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Upside Down

“You’re gonna kill each other in under a week,” is what a friend said when I told her my wife is now working from home (alongside me) and my kids are also learning remotely. So far, we’re all alive and well in our house with only one dedicated office. There is an upside of working from home when everyone is home.

1. I didn’t realize how important my wife’s work is and how good she is at what she does, until she started working from home. She’s a Human Resource Professional and I see how hard she works and I can hear how smoothly she handles the hard stuff she has to deal with. I have a newfound respect for her and what she does.

2. I’m much more aware of what my kids are learning, how they learn, and their study habits—and I’m here too help if they need it. I also added a class of my own (it’s mandatory) about how things work. They’re learning how to cook, clean, and fix things so they’re more prepared when they live on their own.

3. I’m actually less distracted now. When I was home alone I would take frequent breaks to watch television, eat, and futz around the house. Now I have to be quiet and I feel guilty if everyone is working on something but me, so I’m more focused and productive than before.

I’m not sure how my wife and kids feel about our new arrangement, but I love spending more time with all of them and watching them work. I enjoy making breakfast and lunch, and taking our breaks together so we can catch up for a few minutes. Maybe most of all, the closeness that comes from being in close quarters has been surprisingly wonderful. There is an upside to remote working learning.

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