I always joke to Darling Husband that you can easily tell when my life gets really, really busy — it’s when I don’t have time to blog.
But that’s actually the truth, and I think it’s the same for a lot of bloggers (who don’t blog professionally). Work takes priority. And sometimes, when you feel like you’re working until your fingers are going to fall off from so much typing (hi), you just don’t have the time and energy to blog (hi again).
I’ve been working a lot lately, which is good and bad. Good because MONEY, HONEY. Bad because I get that chest-tightening stressed-to-the-max feeling that I may have taken on more than I can handle.
And, you know, because it’s me
, I will handle it all. My fingers may literally burn off from too much typing, but dammit, you can bet your bottom dollar I won’t miss a deadline.
I try not to feel guilty that I’m working more mornings lately (in addition to my naptime-worktime, which is SACRED WORK TIME NO MATTER WHAT). I try to remind myself that C is nearly 14 (!) months old now, and if I was still working at a full-time “real job,” I would have been back at work for two or three months already.
But with so many friends on maternity leave, it screws with my thinking, I think. It makes me think I am, too. Somedays I skip off to the park or a playdate with the kids, to meet up with our friends and hang out for the morning, and I’m like “Yeahhhh, it’s great to be a stay-at-home mom!”
But then, you know, I realize I have to shove everybody back in the minivan, rush home, throw together lunch like a madwoman, coerce everyone to eat quickly because “Mama’s got to work,” and then get everyone hustled up the stairs, cleaned up, and put down for naps. Then I tear back down the steps at a breakneck pace, toss on my headset, and dive into a sea of Google Docs — making and receiving calls, writing my ass off, and generally trying not to panic at the amount of work I’m cramming into a couple of hours.
I’m sort of a stay-at-home mom.
Except that I’m also not one?
I’m very, very grateful to work from home, and get to spend so much time with my kids. I’m even more grateful to love what I do. Sometimes I wish I worked less — or at least thought about work less, and stressed over it less — and sometimes I think I wouldn’t mind working a little more … in a real office, with peace and quiet and no one throwing Playmobil pieces at me.
It’s nothing new for a working mom to strive for “balance.” Does anyone actually have it yet? I think I’ll settle for a bit more compartmentalizing.
When I’m with the kids, I need to stop worrying about when my articles are due, and who hasn’t called me back. It’s my nature to be a perfectionist (about work things, not about crafty things, of course). It’s my nature to desperately want my editors’ approval and UNDYING PRAISE (although I shouldn’t).
But I need to keep reminding myself that (A) I’m a freelancer, not an editor, and (B) They are not paying me to worry about my work when I’m not even in my office.
We are planning our first family camping trip, and I’m looking forward to a couple of days away with my peeps. I need to take more deep breaths, and stop putting so much pressure on myself. Because you know what I’m (slowly) starting to learn? It’s this …