Working from home. With small children.
Some days, as I wipe small bottoms, whip up cheese omelettes and clock up the miles on the school run, I get frustrated that my “career” (it’s in inverted commas for a reason) takes such a back seat to my job as housewife and mother.
We’re not just talking back seat of a black Range Rover here; we’re talking back seat of a 148-seater, double-decker bendy bus. With a trailer.
Yet, nearly four years after I quit office life, I’ve kind of made peace with the fact that I’m a stay-at-home mum. But, like any woman who’s been to university and enjoyed a career, I still need somethingfor myself.
And, for me right now, that something is a little part-time job that I can do from home in just two mornings a week. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I can get it done in just two hours of the morning. Equally, if I don’t have a fair wind, a clear head and motivation by the bucket-load, it can take four or six hours. Usually I get the bulk of it done while the children are at school, and finish off after they’ve gone to bed.
And it may be a little job, but I take it very seriously. I like to be professional, and it’s this sense of professional worth that enables me to continue wiping bums, making omelettes and clocking up the miles on the school run without running screaming into the desert dribbling like a lunatic.
But days like today – days which DH and the children have as holidays, but which was a working day for me – are days that drive me absolutely nuts.
In true Mrs Dubai fashion, I got the bulk of today’s work done yesterday, but I still needed about 20 minutes alone at the computer to finish off in a professional manner. And shall I tell you how I completed the last 20 minutes of the work that’s so important to me?
I completed it with DS unplugging the computer; with him reaching up and pressing random keys on the computer. I completed it with my arms extended as he dragged my office chair around the floor; shouting as he pulled papers off the desk and tried to grab my water glass. I completed it with DS and DD fighting on the floor next to me. With DS trying to tear pages out of my precious books, with him trying to pull me out of the study and with DD whining that she wanted to do something “fun” today.
I love them to bits – sometimes I think I love them more than any other mother can possibly love their children (obviously not true) – but it makes my blood boil to think that I can’t get a tiny 20 minutes to myself to finish a little job that keeps me sane, keeps me alive and keeps me loving my family. Really, my fellow mums, I am asking too much?