a curious thing

Yes, the blog has been a bit silent lately. I have two words in defense: Christmas break. (No, not winter, holiday, or National Clean Your Cat break. We broke for Christmas, and nothing else. Nothing else is so worth it, both spiritually and mentally.) Why is this a valid excuse? Two other words: three kids. Now, here is a dilemma that I wonder if other women share. I’m fairly certain men don’t. I could be wrong. But ladies, let’s face it, I’m probably not.

I work at home. I do not go to an office to write articles, do research, email book proposals, wallow in three cups of chai after said proposals are rejected, resolve to tell the boss I quit and then realize, I can’t. I’d be talking to myself. Which, actually, would not be extremely new or surprising. I do my labor at a computer in the living room, every day.

So, one would assume I can still work just as well with three kids at home as not. But such is not the case. When there are other bodies in the house, awake, I simply can’t concentrate on work. They don’t have to be distracting me. They could be (and often are) reading a book, trading stock (as in cows) on Farmville, or doing any of the countless things they can and do do with a complete oblivion to my presence. But I can’t be equally oblivious. Is it just me? Granted, I do have to compete for computer time. I usually lose. Three against one. I do have to use their precious sleep-in time for nefarious purposes like wrapping presents and raiding their college funds on ebay sprees.

But the same phenomenon occurs when we have guests during the day, not just with the usual suspects. I can’t work. Which always makes me slightly paranoid that my inlaws believe all I really do all day is bake cookies and finish crossword puzzles. Is this common? Ladies–do you understand this curious affliction? Any suggestions?

Years ago, I decided that when the kids are on break, I’m on break. Thus ended a lot of summer frustration. Once I allowed myself not to have to work, we all felt much more free. So, I don’t really feel guilty for Christmas silence. I feel free to spend precious time with people precious to me. But sometimes, like on snow days (which we may well have tomorrow), when deadlines hang over me like 12-year-old girls on Nick Jonas, and the cat and I need that cup of chai and the computer all to ourselves, I really wish that I knew how to (briefly) ignore those I love.

In any case, taking a break usually makes me twice as effective when work resumes. I hope that holds true for connecting with you, who are also very precious people, even if I don’t know who you are. And if I ignore you again, just realize that the cat and I are busy. We’ll get back to you.

2 thoughts on “a curious thing

  1. Anonymous

    You know from facebook that I am going through the same thing. I CANNOT write when the kids (or John) are in the house, but I can study for a test. I don't know why, but I'm in my 5th semester and I am sure.
    Now that my class meets on Mondays (8am-3pm), I have to have my papers done way ahead of time… and I have a Friday ministry committment 3 weeks out of the month…

    Mary Witt (because the blog would not accept my name.


  2. Yes, Mary, and if I could come and take them all away I would. I found it amazing I wrote this a couple days before you posted that. Yes, I can read, just not write. I have some theories but no hard facts.


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