Monday, November 2, 2009

Work and Kids

How do you handle this often combustible combination? I choose to work from home. Usually - especially when both children are at school - the choice is fabulous. But when I get a big project that overwhelms my few hours of kid-free time....Well, that's when I dream of an office.

I've been at home with my children for nearly seven years. Sounds like forever when I write it down here. For the past year and a half, there have been days when I dreamed of re-creating my professional life: stepping into those killer heels and striding confidently out the door for a full day of delegating and Excel spreadsheets. But when the reality of actually leaving my children - all day, five days a week - hit, I sat down in my bathroom and cried.

I felt like the umbilicus was being cut for a final time. Not only would someone else do most of the raising of my children, I would be so busy doing laundry, errands and dinner, I'd miss even more of their days. My favorite quote (paraphrased here) about being a parent is that the days are long and the years are short. Already, my oldest is in school full days and moving quickly toward her tween years. My youngest child has left babyhood far behind as she runs to keep up with her sister. In a few more years, neither child will actively seek out my company.

There are days perspective is difficult, if not impossible. Kids can be intractable, annoying and dead-set on keeping you from completing a task. Still, for me, the best option is to remain at home with my girls. The one regret I will not have is spending enough time with them while they were young.

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