Back-to-school couldn’t come soon enough.
As a work-from-home mom, I dread the tricky balancing act brought on by gaps between sessions at preschool.
While I try to whittle down my workload if I can, I can’t completely stop working just because my daughter is home for two weeks. And this is a particularly busy time of year for me. So Nora was startled a a few times those few weeks to see me finish breakfast, then pull out my computer or phone and try to get a little work done while she played. Luckily for both of us, she’s much better at playing independently now than she has been, so I was able to get some tasks knocked off the to-do list and she was able to entertain herself without complaining (much).
But it made me chuckle a bit to see what a shock it was for her to see me work. I feel like I work all the time, but I realized that for most of the year, I only do it when she’s at school or while she’s napping or after bedtime. I might get an unexpected work call or have to fire off an email while she’s up and about, but that’s fairly rare. So yes, daughter, I work; now you know my terrible secret.
It got me to thinking about all the other things I do that she never sees. Like bathing. After Nora was born, I became a late-night showerer. It was just easier — and much more relaxing — to do that when she’s fast asleep, with my husband able to respond if there should happen to be a peep over the baby monitor. I don’t ever have to worry about a little visitor peeking behind the curtain while I’m getting clean. Except for maybe the dog sometimes. Weirdo.
More troublingly, Nora rarely sees me reading a book. I don’t get nearly as much time as I’d like to read, but I do sometimes read a chapter or two in bed before I go to sleep; another process she’s not around for. I would worry that I’m not setting a good example of a love for reading, but apparently that’s not needed. No one loves books like my bookworm loves books (she goes off to “read” on her own if I tell her I need a moment to work), so I guess she’s really more the example for me.
Now that school is back in session, I can go back to working when she’s not around, which for sure is easier for everyone. But I tried to keep in mind during that hectic in-between time that maybe it was good for her to see me work, to understand a little what my life is like. She is my life, yes, and I am more or less always home, but I have a purpose outside all that, too, which is something I hope she will come to appreciate in a few years.