Caught in the freedom at home myth

My best distractors

My best distractors

When I was expecting my first child I had great visions of what I would be doing on my maternity leave (this would have been the first year the government extended leave to 12 months). Just imagine, a whole year off. No meetings. No Client calls. No paperwork. No stress. Just a wonderful days at home with my new baby. I’d be able to practice my yoga everyday. I could catch up on my croqueting. Maybe I’d learn a few new homemade recipes.

SMACK [the sound of the dirty diaper of reality hitting me in the face]

Okay, so things didn’t go as planned. But I was a new parent. A little naive, right? By the time my second child arrived I had things more under control. I gave up the office job and started my own business at home. My oldest was still in preschool so I only had my baby and work. Funny what you forget about taking care of a baby. First baby, 18th baby, they still need a lot of attention from you.

Now with three kids, you would think I have learned my lesson and not get caught in the ‘I can do everything and anything because I’m at home’ myth. Ha, hardly.

Today is a fine example of why it is a myth. Spring has arrived and that means not only do I have to keep the inside of the house clean, I have to now clean the outside (weeding. planting, leaves, maintenance — one of the many reasons why I hate Spring). So this morning the weather is nice, I’d take the kids out, put the tire swing up and get a jump on my outside work. How hard could that be?

Hang the tire swing. Scoop two handful of leaves in a bag. Push kids on the tire swing. Scoop one handful of leaves in a bag. Defuse an argument about who’s turn it is to swing on the tire swing. Scoop three handfuls of leaves in a bag. Grab tissues to clean my youngest’s runny nose. Set-up hockey goal posts in order to distract my son from the tire swing. Scoop one handful of leaves in a bag and close it up. Look for a new lawn bag (kids dragged them in club house to use a sleeping bags). Scoop one handful of leaves in the new bag. Clean my youngest’s runny nose. Mediate negotiations on tire swing usage. Convince my youngest that it’s not time to go in yet, play kick-ball with her for a bit. Scoop one handful of leaves but they don’t make it in the bag as I defend myself from a flying ball. Rake mess of leaves. Scoop two handfuls of leaves in bag. Ask my kids to put their toys away to get ready to go in. Scoop one handful of leaves in the bag. Have to show my kids where toys go since that memory has obviously been sucked out of them in the middle of the night by aliens. Scoop last handful of leaves in the bag and close it up. Move everyone inside to wash-up and contemplate drinking early.

I couldn’t believe that three hours had passed since I took the kids outside and all I had to show for it was one-and-a-half bags full of leaves. At this rate I’ll have the backyard tidy for the end of summer, next summer. The saddest part of all this is I know I’ll get caught in this ‘I can do anything and everything because I’m at home’ trap again. Maybe those memory sucking aliens that seem to attack my kids at night have been paying me a visit. Hope you have better luck. avoiding the trap.

3 responses to this post.

  1. That sounds like my life!! 🙂


  2. Posted by CA on April 13, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Glad I’m not alone Eric 🙂


  3. […] soon. I have my watch on but I don’t want to look yet. I keep digging and tossing grass. I negotiate a squabble or two, then back to digging. It must be lunch time now, maybe 11:45. A little longer. More digging. […]


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