Work from Home!
You see that advertized in every newspaper and magazine. Let me tell you, it's not all it's cracked up to be. Not when your husband and three children are in the next room, making all kinds of racket. As they should be. It is, after all their home.
Now that I have 10 articles to write by the end of next week, I'm beginning to yearn for that cubicle and the endless stream of phone calls at my old office. Crazy as it was, at least I could write fast there. I had deadlines. Not just the Friday morning one for the paper, but the 5:30 p.m. one every night, when I picked the kids up at daycare.
At home, I don't have to be anywhere at anytime. But I have to be everywhere all the time: the laundry room, cleaning the kitchen, playing with the kids.
Then I keep putting them off.
"Go see your daddy," I tell J.J. after a quick game of peekaboo.
"Ask daddy to get you a drink of juice," I tell Richie.
And I know they're thinking, "What are you doing, exactly? Playing on the computer?"
I saw a report that said the most ill-adjusted children are the ones of moms who work from home, something I did for two years before going to work full-time at the newspaper. Kids see their moms working and are like, "Why is she ignoring me?"
That's why, the second time around of being an at-home/work-from-home mom, I vowed to only work when the boys were asleep or at my mom's on Tuesday. Phone calls would have to wait. Working for the newspaper would be impossible.
Until now. With Justin home injured, I'm trying to pick up the slack, thus putting off my re-entry into the full-time work force for as long as possible.
My "office" now is a computer in our dining room. I make phone calls on our back stoop. Or leave messages, that is.
You know when a telemarketer calls you and sounds half robotic: "Hi, this is Sharon. Be sure to call me at 555-5555. I have a great deal for you on home mortgages." And you're like, "Do people actually call her back?"
I think the same thing goes through people's minds when a newspaper reporter leaves messages for them.
The good thing is, now Justin is home to pick up my slack. The boys love when their daddy watches them. It's all they can drink juice. All they can eat snacks. And all they can watch T.V.
The problem is, I miss my kids and they're in the room right next to me. I'm here, but I'm not here. I'm tuning them out, making it harder to bring them into focus when they ask a question or say something funny or sweet.
There is no easy way to be a working mom.
Then again, I have friends who stay at home without picking up side jobs and think this scenario would be fun. Going out to do stories. Getting a break from the kids here and there. Being home all the time, they probably feel obligated to do their laundry and clean their houses in a timely manner. Maybe they have to tune their kids out a little bit, too. I guess there's just no easy way to be a mom, period.
Whether we work from home, at home or away from home, we're all working moms.