, Better, Best to these situations. It is important for us to pray and ask Heavenly Father what is good, what is better, and what is best for our families from an eternal perspective.

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas, Valerie...It is always a treat to read your words.

  2. Working from home is not easy, but neither is being a mom for that matter. I think we just need to resign ourselves to the fact that when there is too much to do, none of it gets done as well as we would like.

    I constantly feel like I'm half-doing everything.

    It's nice to read that someone else feels like I do.

  3. Thanks Valerie, I'm back now. And she's right, whether you stay home or work outside the home, there's always that nagging feeling that you are not doing enough in both places. And I only have dogs, not kids.

  4. Valerie-
    Thanks for sharing. It reminds me to be even more grateful to my mother who worked all the time we were growing up. She even served as YW pres in there for a while. My thought is this: It's amazing how much we're getting done when it seems like so little... I really think the Lord makes up the difference. Good luck!

  5. Thanks for all the encouraging words. I'm glad I could help others to at least feel that many of us are in the same boat and to just hang in there.

    Valerie J. Steimle


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