Hamster Heroics and Other Benefits of Working at Home

Picture the scene: last Friday morning, 9:30 am. Mom seated in front of computer, furiously typing away on 3,000 word article due by midnight for magazine. And this time, for once, I wasn't working under a deadline due to my own procrastination. My interview subject had been delayed in getting her replies to me due to a family crisis. I think I'm ok – the six hours of my sons' school day should provide me ample time to write, proof and submit the piece.

Until the phone rings…

"Mom, it's Adam – you have to come to school right away. There's an emergency with Odysseus."

The Odysseus in question is Adam's hamster, who had been taken to school on Thursday to serve as a junior high science class lesson exhibit. It seems that Adam's teacher had alerted him that the school would be having a scheduled fire drill and she was concerned that the loud alarm and subsequent commotion might be too much for the hamster's little heart. The sense of desperation in Adam's voice told me that this was serious business – at least as far as he was concerned. He thought I needed to drop everything, come to school, and rescue Odysseus from near certain heart failure. My explanation of my looming deadline seemed to dissuade him, but I could tell when we hung up that he was certain this would be the end for poor Odysseus.

I tried to go back to my typing, but then my own heart started hurting. Aren't situations like this, after all, the reason that I've decided to work from home rather than in a traditional office setting? You can guess the end of the story – I hit "save", grabbed my keys, and rescued the hamster just in the nick of time. Another crisis averted!

Working at home provides many benefits, but for me the best of them is the ability to prioritize my family's needs. I can work in the early morning hours while the boys are still sleeping. I can take half a day off to volunteer in their classrooms or go on class trips. The key to making it all work is being organized and productive enough to make the most of the time I do have to get things done. A happy, grateful son, a hamster without a heart condition, and a magazine article that actual got submitted early are last week's proof that things are working out just fine!


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Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of www.CatholicMom.com and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at LisaHendey.com.

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  • Guest

    Craig Huggart http://www.craighuggart.com Tech Rest "Enjoying technology and finding rest in a restless world"




    Too funny and too real.  Congrats on making the right choice in the moment.



  • Guest

    Good choice!