Friday, September 11, 2015

The unachievable work-life balance when you work from home.



I'm driving two out of three kids to school. My youngest has managed to get Influenza A and in between sniffing and coughing while we all shield our faces from the inevitable spray, she cries. She's totally miserable and I'm not even sure she knows why she's crying just that it seems like the thing to do when you have the flu.

I'm mentally compiling a shopping list on the drive to school which I will promptly forget once I reach the supermarket. I'm thinking of what I need to post to my FB page, how many words I'm going to try and write today, how much time I'll have to write it in and didn't I have some appointment for someone today...?

It's exhausting being pulled every which way and needing to have eight arms, two brains and maybe Inspector Gadget's special coat to go with the extra inpediments.

And you know... all I really want to do is write. My story hangs from a fullstop buried in a computer screen. It calls to me. I want to answer but I can't. I'm trying to keep a balance between work and life but I'm starting to realize it's some unachievable, unquantifiable entity like reaching the end of the rainbow.

Kids come first. So if something goes wrong, as it inevitably does, everything else takes a back seat. And then all the other stuff you do that keeps the house from sinking into the ground from the weight of general crap that has accumlated when you don't tidy, clean, empty, wash, flush etc etc, lines up behind the kids.

At the very end of that line is the writing, the work I'm supposed to be doing. From home.

Yes, I work from home.
No, that doesn't mean I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.
Yes, it means I can be more flexible.
No, it doesn't mean I can watch your kids at the drop of a hat.
Yes, I can help out from time to time.
No, I don't work in my pyjamas...but I could ;)
Yes, I love my work
No, it's not easy.
Yes I wish I had more time to work.
Yes sometimes I wish I worked in an office.
Yes sometimes it's isolating.
No I don't spend 95% of my time wathcing TV, or playing around on Facebook.
Yes it is nice, but I hate it when you say, "Oh it must be nice to work at home." Truth be told it kinda makes me wish I had laser vision and could zap you to dust with my death stare.

I have no work-life balance. It all leans dangerously close to tipping point with all the 'other stuff' aside from writing, sitting on the opposite scale. And if I keep trying to find this balance, I think that will throw me even further out of whack.

So I've decided: I will write when I can, as much as I can, and throw those scales out the window, maybe run over them and then light them on fire. The kids and I might even dance around it, Lord of the Flies style...

I guess my point is: Adding the extra stress of trying achieve this work-life balance on top of everything else just adds more weight to the wrong side of the scale.

Do what you gotta do. Don't beat yourself up about it. No one feels like they're on top of everything.