Organization · Parenting

A Peek Inside Mel’s Workspace

In full disclosure my work space is more of a reveal compared to a “where I’ve been working,” like Betsy did. Because if I told you where I’ve set up shop for the past year, then this is what you’d be getting:

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I mean I love my kitchen and all, but having a laptop and various work necessities sitting out 24/7 (until guests come over then it’s thrown in a bag and into our bedroom) is just not that ideal. We had a desk in our front living room (sitting room? formal living room? whatever you want to call it) but the way the room is laid out (windows that take up two of the walls, fireplace that takes up another, etc) the size and shape of our desk just wasn’t working. We also wanted a TV in that room that I could turn on while working but I didn’t want a TV out in the open (I’m fine with it out in the family room but didn’t really care for the idea in our front room, which is the first room people walk in from the front door). So when we were faced with our desk conundrum the hubs oh so casually goes “I’ll just make one.”

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The windows in this room were really messing with my picture taking abilities. #notapro
Over the past year Eric has been dabbling in woodwork. It started with a wine rack, moved to a shelf and our mudroom cubbies and then ended with making our dining room in time for Christmas morning breakfast.  He showed me the desk plans and I was like “ok MacGyver” and he got to work. I couldn’t be more impressed! He modified these plans for the secretary part but winged the cabinet and desk legs. The only thing I did was stencil the back, pick out the hardware and distress the edges for a more antique look. Everything else was on him.

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Stencil bought at Michael’s
An obvious perk of building your own furniture is making it the exact size needed. It fits in the corner (or could even be placed against the wall on the left instead) and he made the top cabinet to fit our existing TV and inside the secretary it can store both our laptops side-by-side. He was also able to cut out all the holes in the back necessary for plugs. There are still a couple decorating needs to finish. On the inside of the door I want to hang a pinboard of some sort to hang up motivational work stuff. By that I mean, have goals in plain sight, favorite quotes, important dates, etc, right there in eyesight. I also want to figure out other design elements for the room as a whole – a different lamp/light situation, window treatments and possibly a different rug. Ideas? The chair is an antique. It was handed down to us from Eric’s parents and we had it refinished by B. Erin Designs, a local shop.

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All that stenciling to be hidden by a desk & accessories, (sigh), but at least I know it’s there
As I announced not too long ago I am now a consultant for Usborne Books and More. With this job I have my own sales goals, mailings (yay for sending out free books and prizes!) and just overall more organizational needs compared to jobs past. Prior to Usborne, I worked in content marketing for several years (which I still get to use my skills for on this blog thankfully).

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I feel like the most typical question about work-from-home/stay-at-home-parent life is how to balance. While there are times (those magical, rare, beautiful moments) I’m able to get work done while my kids are simultaneously playing without asking for a snack or needing help with dress-up every 2 minutes, the majority of the time if I try to work and mom at the same time, it is one huge hot mess so I avoid it. So, for me, that’s why they go to this amazing place called “preschool” a few days a week. Ellie goes twice a week and Parker three times. Maren is still home with me but with the big kids gone she’ll usually give me a solid 2-3 hour nap those days (I think she’s also like “finally! peace and quiet!”).

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The other time I work is in the evenings after they are asleep, which, yes, means sometimes I’m unable to work until 9pm or later. I have this ideal dream world where I wake up at 4:30 or 5am and get stuff done for 2 or 3 hours before the rest of the house awakes instead, but that is just not a realistic season I am in right now. Hopefully some day, but not right now. Maren still gets up at night (!?!?) and the other two are off and on with nightmares and potty breaks so anytime I try the early morning alarm, I repeatedly hit snooze since I feel like I just finally fell into a deep sleep. The struggle is real.

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Thinking of a cabinet with glass doors to store some of my Usborne books underneath the school pictures instead of the chair?
But I know as they grow, things will change and get easier so-to-speak in regards to time management and sanity (thanks to more sleep). So, I hold onto that vision with an extra-strength grip and just enjoy where I am right now. After all, what I wanted, was to be at home with them during these early years and that’s what I’m able to do – so no complaining!  Anyone else have tips for working & parenting simultaneously at home? I’d love to hear!

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