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.