Sunday, June 27, 2010

Needs versus wants

Things I'd like to be doing on this beautiful Sunday:
  • Playing with the kids in the splashy pool
  • Riding my bike to the farmers' market
  • Gardening
  • Picking out paint colors for the living room and kitchen
  • Scouring resale shops for the perfect rug and armchair
  • Updating the blog with all those incredible pictures from camping (and Nora's birthday party, and Sidamo's preschool faux-graduation from a month ago, and, and, and …)
Things I would rather not be doing on this beautiful Sunday:
  • Editing
  • Feeling sorry for myself
Guess what I'm doing?

So I'm taking a momentary break to whine about it before turning back to the old that-versus-which grind. Let me be clear that I'm incredibly grateful to be in a line of work that affords me the flexibility to largely do without daycare while still earning a living—trust me, I know what a privileged thing it is for me to complain about—but every once in a while I wish for boundaries between my work and family lives. Every once in a while I think it would be nice to have an office that isn't a) a coffee shop, or b) my dining room table. And every so often I wish I could spend an entire day focusing on work and not having to stop every few minutes to get someone a snack or congratulate another someone on a potty success. Then, of course, there's the flip side—that I wish I could sometimes spend a whole day with my kiddos without needing to check email or take phone calls. That I could go a weekend (or maybe just an evening) without giving a thought to deadlines.

Truth is, though, that despite my occasional complaints (usually reserved for sunny days when I can hear my family playing happily outside), I do love this set-up. I love that I get to be an almost stay-at-home mom and still keep my career going. I remember the 9-to-5 office life, and I don't want to relive it. And I remember how I felt three weeks after Nora was born (in other words, when I was supposed to be on maternity leave) when I was offered an assignment. I jumped at it. The truth is, I kinda like to work, and I definitely like earning at least a little money. Typical Capricorn.

Whew. That was therapeutic. I think I'm ready to meet this editing challenge with a more focused and grateful attitude. At least until I hear the next squeal of delight coming from the backyard.


cathy said...

gah, that was hard to read b/c I feel your pain. sorry you were stuck inside on a beautiful day. and there's nothing like "working at home" to slowly drive you insane. what's your all time record for uninterrupted work... 18minutes?

Mama Papaya said...

I have found that with career and motherhood, there always seems to be, or maybe feel like there is, failure on the flip. It is a tough path. Rewarding. Balancing. But maybe only because it shakes you about such that you can't tell anymore. Hang in there!