Learning to Manage Expectations While Working From Home


Working at home is HARD. Getting used to this new routine in my house has really got me on the struggle bus.

I am a registered nurse who has worked in the hospital my entire career since graduating from nursing school in 2008. I started a nursing case management job with an insurance company this past January, and I took the job knowing that after a few months of training, I would be working from home, which was very exciting for me! Fast forward less than three months and, because of this Coronavirus epidemic, I have been deployed to home.

And so, I began my first day at home with a positive attitude and, of course, I was very excited! I was able to sleep a bit longer; I didn’t have to get dressed; I didn’t have to do my hair or my makeup. I just rolled out of bed, fixed my morning Coke, and sat down at my desk to start my day.

And that’s when I began to realize how hard working from home was going to be.

Let me acknowledge the fact that I’m beginning my work-from-home career in a very stressful time for all of us. Because of the Coronavirus epidemic, our kids are also home from school, with schoolwork to be done and turned in to their teachers.

Everyone is wearing masks to avoid getting sick from this potentially deadly virus. No one can get their hands on toilet paper, and even groceries are scarce! The world is in a complete panic over this terrifying illness that has killed thousands.

And so I’m already at a disadvantage. Trying to get used to working from home with all of this chaos in our world has been difficult for me, and a lot of others also deployed to home to protect their health. The stress is immense, and, being a nurse and a people pleaser and always someone striving for perfection, I am really struggling with my performance as I work from home.

Am I going to be good enough at this job?

Am I really cut out for this position?

There are so many distractions at home that make working from home so difficult. Of course, my kids top the distractions list. And honestly, they can’t help it! They have been so extraordinarily well-behaved and trying to stay out of mommy’s way, but them being under the same roof as me while I’m working has been hard. I want to spend time with them, want to play outside with them, and want to just be with them!

Not to mention the fact that they must complete daily schoolwork. I am NOT cut out to be a teacher! (God bless our teachers, seriously, they are fantastic for what they do each day!) Luckily for me, I have my mom to help with the schoolwork. She has really saved me these past couple of weeks.

Besides the kids being home, there are so many other distractions I find myself struggling with. There’s laundry to be done, a kitchen to clean, animals to feed, dinners to be cooked. There’s my big comfy bed sitting over there just feet away from my current desk space, and it’s just begging me to lay in it and take a much-needed nap. There’s a dachshund at my feet who is just so excited for mommy to be home- he begs me for cuddles non-stop.

There’s big bright sunshine and warm temperatures outside that beckon me to come out and sit on my front porch swing and relish in the springtime. There are projects that I want to do, Netflix that I want to watch, and so many things at home that need to be done.

The list is endless.

My Experience Working from Home Charleston Moms (1)

Finding our new routine

Now that it’s been a few weeks since I began working at home, I am still finding it very hard, but getting a little bit easier. I’m finally settling into a routine, finally figuring out what needs to happen when, and listing my priorities. Slowly but surely, I’m finding my niche in working from home. And just praying that when this epidemic ends, and kids go back to school, and people aren’t living in fear anymore, that my routine won’t be disrupted too much.

I’m learning to give myself a break, to not have such high standards for myself, at least not right now at this current time. I’m learning just to breathe and start again if I get distracted or stuck in some way.

Millions of Americans are trying to get it right working from home right now. We
don’t need to be so hard on ourselves and expect perfection. I’m reminding myself every day to appreciate the fact that I still have a job, that my family is healthy, and that I have been given this wonderful opportunity to work in nursing case management and impact lives from my tiny desk at home.

That is my purpose, and if it takes some time to get used to, and some learning to do, I’m going to figure it out eventually.