Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Only Time Will Tell

It’s been less than three months since I went back to a full-time office job.  Admittedly, it seems longer.  While I enjoy the work and the people I work with, the day in and day out work routine does get a bit does the fact that 10 hours of my day are already spoken for. 

Except weekends.  Boy do I love the weekends.

I enjoyed weekends before when I was self-employed but I also worked from home half the time.  Now that I’m gone from home 50 hours a week, I am very selfish with my evenings and weekends.  I prefer not to venture out on my days off, as I’m still adjusting to my new schedule, and much of my spare time is spent writing. 
Back to the topic of work, this morning something came up so that I ended up arriving at work a little late.  Thankfully, my boss doesn’t come down hard on me and it was an amount of time I easily made up during my lunch break.  But what this issue brought up for me was how much I have had to change with regard to my daily routine, especially when it comes to being available for my kids.  Going back to work for someone else is difficult, sure, because it is a change in what I do and where I work during the day.  But what is very difficult is not having the last say when it comes to when and where I need to be.  I either have to get permission or, like this morning, apologize for having to readjust my daily work schedule at the last minute.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I feel very fortunate I was able to work for myself while my husband and I raised our boys.  Although my youngest isn’t yet in high school, his and his brother’s younger years were, I believe, that much better because I was able to be around more often than not.  I know their younger years would have been much different if I hadn’t had the flexibility running my own business gave me.  That flexibility also allowed me to actively be a part of school functions, sporting events, field trips, the PTA, booster groups and whatever else I could get my hands on because, for whatever reason, I just love taking on too much. 
I think some people may have wondered how I did it all…the secret is that I had control of my daily schedule, not someone else.  I am great at multi-tasking but I do wonder if I could have been as involved with the boys and all their activities if I had also been working full time for someone else.

But it can be done, right?  Lots of women work full-time jobs out of necessity and they raise their children just as well as anyone else.  Sometimes better.  It may be the other activities which get little, if any, attention.  So what I’m trying to figure out now is my place as a full-time working mom and what it takes to make it work.  While my boys don’t need as much of my time as they used to when they were younger, I still want to be there when they need me and on top of that, something else has taken over what attention my boys no longer require...and that would be my writing. 
I am a full-time working mother and I am attempting to give birth to another child…well, not literally, but I think of my book as my baby.  I am giving birth to a new life.  If I had to say how far along I was, I’m full-term.  I’m so close but frustratingly, the contractions I feel are only Braxton Hicks contractions.  I’m very ready to finally hold my baby in my hands and I know the time is coming soon but some days it is not soon enough. 

I was able to write my first book while still self-employed and I am writing my second book while working at my new job.  The two projects couldn’t be any more the same while also so very different.  My first book was given what my boys received, my time and attention while working under a flexible schedule.  My second book is vying for my attention as I work at an office job and am away from home most of the day. 
While I would never wish to use children as guinea pigs where this type of quandary is concerned, when it comes to my books, it will be interesting to see how well brought up my first “child” will be compared to my second.

As the saying goes, only time will tell.

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