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.
When my son was an infant, I had a thirty-minute office commute. When he was a toddler and I switched to working from home, I still had a fifteen-minute drive to daycare. For the two months my husband was out of work (”WAS”! HE GOT A JOB LAST WEEK!), my work day would blend right into my mom day because when the boys got home I’d still be sitting at my desk trying to eke out a few more moments of daylight productivity. When my son bursts in the door (his current bit is to announce loudly, “Hey Dad, where’s that nice lady who lives here?”), I just as often greet him with a hug as I do a “Just a minute, I’m almost done, no, you can’t sit on my lap, not right now, don’t touch that, stop, just a minute, JUST A MINUTE.”
As glad as I am to have a daily commute no longer than the fifteen-step waddle from my bed to my desk (I just made the trip to test for accuracy and also so I could cross off “exercise” on my to-do list), there is something to be said for those end-of-the-work-day drives. I wouldn’t call it “free time”–and certainly not “me time”–but it was a period of forced do-nothingness that allowed my mind to psychologically drift away from the office just as surely as I was physically motoring down the freeway away from it. No phone, no email, no coworkers popping in about a rush job. Just me and some music and the blinking of tail lights on the road ahead.
As long as I continue to work from home, I think I–well, the whole family, actually–would benefit from my instituting some sort of enforced break between the end of my work day and the resumption of my primary responsibility as Mom. Mr. Rogers had it down. Change into a comfortable sweater, trade your work shoes for your play shoes, sing a little song. Maybe all I need is to turn on a song and just sit quietly with my eyes closed for five minutes to mark the separation between these two parts of the day. Heck, maybe even loading the dishwasher or sweeping the kitchen floor would do the trick just so long as it’s something away from the computer. It doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to take long; all it has to do is prepare me to approach my son’s daily homecoming with an open mom-heart instead of a tangled work-brain.
Do you have tips for switching out of work mode and into mom mode?
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