Sunday, 8 February 2015

Keep Calm & Don't Be Hatin'

I saw a comment from a mummy blogger I follow about working from home and the difficulties with it when the kids are sick. I totally sympathise with this lady, because I know what she means, yet there were a few negative comments from people and I can imagine the same sort of comments being made about me, too.

The trouble is, when people find out you work from home, they think you’ve got it easy. They imagine your day is very relaxed, full of you doing your own thing quite merrily as you feel like it and being free to work around the rest of your life.

The reality is that my day is anything but relaxed. I’m up and getting dressed first thing, sorting out J to take him to school, and when I get back I’ve got enough time to unload / load the dishwasher, tumble drier and washing machine, make the beds and make a cup of tea before I sit down to work. I take a break around one for lunch, and then continue working til three, when I collect J from school. Once he’s home, and he’s changed, we do another load in the tumble drier and the washing machine and do any washing up there may be, then I cook his dinner while the two of us do his homework. While he’s eating dinner I’m working again, and then Daddy P gets home. One or other of us cooks our dinner while the other spends some time with J, and after we’ve eaten its time for one or other of us to put him to bed. If it’s my turn, after I’ve done that I’m back downstairs around 8.30 / 9 to sit down and carry on working until I’m done for the day – normally around midnight.

If J is off school sick, it completely throws my day out, because I’ll be up and down every five minutes instead of being able to concentrate on work because J will want a drink, something to eat, he’ll want his hot water bottle re-doing or a film putting on or any number of other demands that a four year old can come up with in order to keep mummy’s attention when he’s feeling under the weather and her attention is being pulled to something else. Something which should take me 10 minutes takes 30 because I keep getting interrupted.

My weekends are taken over by work. I have two days off during the week which is when I get my shopping, the bulk of the housework, and any social visits done, but this means Saturdays and Sundays I have to take into account work for everything. I’ll take my laptop to my in laws when we go for dinner, so I can work before and after eating – if we go out I’ll be on my phone checking up on things.

I don’t want to sound like I’m moaning, not by any stretch – I wouldn’t be able to cope with working in an office full time, the travelling back and forth during rush hour and having to make arrangements for childcare for before and after school for Jacob. I’d get even less time to spend with him than I do now, which is not what I want. But having said that, the amount of time I get to spend with him now and for the majority of it I’m sitting on a laptop. J went through a stage of trying to close it when he was younger – “no, mummy, no!” – but he is used to it now (which is quite sad in itself, really) and he just asks me if there’s people who need my help.

I’m aware that many are jealous of the fact that when J is on holidays from school I tend to go and stay elsewhere. While this might appear to be a bit of a jolly jaunt, the reality is that I need to spend time elsewhere as it’s the only way I can get work done. If I stay with my parents, then I’ve got the support of my mum to look after J while I work in the loft uninterrupted for the bulk of the day. It’s not a matter of be swanning off to relax myself – it’s a matter of being able to get the work done as best I can. My view might change but my hours don’t. I’m still online from first thing in the morning til last thing at night. When I go to the van, in the warmer months, while I’m alone with J it’s just as helpful because I’m in a smaller space with everything I need, and he can play safely on the grass next to the van and I can work sitting out on the deck to keep an eye on him. Yes this is beautiful and I appreciate not everyone is lucky enough to do this – but not everyone has to do a full time job at the same time as be a full time mum. I have to do what works to accommodate both worlds.

When other people log into the office they’re doing their job – when they log out they go home and they leave work in the office til the next time they’re in. With me, and anyone else that works from home, you’re constantly thinking about it and your home has folders of information and your family know more about your job than if you did a normal office job.

While my job does feature so heavily in so much of my life, I am passionate about it and I enjoy it. I don't mind working all the hours I do because I like the end result. I like what I do, and I know not everyone is able to say the same. I just wish before people comment about how ‘easy’ an option it is, or make so-called jokes about me ‘not really’ working or being a ‘part timer’ could stop and think about the fact that I do the same amount of hours that they do, I just have a different job to do, one which requires me being online, available, for a large proportion of time. Jealousy is not a pretty thing, and I’m not one to waste my time worrying about what other people think, but it’s the thoughtless commenting and needless bitching, and when it’s the same people time and time again it gets tiresome. Oh and those who say I'm lucky - Yes, I am, and I worked hard to get where I am today, so luck is part of it but not all of it, damn hard work also played a part because I worked for what I wanted.

I thought we were grown ups – maybe I was mistaken. Seems like I know far too many childish people who spend far too much time worrying about other people’s business. I’ve stopped making contact with a lot of so called friends to see how many made contact with me, instead. It’s a sure fire way of finding out who your real friends are, and I won’t be wasting my precious time trying to cross oceans for those who wouldn’t offer to jump a puddle for me! 

Life's too short to be hatin'

Sunday Peace N Love,

Mummy P

X x x x x

No comments:

Post a Comment