I love my teenagers but they’ve had me up since 2am. That’s ok. I am awake. I could have a few quiet hours in the house to get work done. Quietly. Because 90% of my work-at-home is intellectual and requires absolute quiet and without interruption in order to pull it off as expertly as I prefer. I can’t stand half-assed work. Even if it’s just writing a newsletter, QA’ing a website, or scheduling social media messages for clients. If I’m being paid for it, I want to deliver exceptional work.
Summer Will Be Over Soon, Right?
But it’s been weeks. Actually MONTHS ON END of dealing with constant interruptions. Whenever I am awake, someone is talking to me. If it’s not the kids. It’s John. If it’s not John needing my attn it’s the cats. If not the cats, it’s the dog who didn’t get fed because I didn’t tell anyone to feed the dog. And I just don’t understand how teenagers can be so independent and SO NEEDY at the same time. It’s absolutely frustrating.
Please don’t tell me to put a sign on my door and train them to leave me alone better or to observe bed time better or do anything better or different. Don’t give me all your tips for managing your family life while working at home. Please, I’ve been doing this for almost 20yrs and I’m doing my best. And it’s not like fellow parents-who-work-at-home don’t have these same frustrations and issues. It’s tempting to share with me how you do it perfectly but I don’t really care b/c I know that if you tell me you don’t have the issue of constant interruptions by your teens/children/partners then I know you are either lying or your relationship with your kids/partner just isn’t as good as mine. HAHA Let’s just be real for a minute ok, folks?
And don’t tell me to close myself off in a quiet room. It’s 330am – and I don’t want to sit in the hole that is my bedroom/office with the door shut.
- I’m in there ALL the time trying to work.
- John is asleep and he’ll be all grumpy about the noise I make when I’m typing quietly and listening to music via headphones. /sarcasm.
- My desk is a mess and I don’t want to move things around to get to my desk.
- I want to be close to the coffee pot.
- I want to sit in the kitchen. It’s my house. I pay for it. So I should be able to sit where I want.
While I’m typing this, Adri is literally standing in front of me telling me all about the TV show he’s binge watching in his room. He came out to get some water. That’s NOT a crime. And I’m glad he wants to visit with me. I love having him home again. But, Adri is very detailed in his storytelling. And long winded. (Wonder where he gets that from…)
Now, as long as I sit here smiling at him and laughing and responding appropriately to the pauses in his story, he keeps talking. And he thinks I’m paying attention and enjoying this interaction. And don’t get me wrong – I am. It’s just shrouded with a cloak of mom-frustration.
I am literally looking him in the eye and laughing and smiling and typing this blog post all at the same time. He doesn’t know I’m venting online right now. He thinks I’m working. But I can’t focus on work while listening to him ramble on about a show he’s watching.
And This is the Bane of Life with Teenagers.
My teenagers are good kids. They aren’t in trouble constantly. They do their chores when told – and when not. They don’t typically lie, cheat, steal. They are not even rebellious. We don’t deal with 1/4th of the crap most of my friends with teens deal with. I attribute this to a few things (specifically John is an awesome AWESOME co-parent!) but mostly – I’ve always been fully available to them. Someone told me when I was a young mother -and I saw it for my own eyes with her really awesome kids – teenagers just want you around and they want you available when they want you available. And the best thing you will ever do for your children is to be available. I’ve structured every aspect of my life around this core belief. And now that I’m 18yrs into parenting, I am seeing the fruits of it.
And I’m not about to write a disclaimer about how I hope I don’t offend people who work outside of the home. That is NOT what this is about. You very much can work outside of the home AND be fully available for your children. SO please… just staaaahhhp before you ever start w/that train of thought/comment. There are plenty of stay at home mom’s who are never available for their children. So that is 100% beside the point.
But fruits can come with frustrations when you need to put food on the table and that requires your to attend to other matters. And it’s ok for kids to NOT have my attention 24/7. I’m just saying, you know, my kids really love to hang out with me. ALL THE TIME.
Even at 330am when I was really looking forward to just sinking into scheduling tweets for a WordCamp.
One Day I’ll Miss All This, Right?
Let’s just go back to the river. This will be me on the first day the kids return to public school. I’m taking a day off from work, from life, from everyone and I’m going to go float a river. I’d invite some friends to join me but then I’d have to talk to you and my introverted self is screaming for peace and quiet. HAHAHA