I’ve been trying to work from home. It’s a tiny little step, but am trying to take one step at a time and it’s hard. It’s hard not because I am not disciplined enough to do it (OK, that too, but that I can work on) It’s the disciplining of the people around me that’s tough to do. The trouble is that everyone is so used to coming to me with the little problems that I cannot have a moment of peace when I can sit and write (yes, have taken up some writing work). So, a lot of my time is spent in telling everyone to let me be when I am at my desk. And, it’s not the kids alone who need to be told this.
Before I launch into the angst and the rest of it, I feel almost obliged to say something. Which is this: I know I am fortunate to be in a position where I could choose to be at home with the kids. A LOT of women don’t have that option. As a fellow mommy blogger recently pointed out that I didn’t have to leave the kids at home and go to work, something she had to do and hated doing. For all my angst about staying at home, at the end of the day I did it because I wanted to and because I could.
But, having said this, what I will add is that maybe I would’ve gone back to work earlier, if I had a support structure to depend upon, where I could leave the kids and work without worry (not without guilt though, THAT never goes away) . But I didn’t and I decided to become a SAHM (have given in to that word/abbreviation).
So, now that the girls are a little older and there is some semblance of sanity, I have decided to work, a little.
Let me tell you what today was like. The morning started with the pipe of the wash-basin in my bathroom breaking. So I called the plumber, he was busy, his wife’s new-born niece had just got jaundice, so he was at the hospital. I could hardly press him to hurry. As I was talking to him, my maid, unaware of the broken pipe opened the tap. The next twenty minutes were spent mopping the floor. I didn’t have to do it, but had to make sure the kids didn’t go rushing into the bathroom to inspect damages, something they LOVE to do.
After avoiding slipping and breaking a leg, when I was settling into my chair to pound away at my keyboard, the electrician called. There seems to be some grave wiring issue that needs to be looked into urgently. He asked what would be a good time to visit. I gave him a time. Eight hours later, he’s still to show up.
The plumber called as I was ending the call with the electrician. He had decided to resume work in the afternoon. Great I said. But, he would need money for the pipe, so would come in a while to collect that (he asked me if I could get it, which, of course, was not my idea of shopping. Besides I had work to do) So, knowing well that he was going to charge me more than he payed for it, I told him to get it.
OK, I said. Now let’s do some writing. My cook then decided to ask me some irrelevant question about food. I told him to decide, only to have him give me options to pick from. I turned from my desk and reminded him what I’d told him a few days ago when he’d disturbed me while working. “That I should come to you only if the house was on fire” he nodded merrily. I asked him if the house was on fire. He shook his head and informed me that the real reason why he came to me was because there was no oil in the house for cooking.
Now, this seemingly innocuous declaration sent me into a tizzy. I lost it. I know it was an overreaction. Anyway, long story short, I gave him the money and gulped a glass of cold water and sat down to work. This is when the kids decided to invade the room. There had been a fight, of course, and it was impossible for me to decide who did what and when. All three looked upset and had a side of the story to tell. Sigh. I took a deep breath, and tired to solve it, which, needless to say, was impossible. The twins were not in a re conciliatory mood, to say the least. The older one, who has just turned six and reacts to most situations with a sulk, just walked away telling me that I was not being fair (why do schools have spring break, again?)
After the matter was amicably settled, with a bit of television thrown in, I returned to my desk. I’d lost my thread. I stared at my computer blankly. Nothing. So I got up, had a bath and returned to write. Just then the bell rang. The plumber had arrived.
There’s more to this story. But you get the drift. I turned Skype off, didn’t want my editor asking me how much I’d written. He didn’t want to know..
Ah, well. At least I’ll make history for having had the shortest job ever.
8 responses to “Work From Home. Really? How Do You Do That?”
Crabbymommy – I hear you sistah! 🙂 First of all, hugs!!! Take a deep breath – or many 🙂
I consider myself a veteran wfh mom – so i know what you’re talking about. The only way to do this is to physically isolate yourself. Is there a room in the house where you can lock the door? Atleast with the kids, you know, when they can’t see you, they are far less likely to bother you. Let the help know that you will not take any phone calls. If the plumber or someone else calls, they have to say you are not at home. Pretend you are at the office – and try to train the domestic help to do some of the stuff they’d have to do if you were really not around?
Better still, if you can find some space outside the house – that would be even better? A friend who writes goes sits in the clubhouse of her complex for a few hours – of course she doesn’t need internet connectivity for when she writes. Coffeehouses? Or if you have an office near where you live?
Thanks Aparna for your words of encouragement. I have to say, there are good days and bad days. The last few have been, well, not bad. I think people around me are getting used to the idea and I think I’ve drilled it in enough now!
I need to be at home, for several reasons. But I do have a study where I work, which is connected to the rest of the house, but there is a door that I can lock (which, of course, does not stop anybody!) But, now I’ve noticed that if I am at my desk, mostly those around me will try not to disturb me..
Like I said, there are good and bad days.
Hee hee….and the worst part of working form home is, people dont even respect it as a ‘proper’ job. Which was why I decided to quit my job which allowed me to work from home full time but got me on the verge of a breakdown. Your manager thinks you are not doing any work, your kids think it’s ok to invade amma’s office when they feel like it and your mother sniffs in that maddening disapproving way of hers when you explain WHY you can’t console a crying child because you are on call with a CLIENT right now!! Aaaarrrggh!!!!!!!!
Gosh. This is exactly it! This is what I mean. It’s comforting to know that I am not the lone screaming banshee in this world!!!!
Hang in there. You’re brave just for trying to do this. Don’t give up. You’ll find ways to make a success of it. I think Aparna’s suggestions are really good. You manage being a Mom to not one (hard enough), but three small children! Nothing is too difficult for you. All the best!
Hey Crabby Mom,
Liked this post. Check out this blog too. Has some interesting parenting dilemmas!!
Hi..new to your blog..
yes..this post resonates many of the feelings a SAHM and WFH mother goes through. I understand how you feel and quite agree to what Aparna says..maybe you just have to physically be away from their eyes. As you said, there are good and bad days..for bad days, the blog is always there 😉
Thanks! Yes, I vent onto my blog and immediately feel better! We all face the same issues and it feels good to meet other moms who give you the strength to go through it all.
Do you have a blog too?