with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
It used to be that I spent summer feeling pulled in twelve different directions; feeling like my kids weren’t getting enough of me, feeling like I never got enough work done, feeling anxious for school to start and then guilty that I wanted it to, etc.
This summer has been different for a variety of reasons. With one kid in the hospital, nothing feels normal, ever, and so our family has taken to referring to this time as The Summer That Wasn’t. Even if that wasn’t the case, though, my youngest is nearly a teenager—if I felt like I had to work a non-stop, “regular” schedule in the summer months, I could do that, now. There wouldn’t be any “Mom! Mom! Hey Mom! Moooooooom!” going on. (Okay, that’s a lie. That still happens, but when I tell him to stop he laughs instead of throwing himself to the floor for a tantrum. Heh.) Still, our family schedule is off and the beginning of school changes things.
This week my husband went back to teaching at the university and my son went back to attending our beloved “Hippie School” (a homeschool collab) three days each week. Yesterday and today I had the house to myself for the bulk of the day, and I was free to work unencumbered.
I should’ve gotten a ton done. I mean, that’s what I told myself. In theory, I would have full days to focus on nothing but work-related items, and surely this would be the first step back on track for me to resume some semblance of what used to be a full-time endeavor. It didn’t go quite like that, though.
I can’t tell you whether I can legitimately blame everything else that’s going on right now, or it’s a case of me needing some time to ease back into the old schedule, or if I’m just plain lazy—perhaps the truest answer is some combination of all three?—but I’m just not feeling it, yet. Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment and then my son had one, so half the day vaporized, right there. Today I was here in my office all day but still feel like I somehow didn’t get enough done.
On the other hand, both yesterday and today I both planned and prepared dinner in the morning (oh how I love my crock pot). This summer we fell into “What do you want for dinner tonight?” “I don’t know, what do we have?” “I don’t know” “Let’s just pick something up” more often than I’d like to admit. This weekend I put together a menu and grocery shopped, knowing that we had to get back on track this week and I would need to be packing lunches, too. So, while two successful cooking days in a row hardly constitute eternal success, I’m off to a good start on that front.
I’ve stayed on top of a variety of phone calls and other correspondence related to getting both kids various things that they need. I’ve arranged to see some folks I haven’t seen in forever, mired in family stuff as I’ve been for the last however many months. I’ve done dishes and laundry and worked in the garden and made tomato sauce.
But I haven’t quite rediscovered that work groove… not yet, anyway.
Hopefully I’m going to get there. Or I’ll make peace with this mysterious “new normal” I hear so much about. Either way. I’m ready for life to be a little more predictable, for a while.
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