Dispatches, Day 1
That haggard look—I’m hoping with the right amount of coffee and some good lighting, it’ll go away, and I’ll look like I’m keeping it together.
For those of you who don’t know me, I work from home all year with a bubbly, but manageable (most of the time) two-year-old. We get in a solid six to seven hours of work any given day thanks to a combination of naptime, strategic art time, Netflix-Nanny, and some late-night work from me.
But today marked the beginning of my elementary student’s summer break.
I swear as I drifted off to sleep last night, I heard a voice in the distance, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
The Night Before
Now that school is out and we don’t have that weird “get the kid to school” rush in the morning, I think, “I will get up with the husband at PT time and I will exercise. I will get a start on my work before the kids wake up.”
The night before is the place where these things happen.
I turn off the 5:00 a.m. alarm and walk into the hallway to find the dog guarding the little one’s door—a symbol too portentous for me not to “just” pop my head in and take a peek.
Child was fine and asleep, but not for long. Rookie mistake, and I am, sadly, no rookie.
So, we bound down the stairs after it becomes clear that no amount of “nuggles” will in fact result in returned slumber.
One breakfast made, Pandora “cardio” station turned on, and… newly freed from the shackles of school, child number one joins us. (Why do children not sleep in?)
Breakfast number two made, and I step onto the exercise apparatus…“I finish. I down.” Cardio becomes an exercise in mediation, during which I usher child one and child two from trampoline to step to resistance bands to the tune of “my turn.”
It is now 7:20 a.m.
We settle into a calm, if not idyllic, rhythm, during which I check and respond to emails, apply edits to a press release, and complete research on industry certifications. More than an hour goes by.
I receive a chat message from my boss, and I call her. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Three minutes into the call, thing number two screeches at thing number one, “I want it. My turn. My turn. My turn. MY TURRNNNNNNNNNNNNN.”
I apologize to my boss and finish our conversation through a muffled refrain of “stop it” and “be quiet” hand signals.
It is now 9:05 a.m.
I hang up the phone and ask my darling children, “Ok, what can I do for you?”
Only seventy-five and a half more days until school starts.
Do you work from home with little ones? Are you trying to keep your job search afloat while your kids are home on summer break? We’d love to laugh and learn with you about your challenges and successes.
Author’s Note: The rest of the day went much better. Child number one made it to the two-hour summer camp. Both children were fed and had quiet time, and we didn’t rely on Netflix Nanny until the afternoon. We will survive.
Story by Jamie Boyle