Over the span of a week and 1/2 I’ve experienced having my 8 month old son being life flighted and placed in the ICU, packing for a 6 month relocation in one day, a 1750 mile road trip with 2 kids in 2 1/2 days, my Grandpa that I was very close with passing away, and my husband leaving me for his 6 month military deployment. All of this while dealing with the same virus that landed my little man in the hospital. Needless to say during all of this I had to drop everything else in my life and go into survival mode.
Now that all the crises have passed I’m left picking up the pieces of all that dropped and shattered around me in the meantime. When you work from home any “time off” you take just results in things being left undone and piling up. When you have planned time off you can do things to compensate for this–like scheduling things ahead, not accepting as many orders for the time you’ll be gone, or finding someone to fill your shoes in your absence. When you get hit with unexpected problems and crisis situations there is really nothing you can do to prepare. I have always been a firm believer that you and your family should always come first, no matter what. That is the whole point of working from home, is it not?
That being said maintaining a professionalism with your clients and colleagues is extremely important. I have spent the past several days sending out numerous apology emails and updates to all of those who were affected by my sudden absence. I’ve found that as long as you offer an apology and explain the situation most people are more than willing to extend generosity with you and their sympathy to your situation. Even if you are still dealing with coping and catching up, as I am right now, a brief email letting everyone know why you are currently dropping the ball can go a long way to keeping your relationships and jobs from being severed or losing your reputation and credibility. In fact your contacts will most likely be very thankful you are taking the time during your trials to reach out to them.
If you should run into someone who is not understanding then I think it is best to cut ties with them. Working with people who are gracious and understanding is a very important thing, especially as a Mom since you are bound to have unexpected things come up from time to time, whether big or small. When you do run into these just keep these tips in mind!
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