No matter how much my husband believes it when he says that I am doing work when I look after the kids (and I know he means it) I can tell you that recently when I went into an office for two weeks (freelance work), I realized what work really meant. Needless to say I loved every moment of it. Yes I know it was the novelty of it and I would soon tire of the mundane routine that I so crave right now, but for a while I felt like I was doing something constructive. Bringing up children is work but it’s not a career and it sure is not as satisfying as seeing your work being appreciated and published. Why do I say that? I am not sure, maybe because people view children’s successes as theirs and not their parents’.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashful about being at home (ok, maybe a little bit) and am proud of the grades my children get, and no matter what the mother-in-law may say about their superior genes inherited from the father, I alone know hard I work with them (there’s no magic to it). It’s true that I am home because of my kids, but that does not mean I do not realize what I am missing or should give up on a personal dream, or not savour the moments when I get to feel a bit normal, for lack of a better word.
It’s getting better. I now have more time and am actively looking for more work. And the things is (and this is where my going into work proved to be extremely beneficial) that while I am aware of my limitations about not being able to leave the house everyday and put in a full day at work, I am also very aware of my strengths, and of my ability to deliver. The great thing about going to work is that you realize that the people who inhabit those buildings are just as normal as you and often put in just as much work as you would sitting at home. My husband has often told me that I am just as competent as those who are physically at work, but I was always on the back foot because of my need to write (largely) from home. But that’s changed. My two weeks at this office made me realize something I had known, but forgotten – that people are appreciated for what they do and not for showing up.
I may not be able to show up physically at work every day, but what I am going to say to the next person who laments at that idea is – try me, or it’s really your loss.
P.S. – my being busy at work explains my absence from this blog. I’ve been writing – and I am happy. It is what gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride. E-commerce is a great idea, but it’s not for me. Nor is making children’s clothes or setting up a food blog, no matter how sure-to-be-a success those might be. In case you’re wondering these are ideas I’ve toyed with for a while, in my moments of, maybe-I-should-do-something else, which usually spring themselves whole heart-idly upon me at odd times, like when I am at the bus stop, or in those delicious moments between sleep and wakefulness – that’s when these bright ideas present themselves and I wonder if I should be one of those entrepreneur mommies. But when the moment passes, I realize that the only thing that makes me happy, is writing. For better or for worse, that’s my destiny..