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Ask Sherry Anything: Where I talk about work life balance

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

You can ask any question using the form here.

A while back you mentioned getting headaches and dizzy spells – did you find out the cause?

Thank you for asking!

Yes, I did. It turns it out it was a combination of a bunch of things that came together in an unhealthy combination.

  • Taking too much or too little caffeine (I am quite sensitive to it which is why I avoid coffee and coffee-products even our Canadian Coffee Crisp).
  • Not sleeping enough – sleep deprivation makes me even more sensitive than to changes in my environment.
  • Not taking enough water – dehydration
  • The water balance in my ears – My motion sickness also gets triggered when I don’t sleep enough, and the balance is off in my ears
  • Eczema in my ears – The crust of the eczema forming inside my ear canals, screwed with the water balance and caused dizziness

Yeah so.. a lot of crap.

I am to cut back on tea (no more than two cups a day, and to put less in each cup if I want to drink more, and to drink more water and try to sleep more (LOL @ this with a toddler).

What is your work schedule at your job (start/end hours)?

I start at 8 in the morning and leave between 4 – 5 p.m. It depends on how much time I take (if any) for lunch or errands. I make a note and stay late if I need to. Also, if I stay later some days and work more, then I take a longer lunch break to do things, or leave earlier. I try to keep to the same hours as the client and I only work 40 a week.

I noticed in your “A Week of Money” post that there is some flexibility in your schedule (which is good). I was wondering what your usual working hours are and how much flexibility is allowed.

It varies by client. At this one, I can start any time I want and take a longer lunch break (or none at all), but I have to keep within the same business hours which are 9 – 5 and cannot vary off by more than an hour.

So I can start at 8, 9 or 10 in the morning, and leave at 4, 5 or 6. That’s the general window of time.

Flexibility in hours is a rare thing to find at client sites, but they’re more lenient if you have a young family or need to commute a heck of a lot.

This particular client is AWESOME. I want to stay here forever.

Also, did you negotiate for this schedule or is it the normal schedule at your workplace?

If they tell me that the hours are set for 9 – 5 and I cannot change it, then I have to negotiate (if I can) and ask for an hour earlier in the morning or later to coordinate with my partner for drop off / pickup at the preschool.

If I get to a client and they tell me it’s when I want to work, based on what works for my family (IDEAL!!!) then I usually choose a super early start and an early leave.

Some clients don’t let you vary at all and are very rigid because of the nature of their business and that means you need to fall in line as well, so between my partner and I, we work it out to make sure we cover what we need to to organize our life.

I tend not to stay at such clients, but when you need the money, you suck it up.

My normal work day though, is always 8 hours. Only at some crappy clients do they set that you can only charge / work 7 hours because they’re accounting 1 hour for lunch. *eyeroll*

And what are your partner’s working hours?

Same as mine. It depends on the client. Some are rigid, some are not.

Do you like your current work/life balance or is there anything you would change about it if it was possible?

Yes, I’d like to not commute at all. I want to just work at home 3 days a week (ideally) and only be in the office for 2 or just for meetings.

The reason why I’d rather stay at home is that I can start the minute I wake up and work until I need to. I don’t need to shower immediately, put on makeup, dress, get in the car, drive, park, etc. It saves a ton of time.

For example, in a usual day, how many hours would you like to work and/or do your own things, and how much time would you like to have for family time/Baby Bun time? (perhaps with some time intervals) And what about your partner’s wishes in this regard?

My partner and I are the same in our wishes — at least 3 days at home, but this is something that is not possible where we work.

Frankly, I’d like to have ONLY 8 hours to work at home (no commuting time which takes up another 2 hours), I’d like another 3 hours just for myself (not including lunch), etc.

I’d really like a third weekend day … it seems like Saturdays are my Mommy Days, and Sunadys are his Daddy Days, but we don’t have a Family Day, which we try to make up for by doing dinners together (always) at night, or morning times when he is cooking.

For me when I am at home, it is always Baby Bun Day. Unless I leave on the Saturday for my own stuff or am working, I am NEVER without this child. I’d really like a third Family Day to do things with him together … but I do spend pretty much the entire Saturday morning, and entire Sunday together with Baby Bun. I am missing the Family Time with the 3 of us though. 🙁

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.

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