The Balancing Act: Work or Play?

typical work-at-home mom scenario

I love being able to work from home.  It definitely has its perks.  I can sit at my desk in my pajamas for as long as I want, and forget about makeup.  I can make my own hours and spend more time with my kids.  It also comes with a few minor challenges.  You work-at-home moms know what I’m talking about, right?  There’s a kind of tug-of-war constantly playing inside my head.  And summer brings with it the endless temptation to want to blow work off altogether and enjoy the weather (which I’m giving in to more than I should lately).  When I’m working, I feel guilty for ignoring the kids.  When I’m with the kids, I feel guilty for blowing off my work.  Time becomes a little blurred, and before I know it, it’s 5pm and I need to scrounge up some dinner.  The house is a disaster and I wonder what I accomplished all day.  Does any of this sound familiar?

I’ve tried to break my day up into increments, and it works out okay…sometimes.  In the morning, I hang out with the kids and run errands.  In the afternoon I try to block off some time to get stuff done.  Sometimes it goes off without a hitch, other days…not so much.  For instance, I put a movie in for the kids the other day so I could work on an assignment (I’m also taking a course).  Ah….sweet silence for about 70 minutes.  But I can always tell when the ending credits begin rolling.  Suddenly my silent sanctuary is replaced by shouting, fighting, and the pitter-patter of little feet running up the hallway to tattle about the other sibling’s latest offense. 

The kids play on their own pretty well, but I can only expect them to do this for so long.  Usually an endless stream of distractions prevent me from getting too involved in my thoughts.  I hear “Can I have a drink” and  “Can you help me (insert request)?” pretty much every day.  I must say, when left on their own, the kids do become quite creative in finding things to do.  Last week my daughter ran into my office with bright orange nail polish smeared all over her hands.  “Isn’t it pretty mommy?”  I pretty much laughed and cried at the same time.  What could I say?  I probably shouldn’t have left her and the polish alone together.

I’m not writing about this to whine.  Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Working in and out of the home both have pros and cons, and each mom has her own personal experience with/preference about it.  With the added freedom of being home, I found I needed to have a ton of added discipline.  I’ve sacrificed many a night with my husband to catch up on work, plugging away at the computer until the early morning hours.  It’s all about finding balance in my life, something I’m still learning to perfect.  I think that’s one of the main challenges moms face today, and I suspect I won’t stop working at it anytime soon.

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7 thoughts on “The Balancing Act: Work or Play?

  1. This sounds exactly like my house. <3 I try to squeeze what I can in while my daughter is sleeping but it doesn't always work out as planed. In fact, on the few days that I actually have deadlines are always the days when she refuses to nap altogether. Lovely. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Like this

  2. Hi Jennifer,

    Hi Jennifer,

    I found your blog via Mom Bloggers Club when I was looking for Syracuse area bloggers. We just moved here a month ago.

    I was thinking of trying to round up any and all bloggers in the Syracuse/Central New York area for a casual get-together. It would be fun to meet others in the same boat and to exchange ideas and make friends.

    I was thinking early September, in a park somewhere.

    If you are interested or have any suggestions, please let me know!

    Amy

    Like this

  3. Hi, coming over from the Mom Bloggers Club. You have articulated the push and pull of being a working mom so well.

    Currently, I work oustide the home, but as you said each scenario has its pros and cons. Over the course of any given day we have to where so many different hats.

    Your post reminded me of a day I pretty much needed to be wearing them all at once and I wrote about it here:

    http://www.lifeofsaucyb.com/2010/06/none-of-above.html

    Like this

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