Thursday, October 16, 2014

Working from Home and what can I make for dinner?

It's tough stuff -- the working from home thing.  I've been at it full time for a few years now (OMG seriously did I just type years?) and it just doesn't seem to get any easier as the kids get older.

Sure, I don't have to stop everything when they get home from school -- they can get their own snacks now.  But still, it's like that 7 hours they are away at school feels shorter and shorter all the time.  It's like it *could* be a reprieve, but it's really not.

Yesterday, two were off from school while the third took the PSAT's.  Not a biggy --until you add the friends who come over all the time since we live so close to the high school.  It's not that I mind the friends coming over -- it's just that I have not remodeled the shed out back to make and office / hide-out.  So, my office is right next to the kitchen -- more to the point, next to the fridge.

And -- it doesn't have a door, because it was designed to be a dining room when the house was built in 1950. It would never, ever, work as a dining room now -- so I stole the "bonus room" for the dining room instead.  It's fine -- but it's not conducive to "alone time" -- or "conference calls".  Really -- it's just a sunshiny place I can stare out the window at the birdies and dewdrops as the weather changes.  Also I can tell when anyone is near my driveway easily.

But -- the whole working from home thing can really wreck havoc on the whole work-life balance thing.  It's so much easier to respond to on off-hour message when you have everything you need to do your job right there.  It's hard to pull away sometimes when it really, truly is family time.  And -- it's really difficult to feel like there is room to breathe, even when no one is around, because there is always that laundry staring you in the face -- the kids often forget to make their beds and there is the never-ending slew of pinterest things you should make for dinner -- you know, since you've got the time.

But the biggest things I have found lately -- is that the family sort of gets to a point, when one works from home like I do -- that shows they don't really think you "do" much.  Sure, there is money hitting the bank account -- sure, you are contributing. But after a few years, your time doesn't seem to matter in actions rather than words.

I was frustrated and angry about that this morning -- like pretty over the top grumpy (don't worry, my mother yelled at me to snap me out of it).  And it was all over really stupid things -- "Mom, can you go to the store today and do x, y, and z?"  No, I can not -- I have things I have to do during the time you are at school besides buying you more XBox games. 

For example, I have to read these articles on how to better do this or that in my shop, son, so that we still see things happening.  I have to write this paper -- and read that one -- and I have to find where you hid my kindle so I can do those things in multiple locations.  Because, my work day does not simply "end" when you get off the bus in the early afternoon.

And -- I have to weed through all the apps, so that I can ostensibly figure out how to work better, faster and by myself, so that we can have that pintrocity for dinner -- or that escape dinner and a movie.

The point is -- my time is valuable, even working from home.  As is their's.  I wish they knew how valuable this time they have -- before they have to start working and going to college and doing all the things we do -- is.

The youngest asked me yesterday what my favorite thing about being a mother is.  I didn't know -- I told him such. 

But what I do know is this -- trying to teach them about this time thing: it is not even on the list.

Italian Drunken Noodles from:

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