A Variation on the real world

So, we’re holed up here working away on the Sock Summit, and although we spend hours a day doing this over the phone, frankly there’s no substitute for our efficiency when we’re together. It’s like when we’re on the phone, 1+1=2, and when we’re in the same room it’s 1+1=14. (It likely helps that we’re sequestered away from society and our families. We miss them, but man… can you ever get a lot done if you’re not doing laundry and being interrupted – although I know both of us feel really guilty about it.

My guilt is partly relieved by the knowledge that applying myself now means that I don’t have to spend as much time “away” from my family when I’m home, but still, what’s with the guilt in general? I’d have to talk it over with Joe, but I don’t think that he fights back guilt for hours a day and talks himself down of the parental ledge when he goes to work, but here I am, feeling really awful about simply earning a living for my family, which is absolutely part of being a good parent.

There’s another thing there too. When we’re away together, work for Tina and I looks like this.


Yeah. Bummer eh? We had a really interesting talk last night about two elements of our guilt. First – Saturday after all the campers left we both collapsed and took 6 hours off. We talked, walked, napped, watched a little Stargate and bathed. It was probably necessary to restore us so we could keep working… but I can’t tell you how much my boss spoke up about that. (Hint. I’m self-employed.) She chastised me for not working all the time that I was away, tried to get me to work more so that I “deserved” to be away, and generally made me feel like a bad mother for being away even if I was working 14 hours a day. (I suppose she thinks I should be working 24 hours a day. My boss has really unreasonable standards for me.) Secondly, my boss (and sort of me) doesn’t like it that my job isn’t horrible all the time.

She doesn’t care that for years it was, or that it’s really hard work and focus that’s got me to a place where my job isn’t horrible, she just keeps dumping the crap on me for having the audacity to have a nice job… like if it’s nice it isn’t a job. (I have shown her the schedules, writing, spreadsheets and databases I struggle with. She isn’t into it.) It’s an interesting thing, maternal guilt… and I wonder why there isn’t paternal guilt? Men get weekends off without flagellating themselves into a pit about not working all the time… what’s my boss got against me getting 6 hours?

In any case, my boss also doesn’t really approve of knitting when you’re away from your kids, so I’ve had to sneak it in on the side.


A little garter stitch shawl. She’ll never notice… right?

Ps. Abby (who is also self employed) once said the best thing to me. “You know, my boss is such a hard person to work for, that I’d quit…. but I don’t think anyone else would hire me.”

Amen sister.