I am running away from home. I do not know where I am going, or when I will be back, but the combination of Joe out of town for a week, the children all in the house and the work deadlines have finally taken their toll. I am getting on my bike and riding to somewhere where I can plug in a laptop and NOT BE SPOKEN TO. This may be Aruba. Someone should totally stop by and feed my cat. I am not taking her either.
There is every chance that I will not come back until my daughters are all old enough to make a connection between interrupting my work and all of us going TO LIVE IN A BOX.
This is a struggle I go through every summer, when all of these people come and try to live in my office, aka, our house, and I know that this year it is compounded by the fact that Joe suddenly found himself “pursuing other opportunities” in September and has been around the house a whole lot more than ever. In addition, even though all the girls have summer jobs and Joe is freelancing, they appear to have finally perfected the ability to tag team me, so that just as someone is going out the door, someone else is arriving so that they have complete coverage.
Sometimes I read about “sleep deficits”, where people are chronically exhausted because night after night they fall short of their sleep needs, and I feel like that’s what’s happening here…not with sleep, but with alone time -the time that I use to reflect so that writing is possible and I can be at all sane. I know that parents everywhere are reading this and thinking “Holy cow lady, I haven’t been alone in seven years, that’s just what it takes to be a parent”…and I really agree with them. I think that it’s the added pressure of being a parent and working from home that’s got me. It means that I can’t really just take off everyday and go work at the library or something, because I am also a parent, and that means that I have to be dialled into what my kids are doing. (I happen to believe that teenagers need more supervision than 10 year olds. The stakes are higher.) If I just had to parent, or just had to work from home it would be fine. (Well. Mostly. Neither of those things is particularly easy, especially the parenting.)
A friend suggested this morning that I stop trying to tell these people my children “If you don’t go for a walk and let me think for ten minutes we will all starve to death because I pay the bills”, because they don’t believe me. They don’t believe me because it’s a lie. They all know that somehow I will pull it together and everything will be all right because I am the mother and I love them and would never let them starve.
She suggested that instead I relate it to what’s in in for them….Like saying “If you all leave me alone for “x” amount of time each day, then you will have a happier life, since you won’t have to live with a shrill, crazy harpy-lady who keeps yelling, crying and adding up the cost of the avocados you just ate.”
I think she’s right. I think she’s brilliant actually, and I’m going to try it, and any other suggestions you’ve got….because there have got to be parents out there who work from home, or maybe even parents out there who have creative jobs that take a lot of alone time to pull off, and some of you have to be making it work…right? I’ll try anything.
The minute I get back from Aruba.