My blogging friend, Christa on Vocational Duality, often writes about balancing work life with mothering life. I’ve been fortunate in managing the two somewhat separately most of the time. But not this last week.
When Duncan was a baby and I leapt into the freelance life, I could put him in a playpen next to my desk and get work done. That lasted until he was a year old. Then I started taking him to an at-home daycare a few afternoons a week. Daddy looked after him some mornings, I worked during naptime and those three afternoons when he went to Kayden’s house.
Then Berry came along. Working with 2 kids is next to impossible. One of them always wants something – usually both of them want something, at the same time, in the loudest possible manner.
Because of this, when I went back to work shortly after Berry’s birth (too soon, I now realize, but that’s another story), I found someone (a wonderful someone) to come to our house to look after the kids. This keeps them close, yet I still get to escape to my office in the attic. I’m around, yet not. We eat lunch together, I put them down for naps, then I go back to work until dinner time. Really, it’s ideal.
I get to enjoy the flexibility of working from home, while maintaining working hours. Generally, I refuse to work evenings or weekends. I’m not a machine, after all. However, every so often, there comes a project with a looming deadline, that requires some after-hours work. I had one this past Labor Day weekend.
Oh boy. It would have gone OK if things had been “normal.” But we were all sick. I was sick. The kids were sick. Even Kevin was sick, although he did a fabulous job of not complaining about it.
So there I sat, one sick kid on my lap, the other sitting in a chair next to me or playing with trains on the floor, working away at the dining room table. We must have been a sight. They watched so much TV I think their brains may have melted and dribbled out their ears (at least they’ve been acting like it). But I kept plugging away and we somehow got through the weekend. My project got finished (finally, yesterday) and we will all eventually feel better. I can’t tell you how glad I was to see the sitter on Tuesday morning.
It’s interesting how we all manage to balance our lives one way or another. If I didn’t have a pressing deadline and I didn’t adore the client, I would have packed work away for the weekend and got on with it on Tuesday. Family and health tend to come before work in my balancing act. Time may be money, but time is also life. Somehow it’s important to find the equilibrium between the two.