Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Work/Life Balance

The profession I am in affords me the opportunity to work remotely, I can simply log into our company's computer system and work like I am at the office. Instant messaging, emails and all the other ways of communicating make it easy and convenient, especially since I live between an hour to 3 1/2 hours from the office, depending on the mood of the Parkway gods. I do miss all the interruptions at work, but compared to the maelstrom at home at times, it is quiet. I often say after a long weekend at home, that I am going to work to get some vacation time.
It's a very strange work environs being at home and being 'available' for all the minor crisees that occur...all the triumphs and tribulations that are usually conveyed when I get home or are washed out of Linda's memory by the rest of the day are transmitted instantly to my ears.
This week was particularly fun. I was working at home Monday and Tuesday and we had a crisis at work, and, as usual, we had issues at home too. Kids out sick, going to doctors appointments, therapies, ants in the house, diaper disasters everything seemed to converge over these 48 hours that I was home at working. At one point, I had 6 different IM conversations going on with work, 3 kids conversing with me or dragging me to various requests and a wife trying to find balance in the madness, reshuffling appointments and children like cards in a deck.
I really do know my priorities when it comes to 'work/life balance'. Life comes first and work will fit in when it can. I'm fortunate to work for a company that recognizes that. The problem occurs when the two are in such close proximity. Monday I stopped working to take Liv to OT at 4:30...right when I was trying to write a critical email. I tried to take the laptop with me and finish it off in the car while waiting, but alas, it is hit and miss hacking into someone else's wireless network. Tuesday was even more fun. Linda had a commitment at 4:30, so I literally keypunched until the very last minute and switched from work to daddy mode faster than you can change a diaper...and I did. I usually have a full hour to decompress in the car, and the experience was somewhat disorienting. It was the first time I went from a bad day at work straight into a hectic day at home.
So now, back at work and relaxed, I can look back and understand why it is tough for me to work at home; and how absolutely IMPOSSIBLE it must be to be a single mom trying to work from home...or even forget about home at work. It is definitely and advantage to be able to work from home at time, but until someone builds me an office suite addition at home (with soundproofing and a big strong lock) I'd much rather work at work and live at home.

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