Work Home Balance

Spent the morning working. Or at least trying to work. Working from home is delightful because I can always nurse the baby, move my entire day around to attend school plays that last 15 minutes, take a lunch break to make dinner, and do all of this in clothes I ran in earlier in the day. While I’m quite good at avoiding distractions (you have to be when you only have 2 hours to do 2 days worth of work), lately, I catch myself nodding off at my desk, or telling myself it’s OK to move over to the couch if all I’m doing is reading a transcript. Thirty minutes later the page I was meant to be reading is covered in drool, and I’ve lost a quarter of my work week.

Oh, and then there’s the lack of adult company. In some ways this is the big draw of working at home — as some of my former law firm colleagues will attest, I always disliked having to sit through work lunches, drinks with clients, and especially the much dreaded firm retreats. Once I had Bennett, I really hated to waste a minute of time that I could be spending with him listening to someone drone one about their weekend plans. In other words: no adults = no small talk. Of course, when M gets home from work on some days, I take a deep breath and tell him all things I haven’t been able to tell anyone all day… and watch as he glazes over.

A current problem is boundaries.  If I had an “away” office, the kids wouldn’t go near it. It would be decorated with pictures of them, and artwork by them, but their sticky paws would be nowhere to be found. Here at home, they are technically not allowed in my office, but they seem to have as much respect for that rule as they do for any other house rule (read: none). So, I often find Bennett rifling through my supply drawers (never touch a lawyer’s post-it notes), scribbling on my notepads, or filching pens from my desk.  Oh, and my desk is also my house desk, so work is mixed with bills, school forms, shopping lists, and recipes (which is how I accidentally sent a client a copy of a chipotle salmon recipe instead of a letter… I’m sure he had a lot of use for it in prison.)

Still, all of the above is tolerable because I cannot imagine working any other way at this point. And even though the work itself doesn’t always make me happy (not as happy as blog-writing, of course), I’m sticking with it for now.

On a completely unrelated note, a friend from the east coast stopped by for dinner tonight — she’s here for work. M wasn’t home, and I had to get the kids down so that I’d actually be able to eat with her. I warned them all that I’d be putting up with no crap of any sort (put differently). Bennett threw a ball at Efram’s head and the fight that ensued woke up the baby who had just fallen asleep. I went slightly postal and this seemed to do the trick.  When I saw that the boys were actually paying attention I promised the winner of the whoever-falls-asleep-first contest a pack of gum. (I them remembered that I’d forbidden Efram from ever chewing gum again after I found it (among other awful places) stuffed inside his pillow case. So much for that.) I tried this on the girls, but two year olds cannot be bribed, so while Francie took the bait, Fiona and the baby joined us for dinner. I am still amazed that it worked at all. I’d like to dissect the evening and figure out how I can replicate it on nights when I don’t have company, but I’m way too tired.

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