For the past 10 days, I’ve been overrun by children. Okay, well, it was only two of them. But I felt like my entire world was put in one of those salad spinners, only instead of water being wicked away from me, it was every semblance of a coherent thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. Truly. The main reason why I work from home is so that I can be here for them whenever and however they need me. I won’t break my arm patting myself on my back, but I’m doing pretty well (a few bumps) in the parenting department.
But I really hate it when they’re home from school.
My son recently decided he wanted to quit the band. My biggest concern wasn’t whether or not he’d keep practicing on his own or if he’d make it into the middle school band in two years. My biggest concern was the four hours of afterschool activities I’d be losing as a result!
Most days I have a maximum of six uninterrupted hours of work. Unlike the office, where time might be whiled away over the proverbial water cooler, I pretty much cram a full day’s worth of work into those six hours. I might get up extra early one morning or pad my time by working the weekends, but I get a lot done when I’m focused and self-disciplined.
When the kids are home, I barely get the opportunity to tuck into a serious communications effort without someone wanting to eat. Or talk. Or share the latest celebrity death (my daughter was in tears the morning she woke to read that Richard Griffiths had died… and gone to Hogwarts, or so I’d like to think).
It’s really not their fault that they’re constantly interrupting my work. I’ve conditioned them to the idea that “mommy is available” whenever they need me. When it’s outside the hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., I don’t mind stopping what I’m doing (or, more likely, changing what I’m doing; a lot of our conversations take place while I’m cooking or folding laundry).
The net result has been a preponderance of things that have not gotten off my “to do” list for almost two weeks. This includes doing my daughter’s taxes (I spent the month from mid-February to mid-March tracking down errant W2s, but the forms still need to be filled out and filed). And planning her birthday celebration. And prepping for a writing conference. And cleaning the apartment. And pitching my new business plan.
I’ve actually felt so exhausted these past few days, and it’s not from a lack of sleep. I think I’m frozen under the magnitude of the piles of stuff that needs getting done! In short, I’m the deer in the headlights and I’ve no idea if I should run left or right. I just need the driver of that van to slam on his brakes!
What this means for the rest of the week is I am doubling down on getting past blog posts up there for you! I have at least six that I’ve started and left languishing, including the 30-day series for April. For those who subscribe, I apologize if you get multiple e-mails per day. For those who read me through WordPress, please note that I’m going to pre-date some of these back into March.
In case you need something to distract you from your own work at hand.