Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Click Click DASH
There are two main problems I have found with working from home when you have small children.
One is, working from home when you have small children.
The other is convincing anyone else around you, including sometimes yourself, that what you are doing really is work.
It's hard to feel like I'm doing my best for women's equal rights in the workplace when I turn up to pre-school in the morning wearing yesterday's jeans and jumper, both of which have got porridge on them.
I can usually muster a smile and wave as Tallulah's mummy flies out of the nursery doors in her Whistles two-piece shouting "HI! HOW ARE YOU?! MUST DASH! LATE FOR WORK!" followed by Zachary's father, briefcase in one hand, bookbag in the other, with "Claire couldn't do drop-off today, she's in London for some training".
"Training in what?" I was desperate to ask. "Can I go?"
One Mum couldn't make Nursery Mums Night Out because she was stuck in New York on her way back from a conference. I, on the other hand, could make this condescendingly named social event, because my husband is enjoying being at home with his family after his latest contract came to an end* and I hardly ever leave the kitchen. In fact, most of my evenings are spent sitting in front of the computer while Henry's Father switches between Sky Sports and Actuary Jobs on his phone, making me cups of decaf.
I imagine most of the Other Wives are sitting at home with a large red, discussing their latest court case or highlighting all the companies in the FT they have worked for in the past week, whereas most of our evening conversations go something like this:
Me: Oh...shit. shit...
Me: <clicking mouse> ohhh..nothing, it's just these..moustaches...
Me: I can't get them to fit in the...thing...the circle thing...
Me: I just...I mean....it worked for the jellyfish...
Me: <click click click>
Me: Bloody circle making thingy...it isn't doing it...
HF: <mutters> I know the feeling...
So I've given myself until the end of June to produce as much as possible in the way of new products. Then I will spend the summer trying to sell them.
If it works, then great. If it doesn't then I guess it doesn't really matter. It won't have been completely wasted time; Henry's Sister has started to sit next to me in the afternoons and make her own books out of folded printer paper, drawing beautiful little pictures and wrapping them up for imaginary customers. Henry likes to sit on my lap, pointing at illustrations and moving the mouse, albeit deleting half my emails and decaptiating on-screen jellyfish.
If I'm really honest, though, I have to admit, there is a little voice inside of me already practicing her best, carefree morning call, "HI! HOW ARE YOU?! MUST DASH! I'VE GOT BOOKS TO SELL YOU KNOW..!"
*desperate to be in an office again