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Published on May 5, 2020

Future mommy diaries

My home office has an extra occupant

By Stephanie Johnson / The Bulletin

I have been working at home since joining The Bulletin. My office was my whole house during the day. My work space now is in the room designated as my office because I now have a workmate.

My husband, David, is working at home, also. I have my routine and space, and he has his. And, at points, our paths meet. So far, we’re getting along.

I have taken a page from my parents’ book on how to work at home. They have done it for three decades, under the same roof, and are still happily married. If they can do that, I can make some adjustments until things get back to normal and the entire house is my office again - and only mine.

Working at home allows me to have a flexible schedule, which comes in handy, since I am pregnant, now at 8 months. I like to take naps sometimes, or just sit around for a little while and drink some tea and relax.

I definitely like the commute from bedroom, to kitchen, to office. And I love the different outfits I can wear daily - like jammies, shorts, T-shirts, sweat pants, etc. And, I always take time out to walk our dog.

When David was going to work, as soon as he got home, he changed his clothes, washed his hands, and then we spent our evenings together. I couldn’t take a chance of him passing anything on to me or the baby, since he was around hundreds of people a day.

Then the stay-at-home order was issued, and luckily he was able to continue working, but from home.

First, he had to get his work area set up. Our dining room became his new office. He decided that he needed a second monitor, so he took one of our TVs and put it in the middle of the table.
Now we have notebooks, binders, a large TV and a computer on our dining room table, and they haven’t moved in weeks. I have forgotten what my pretty place settings on the table look like. I eat my meals facing a large TV with spreadsheets on them. I disinfect that table and the spreadsheets before every meal.

On my breaks, I usually play on my phone and watch funny videos as a mental mini-vacation from the workday. Now, David, in his new office, gives me a look and tells me he is on a video conference call. Great, I was in the background of the call for all of his coworkers to see and hear. Thankfully, I was decent and dressed in an outfit other than jammies.

My breaks have been relocated to the patio.

It is interesting to hear the type of person your significant other is at work on these calls. David is sweet and laid back and will do almost anything for me. On these calls, I hear some rebuttals and headstrong statements. He is confident in his work; I am sure of that now. It’s nice to see him in this new light.

I usually eat lunch quickly and walk the dog. I take a bunch of treats because it is easier for me to control him when I walk him alone. David is joining us now on these walks. It has been nice to talk to someone other than the dog.

Except, he has noticed that our dog keeps looking at me and whining. He thinks it is cute and that he is checking on me to make sure I’m O.K. because of my physical state. But the dog and I both know the truth. He is looking for his treats and wondering why he isn’t getting them when he is a good boy. The treats have been reinstated during the walks.

There are times when I am in my office and very busy when David barges in and starts talking his head off. I can tell he misses being in a social office setting. It takes a little getting used to working at home. There are a lot of benefits to going to an office every day. But, there are also a lot of benefits to not going to work.

It has been nice having him cook breakfast or lunch on many days instead of me having to fend for myself and deciding that my cooking project for the day would include heating up a piece of leftover pizza.

We have both started eating healthier and have both been more productive. With him not having to commute, there is more time for homemade meals and doing projects around the house.

So, the guy I now share an office with isn’t all that bad. We have adjusted to some changes, but for the most part, they have been positive. It has been nice having him around during my final months of pregnancy.

Part of me hopes he can continue working from home until the baby arrives, and then he will be on his paternity leave - at home.

Maybe my parents had this all figured out. I saw it happening before my eyes growing up, and now I’m experiencing it. But I still don’t know how they kept their dining room table uncluttered.

(You can reach Stephanie at stephanie.bulletin@gmail.com. Or by writing to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)