Monday, January 24, 2011

Forget 9 to 5, how about 2.30 to 6.30 A.M.?

Working at home (WAH) was a choice. Except that I didn't really have any other option. Since starting nursery last September DD has been sick every other week. January (peh, peh, peh) seems to have been better. I'm hoping that she may at last have built up some immunity to the bugs and viruses that whizz round and round the nursery, hitting her from behind before the last coughing fit from the previous bought has left her system.

This I expected. I was warned. It's obvious really and, as N always says, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. What I didn't expect was that I would also come down with the coughs and colds and stomach flu. I'm a teacher for goodness sake - I've spent most of my life in the germ-infested system. It is true that my pupils in school never wiped their noses with the backs of their hands and then crawled onto my lap to play with my facial features. All in all, had I been going out to work, I probably would have been fired by now.

So I have cobbled together a career of private teaching and various writing and editing projects on the computer. My aim is to earn enough money to finish the month. The problem is not a lack of work but a lack of time. A basic law of physics is that, if you have five hours while your child is at day-care, you cannot do five hours of billable work and clean the house. Sommats gotta give. And even though it is amazing what you can live with, that living-room carpet does need to be hoovered once every six months or so.

DD is scared of the hoover and she also hates the magimix. On the other hand she loves running through the dirt pile that I have just swept up and making footprints in any wet floors. However, these are not the sort of chores you want to be doing after hours if you live in an apartment and you want to get on with your neighbours. Apart from the noise factor involved in housework (moving furniture, clattering dishes, washing machine, etc) and the toddler input factor, I just don't feel like cleaning when it's dark outside.

So I do work in the mornings, but I also do house stuff. Afternoons and evenings are DD time. It sounds virtuous but, again, it's not an option - "Mummy sit chair!" orders the boss every time I try to leave the room. As she gets older and more interested in what I am doing, we are slowly introducing laundry and tidying up as mother-daughter activities. Nevertheless, when she goes to sleep at some time between 7.30 and 8.30 in the evening, I still have work to do on the computer.

Whats the problem? Sounds simple - sit down for a few hours every evening and still be in bed by 11pm (or even midnight would be fine). The problem is that often when I lie down with DD until she falls asleep, the next thing I know is 2.30 in the morning. So I've had my 6 1/2hours sleep and I get up to work until 6.30 when the real day starts.

What can I say... it's a living.

No comments:

Post a Comment