Monday, July 27, 2009

Home. Work.

This is where I work:  at the kitchen table, partially cleared.  On my bed, not yet made.  On the couch, recently re-slip covered (and still not replaced).  In my office, piles pushed aside.  In the TV room, late.

Work spills into work spills into life and all the edges get blurred.  I have been known to shout at children, "I just need ten minutes if you give me quiet!  Hours if you don't!"  And I bill that way. Conscientiously tracking my time, remembering when I mentally or physically checked out and subtracting those hours from my day, making them up at night, or the next day (the "off" day.)

In four years contracting for the same desperate multi-national, I have watched people more competent, more necessary, more confident, more reliable... get laid off.  Get end dates, or not. Get escorted out, or told when it will end.  It is frightening to be this dependent upon something so clearly so shaky.  And it is this, my low-commitment, flexible, no-benefits, frenetic lifestyle that saves me.

Deadlines loom, and stuff on stuff on other bits of stuff is due - or should be done.  And some of it is not particularly trackable or traceable - some of it is mine and only mine within this company that spans countries, this job that spans departments.  Working with clumsy web content tools and internal clients spread across aforementioned lands and duties.  Working some, too, with words - amorphous and gooey and always positive.

So the home work breeds homework. The 'to do' list that only sometimes gets items ticked off.
Mostly not.  And I have survivor's guilt, and 3 AM panic.  And hours that spill over my allotted 24/week, and other hours that I know I shouldn't add on, and do - to my day, but not to my time sheet.  

And in the spaces in-between, in the summertime, pools are visited, and bathing suits eventually put away.  Groceries are purchased, and children are eventually fed , dirt is tracked (good outdoors brought in)  and the floor is eventually vacuumed. On camp days, bags are packed. Walks are sometimes (but not enough) taken and some evenings, we go to the park.  We eat out a few times too many.

And school will start, and their homework will begin again.  And mine that comes from theirs- papers to be signed and registrations to be completed and checks to be written and field trips to man.  And I will miss some of it - not show up, forget to send the check, not sign the slip.  And I will feel myself slipping.  And I will question my own competency.  

But in This job, I cannot get fired.  My littles, at least, won't let me go - and when they do, I will still show up for work. Trying to win them back, wanting to be needed.


  1. You've captured what I'm sure many WAHMs feel. I especially resonated with the, "I just need ten minutes..." I say that too! Too bad only my 8 year old understands well enough to leave me alone for 10 minutes. My other two just continue to interrupt as if I didn't say a darn thing! :)

  2. This is good. I can feel how drained you feel.