Since my layoff I’ve been doing 25+ hours of work a week from home. Without the cost of full-time daycare, plus some cutbacks, that put us financially about where we were before my layoff. ABOUT. Close enough that I’m not having nightmares about losing my home, but not close enough that I get to enjoy the weekend of Someone Else Cooks And Cleans like we used to.
However, until this week I did keep Wes in preschool two days a week because I didn’t want him to miss graduation. So, on Tuesday and Thursdays I would work as much as possible while he was at school. Then, the rest of the week I’d spread out my work by sticking him in front of the TV. He ended up watching more TV than is ideal, but not enough to make me feel guilty. Win/Win!
But he graduated yesterday. And his sister gets out of school for the summer on Thursday. So this is the adjustment week before ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.
Here’s the thing – the TV trick will still work! They’re pretty good about giving me time to work if they can watch TV. But – you know – dead brain cells and such. So! My goal is to try my best not to use the TV as the lure to peace and quiet so that I can work.
I’d really rather not try to squeeze in my work while they’re sleeping. My early mornings are my exercise hours and I try to go to bed about the same time as they do at night. I can definitely try to squeeze 5-10 hours a week out of time that Donnie’s home, and declare 1) NO TV! and also 2) If you need something SEE YOUR FATHER! That will work some.
But typically? When they’re left on their own without TV I have to deal with some sort of issue every 20 minutes or so. They only time they seem to play successfully is when they’re allowed free reign to destroy the house. Which I’ve done during desperate times. But then it totally backfires because – while they’re okay at picking up reasonable amounts of messes – they suck at clearing out total destruction. So who ends up doing it? ME! And that’s not worth the exchange of a little bit of peaceful work time.
I’m thinking of doing daily schedules. If you let Mom work until 9am quietly – then you can watch TV for an hour. I also need some sort of system for keeping them from doing the whole Come To Mom Every Time We’re Unhappy With Each Other thing. Do I reward them for an entire day of handling conflict themselves? I hate punishing them for coming to me because it’s a tough moment to punish the Tattler, because then do I acknowledge the incident they’re tattling about? What if it’s something I typically punish? Usually if I hear them coming I’ll just say, “Is anyone bleeding? Is anyone breaking something that belongs to Mom? Is anyone doing something that could end in a trip to the ER? THEN I DO NOT CARE.” But I’m not sure how effective that is.
So! Do any of you peeps work from home? How do you do it? What are your secrets? Do you stick them in front of the TV when you need to work and just make the other hours in the day quality play time? Because I think I may actually start with that. Do you have any parks that have free WiFi where you live? Because that would be IDEAL. I think there’s a park downtown here that does, but not a playground. So it would work if they just wanted to run around and throw ball and stuff, but not much if they wanted to slide/swing.
I’ll take any suggestions you may have!