I'm Leah, and in a lucky twist of fate, I've landed my three dream jobs:
book editor, writer, and mother. Since having my son in December 2008, my
work-life has been in constant flux - full-time? part-time? freelance?
working at home or in the office? It depends on the day and which way the
wind is blowing - and figuring out how to keep it all going is a constant
challenge. Heck, I'm still getting used to the idea of being someone's
Check out my profile on Work It, Mom! and my personal blog, A Girl and a Boy.
You know the saying “I’m working for the weeked?” I think it stops being true the second you have kids. Kids seem to be of the collective mind that oh-hell-no o’clock is the perfect time to wake up EVERY DAY, and none of them have even heard of Loverboy. What this means for me is that most of the time I’m not working for the weekend but working for the end of the workday; forget spending several days apart from my job, I’m excited for those several hours each night, when I might have some peace and quiet and time for myself at last before it all begins again in the morning.
Because I mostly work from home, defining the end of my workday is both harder and more important, and a lot of the time I don’t manage to do it very well. On thing I think might remedy that is having a consistent after-work ritual to help me shift the gears from workbrain to homebrain. I have some ideas, but I’m also taking suggestions.
When you get home, do you take off your work clothes–exchange your shiny shoes for tennies and your blazer for a cozy cardigan a la Mr. Rogers? Do you have a cup of herbal tea or a glass of wine (or, as my spouse does, a martini)? Do you steal a quick five minutes to check your favorite trashy celebrity gossip site(s) or to browse a beautiful style blog? Do you read a favorite storybook with your kids? My neighbor comes home from work every day and immediately retreats to her garden to weed and prune (and it shows because her yard is gorgeous). Surely there’s someone out there who looks forward to her daily apres-work workout, clearing her head with a perfect yoga headstand.
If you work outside the home, it might be that the journey from one place to the next is enough of a trigger to change you focus (especially if you take public transportation and can read a book or close your eyes and lose yourself in your iPod during the commute), but even then, I think having an after-work routine might be beneficial in the same way that bedtime routines help our kids settle down for the night. In that case, just the act of performing the routine is as effective and important as the routine itself, and I suspect the same might be true settling ourselves down after a full day on the job .
Do you have an after-work ritual that helps you realign your focus with your non-work life? Do tell.
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