I work from home. People love to say things like “oh how lovely! You get to wear your pajamas all day!” I could, but I don’t. “You don’t have to get up early!” Yes, I do. Someone has to get my husband out the door and my son wakes up at 6 am every day. “I’m sure you get so much done!” Ha. Hahahahahaha.
Here’s the thing. Small children are anti-productive. I get everyone set up with paper, crayons, toys, snacks, a wonderful (horribly boring) education television program. “Great,” I think stupidly, “I’m about to get all the work done.”
Two seconds later.
Kid: “Mom? I don’t like this snack.”
Me: “Too freaking bad.”
Kid: *SCREAMS BLOODY MURDER*
Me: *hit save* *finds a new snack*
Five minutes later.
Kid: “She hit me and the dog ate my snack!!!”
Me: “Bad word.” *fixes the problem*
Three minutes later.
Kid: “I peed in the floor!”
Me: *heavy sigh* “Okay…” *cleans up pee*
Six minutes later.
Kid: “The cat peed in the floor mom!”
Me: *long string of bad words* *cleans up pee*
Four minutes later.
Kid: “MOM MOM MOM MOM”
Me: *runs* “What?”
Kid: “The show is over.”
Me: “It’s Netflix. The next episode starts by itself.”
This goes on all day long. ALL DAY LONG. By the time my husband gets home, I’ve gotten twelve non-consecutive minutes of work in. If I’m not brain dead at this point, I try to get some work done. Often though, I’m too tired and dinner still needs to happen. Dinner is always relaxing since it is spent bargaining with small children trying to convince them to eat green things. Then we suffer through the joy that is bathtime, hopefully, clean the kitchen, read stories, sing songs, and refuse to bargain with said children about when bedtime will happen. “Three more minutes?” “NO.”
Forty-five minutes later, the kids are in bed. I drag myself downstairs, crack the computer open and fall asleep before I get more than five minutes worth of work done.
Here’s the breakdown on a typical day (not a school day, I actually get something done on school days):
1 hour – work
6 hours – running errands for small children/yelling
3 hours – preparing meals and snacks for small children
5 minutes – downtime
20 minutes – stolen downtime bc I’m locked in the bathroom hiding and reading on kindle
30 minutes – cleaning up pee
1 hour – snoozing on couch before I go to bed
1 hour – talking to spouse, mostly about logistical maneuvers to get us through the next day
45 mins – taking the dog out and waiting for her to find the perfect spot to pee
This all sounds great right? Even this productive schedule is totally unpredictable because with small children, nothing is predictable. For instance, this week, one child had a stomach bug that involved projectile puking all over the world. Productivity? Haaaaaaaaaaaaa.
Thus, I am always a day late and a dollar short. Or a week late. The point here is, I’m trying really hard. I try hard every day. And I disappoint people constantly. I’d do less, but I don’t have a choice. I have two part time jobs that are occasionally full time. I’m trying to build a writing career and actually write books. I have revisions, platform building, marketing, etc., that have to be done if I want to sell a single book when the time comes. I would dearly love to be that working mother that has it all together. I just have this feeling that those don’t exist. In the meantime, we are all doing the best we can dammit.