Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Revelation

There's been a lot going on.

I left my job in April.

I had a baby - at home in the water - in May.

I started working for myself in June.

Now it's November. My baby is 6, almost 7 months old. I'm not sure where the time went. Every day I hold her, kiss her, smile and play with her, and try to burn the image of her into my retinas. I don't want to forget this. I can't wait to do it again. Babies are more precious than anything else. They are life, love, and laughter.

But that's not why I decided to post today, after an 8-month hiatus.



It's almost 3am here in Virginia. I'm up this late for the second night in a row. Not sure if I'm developing insomnia, but it seems that the most transcendent thoughts can happen in the wee hours of the morning.

Since becoming a freelancer and leaving behind a very well-paying, high-profile job, I've been struggling. Mentally, financially, emotionally, socially, and even physically. Most of those are posts for another day. My revelation this night/morning, however, deals with the first.

I never realized how difficult it would be to work from home full-time. I did make an awesome plan that got disrupted through uncontrollable and unforeseeable circumstances, but that didn't mean I needed to throw in the towel. However sometimes it feels like I've done just that - day after day and I can't seem to find the time to work.

The time is there, most days. I'm blessed with children who actually like napping. I just seem to find other ways to fill it. Laundry. Cooking. Cleaning. Taking my kids to the park, on the bus, to playgroup, to DC. Chatting with my friends on Facebook. Reading news stories and blog posts. Catching up on the DVR. All of that makes for a full life, but none of it pays the bills.

Part of me is balking at the responsibility. I've always been the bread-earner, but now if I don't make enough, we can't afford our rent. That's a scary thought, because there's no steady paycheck coming in. I have to work. And yet, over and over again, I find other things to do, and at the week's end my billable hours = 0.

I'm a hard worker. But I'm also greatly affected by my work environment and co-workers. Both of those are huge reasons for leaving my last two positions. I didn't realize until today, an hour or so ago, that it's happening to me again. Home is now my place of work. And most days I feel like I'm the only one who is pulling any weight around the house. All of it. So what do I do? I rebel. I procrastinate, I slack off, I take myself down to the level of those around me. There's no pressure, other than from myself, to get things done or do them right. But in the end that's not healthy, or helpful.

I'm not sure how to get myself out of this slump. Realizing that I need to treat every day as if I were hopping on the bus into DC may help. Getting up at a set time, instead of whenever the kids wake me up. Planning out what to wear and checking the weather the night before. Getting myself dressed first. Making a to-do list every day, and every week. These are things that got me through 6 years of working full-time in DC. Now I need to rely on them to get me through full-time mothering and part-time freelancing.

I know I can do this. I'm ashamed that I haven't gotten myself together yet. My mother says to give it more time - it's only been a few months, after all, and we all need a little transition time when starting a new position. This is more than a new position, though, and maybe that's why I've been subconsciously shrugging off the load on my shoulders. It's a life-altering process. Raising children can't be re-done, can't be quit, and there are no bosses checking on my progress.

All that's left to me is to make it work. I CAN do this. Starting now, by going to bed.

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