Cornered Office

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

Planning, shmlanning

Categories: A mother's work is never done, Maybe I can pencil in a nap, Now I'm free(lancing)

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(Pictured here: Not me. You can tell it’s not me because she’s actually asleep.)

For all of my big talk about staying organized and learning to adapt to the ebb and flow of a flexible schedule, reality remains… messy. Sometimes I feel organized and capable and on top of things. Sometimes I feel like I am holding on by my teeth. And this week, I feel like one of those “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” books.

I’m a day late writing this post, even. Because this week somehow started off okay but quickly went off the rails, and I don’t even know how it happened. On Monday, things were under control. I was getting stuff done. Today—Friday—I foolishly tried to take a nap to maybe catch up and it didn’t go well. I would like to blame this on the school year ending, but it seems to me that a week like this one happens every so often no matter what I do. You’d think I could figure it out, by now. You would be wrong, though.

Like I said, on Monday, things were fine. On Monday I was well-rested and met deadlines and got things done and drove kids where they needed to go. On Tuesday, there was a small wrench in the form of an unexpected kid-need which I was actually able to pass off to my husband so it shouldn’t have impacted my day at all, really, except that Tuesday was the day when it became clear that we had no food in the house and I had done no meal planning for the week.

This is called foreshadowing.

So on Tuesday, I ended up back at my desk after dinner, because somehow dinner ended up taking extra time, as it often does when dinner involves climbing into the back of the freezer and the bottom of the crisper drawer, trying to figure out something palatable which can be assembled from available ingredients.

On Wednesday, I was supposed to have a client call which was cancelled at the last minute, giving me extra time. Yay! Except that we rescheduled for the next day, even though I knew it would be tight. Okay, no problem. I could make it work. Then a kid appointment was also rescheduled from evening to afternoon, so even though I got that call time back, I then lost a bunch of time I hadn’t planned on, anyway. Somehow everyone got where they needed to go and my husband swooped in with take-out for dinner. Again, I was back to work after dinner, but sometimes that happens.

On Thursday, I had to spend half the day at my son’s homeschool co-op, which—combined with the rescheduled client call—made the day pretty tight for actual work, plus my daughter had a doctor’s appointment, plus at 7:00 we realized we still had no food and yet people were hungry, and so by the time I’d made dinner (spinach scrambled eggs, and now the fridge was officially empty) I was too tired to think about going back to work. I would simply catch up on Friday!

Now it’s Friday, and I started the morning with a kid doctor appointment (I’m seeing a pattern here; maybe I need to get rid of the kids…?), then a run to school, the fastest trip to the supermarket I could manage, and then back at home it was time to work. Finally. I could catch up! Maybe grab a nap! Except that after I did a little bit of work, I went to lie down for a few minutes; I hadn’t even fallen asleep when the kid who was supposed to be occupied for the day called to ask for an early pickup, and the other kid texted to ask for a bunch of stuff she needs after school, and somehow this all ended with my dog staring at me expectantly here in my office, and me telling her to stop looking at me, I’m done doing anything for anyone else right now.

The dog was unbothered, which is good. It’s possible I’m a little cranky.

So! I’m finishing up everything, and then I’ll have to decide if I work to catch up this weekend or if I leave the weekend sacred and start again on Monday. Either way, here’s hoping next week doesn’t serve up a similar the-road-to-implosion-is-paved-with-good-intentions sort of schedule.

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