“Even on my best day, working from home is an exercise in failure.”
I said this to my mom last week, when we were talking about working from home with babies vs just being home with them without worrying about work. It seems like there’s always three – four categories of things that need to be taken care of, and I can only succeed at one or two of them per day. Work, Taking Care of Babies, Taking Care of Myself, and Staving off Tornado House Syndrome. Choose two (sometimes one).
If I get to shower and get dressed in real clothes & watch a TV show / read my blogs / write a blog (ahem) I’m not doing work or keeping up with stuff around the house. And while I totally the “your kids don’t care if your house is clean” IDEA, um…I still need to make bottles for when the girls get up, and clean / sanitize the bottles they used, do laundry and dishes – you know, stuff that needs to get done just to keep our heads above water, so to speak. Taking care of the girls and getting work done are obviously self-explanatory. Any one of those categories can easily fill up a whole day, and trying to succeed at all of them generally leaves me feeling like a failure.
I know that I can’t do everything every day, and I do try to give myself a break – as long as I got through some of what I needed to, it’s a win, right? But I’m still in a place where I can only get about half a day feeling good about myself – either the morning is really hard, or the afternoon falls apart. I can get a bunch of work done, but usually only on days when someone is home to help keep the girls occupied. Or I can have a really good day giving the girls attention, and get some stuff done around the house, but only on days when work is relatively slow and things aren’t super urgent. If I’m home with the girls & the job is throwing lots of urgent stuff at me, the day is pretty much shot.
I do think I’m getting better at balancing things – letting go of needing to get “stuff” done around the house in favor of taking care of the girls or getting work done, or pushing non-urgent business things till when people are home to help with the girls or after they’re in bed. But I am a bit of a perfectionist and it’s hard to feel like I’m failing at stuff.