It seems my work hours are endlessly shrinking. Here I sit, in the precious time I have with the young ones in care, finding myself not able to work but instead dealing with The Girl. I’m supposed to work until 4 yet when she gets home at 2 my attention is forced elsewhere, either dealing with discipline issues or having to help with homework. Either way it seems like my work day is essentially over 2 hours earlier than it used to.
This is the constant struggle for the work-at-home mom. There literally aren’t enough hours in the day. Even this blog post had to take an 18-hour hiatus. I was going to trade the hours I needed to give up in the afternoon for a few hours at night, yet, once again, the demands of the kids intruded and I fell into bed at nearly midnight still having accomplished nothing.
For a while I thought I had figured out how to make this work-at-home thing work. Sure, it involved child care and not actually having the kids at home, but it was a solution that let me at least get a little work done (and helped retain my sanity – at least some of the time). To the uninitiated, it would seem adding a teenager who didn’t need my full attention to the at-home mix wouldn’t be that disruptive. I have now learned better.
I guess the lesson today is to admit the balance will never be perfect… and I may never get all the work done that I want, or need, to do. Somehow that has to be okay. It is more important to get the muffins made, the babies washed and the homework done.
What’s most important is remembering why I’m working from home (and no, it is not just because there’s no work for a broadcast journalist in rural Nova Scotia). It the moments I don’t want to miss. I just got The Baby up from his nap and had to kiss his favourite stuffed kitty before he would condescend to get out of the crib. Pretty soon I get to go get The Boy from pre-school and he’ll run into my arms and say ‘Mommy, you always come back. I love you.’ How could I chance missing that just for a job that wasn’t interrupted by spilled milk or smelly diapers? I wouldn’t even want to miss harassing The Girl about her homework. The 88% project mark she brought home yesterday is proof that maybe something is sinking in.