I have two of the best jobs in the world. First, of course, is writing. The other one is an online job, administering an educational program. Both allow me to work at home, on my own schedule. I tend to work while the kids are at school and in the evenings, after they've gone to bed. No childcare needed, no business wardrobe, no need to go any further than the basement office to get to work. It's great.
One of my favorite things about working at home is the flexibility. Last week I chaperoned my youngest's field trip to the children's museum, and I didn't have to ask for time off. I just worked extra hours the day before and the day after. When I went to the RT Convention, I told my supervisor that I'd be out of state, and brought my cell phone and computer with me so I could be accessible to students. Most of them didn't even know I was gone.
But one of the downsides of working at home is the perception that your time is always that free. Can you pick that up for me, can you bring this down to the office, do you mind watching the kids for a couple of hours? And I don't mind helping out, but it can be difficult to place limits on my work time and say, no, I can't. No, I really do need to work on my files today. No, I can't run to the town 30 miles up the road to get that item for the classroom. There's an expectation that because my jobs CAN be flexible, I should be available at a moment's notice.
So I struggle with saying no, even though I know I should more than I actually do. Does anybody else deal with this sort of situation? And if so, how do you handle it?