My life often feels like one busy intersection. I'm a single mom who runs her own writing and editing business from a little nook off the kitchen.
Sometimes, my work even extends to other corners of my home -- like last night, as I scrambled to finish a deadline. When I told my daughter it was bedtime, she said, "Mommy, can I please sleep with you tonight?" Mae climbed into my bed, and I read her a story (yes, I was the perfect image of poor work-parent boundaries). Then I turned my laptop away from her eyes so she could sleep.
Every mother, single or not, needs healthy limits. But what if everything blurs together, like in my home? Is it really so bad?
When it comes to your kids, if they're old enough, they go to school from 8 a.m. until pick-up time. But it's not like you can turn them off when you need to make a work call in the evening. For a single parent like me, there's no one to whom I can say, "Honey, will you play with Mae for a bit?" so I can focus on work.
One moment, I'm answering work emails, and the next I'm picking up dirty socks. In between returning a client call, I get up to bake potatoes for dinner. Boundaries, shmoundaries!
Single mom Glamour blogger -- Chrissy at Storked -- recently mentioned this dilemma as "I managed to edit something by slipping JD into his jump-a-roo thing and sliding it over to my desk. That's not to say he didn't babble the entire time, or demand I pick him up six minutes later by resorting to puppy eyes and raised arms."
If you work from home, do you have a "don't interrupt Mommy" rule -- unless it's an emergency?
If you're a single mom like me, what do you do when you need to make a very important call and need silence?
I confess to using the TV as a treat in this instance. The day I interviewed the founder of JDate, I heard this loud bang, followed by a scream, and "I need ice!!" Fortunately, he had kids of his own -- and he sympathized.
I asked one Work It Mom member, Mandy Nelson of Dandysound, how she does it: "I do have a legit office (recording studio) but I keep the laptop in the dining room so I'm always in touch," Mandy says. "I guess that almost qualifies as kitchen nook."
This married mom confesses to "always doing everything at the same time since the kids are still really little." (They're 2 and 3, "underfoot and constantly around.")