January 23, 2005

24-Hour Job

Hello! Posted by Hello

This is me. :-)

Whew. It's been a long day and I can't believe it's over. Every single minute of my day was taken today. You know what's really tough? Being self-employed. Now that the laundry has been done, folded and put away, the floors have been mopped, my family has been fed and the kids have been put to sleep, it's now time for me to go to "work." Wendy's of Missouri http://www.wendysofmissouri.com runs spots to help make people aware of all the kids in the state of Missouri that need good homes. It's a worthy cause and I'm proud to be a part of it. Anyhoo, they gave me a tape with 13 spots on it that I have to convert from a VHS tape to a Windows Media file. No easy task, let me tell ya. Not to mention, it's time consuming.

I also received a newsletter from the middle school who's website I maintain and I have to update various parts of the site with that information. Another time consuming task. However, it's my "job."

Being self-employed is not all it's cracked up to be. Yes, I feel very fortunate that we're in a situation that I'm able to do that, however, working from home has drawbacks as well - you NEVER get away from your job. Imagine that for a minute.

It's been a long day. Your boss has been breathing down your neck about a project that needs to be completed yesterday. There are grants to write, there are reports to finish, papers to file - the day speeds by. Ahh...time to go home. Grab a quick bite to eat on the way home, kick your feet up and watch TV. Zone time. We all love a little zone time.

But what happens when you're self-employed? Here's my day:

Get up at 5;15 a.m. and work out.
Get home in time to take my oldest son to school. (Yes, I'm still sweaty and nasty)
Come home, jump into the shower.
Just finish drying my hair and it's time to take my youngest to school. (yes, I look really bad. Imagine frizzy bed hair and you have a good picture)
Come home, finish getting ready.
Catch up on emails. (This usually takes WAY longer than it should. I currently maintain four websites and am in the middle of building three).
IF I catch up on emails and website maintenance, I grab my laptop and head to the library to get some writing done. (Yes, it's true. I ACTUALLY DO write).

But alas, it's lunchtime and I'm starving because I forgot to eat breakfast - again. So, I hurriedly pack up my laptop (only 1000 words today? I'll do better tomorrow) come home, heat some soup, catch up on emails (yes, there are generally half a dozen waiting for me by that time).

It's now 1:00 and I have to leave in an hour and 15 minutes to pick up my middle schooler.

The beds haven't been made, the bathrooms are still a mess, and the kitchen has been hit by a tornado. I have just enough time to straighten up the house before I pick up son number one.

I get to the school at 2:15 p.m. I get there early because it's one of those six one way, half a dozen the other way situations. If I don't get there early, then I end up parking on the street as opposed to actually making it into the driveway of the school. This way, getting there early, I get a good "spot" and Blake can find me fast. What do I do for the 30 minutes I'm waiting? I'm usually brainstorming about my writing or I take a break and read. (Every writer MUST read. Am I right, writers?)

Blake gets out. I drop him off at home so he can have 30 minutes of solitude and get his homework done. I immediately head over to my youngest's school. He gets out at 3:25 p.m. It's now 3:00 p.m. Again, I catch up on work or read - depending on what sort of deadline I have coming up. Getting to my youngest's school early is not an option, it's a MUST. I have NEVER seen traffic so jam-packed in all my life. It's a true bottle neck. Couple that with the fact that people are generally inconsiderate and impatient and you have a recipe for disaster. Every parking space is taken, the field across the street (with the "NO PARKING" sign, how ironic is that), is jam-packed with cars. The car line is literally backed up into the street (it got so bad the city finally budgeted a two lane road in front of the school because traffic would be backed up for a mile). If I don't get there early, I won't actually get to pick Brandon up until 3:45 p.m. Yes, it's that bad. It's crazy, the chances people take with their children. You wouldn't believe the number of adults half-dragging their kids across the parking lot, weaving in and out of moving cars just to save a few precious moments. It absolutely boggles my mind.

We get home and the homework questions begin. The schools assign so much homework it's like I'm homeschooling them. This usually lasts until dinner (most times past dinner).

We have to eat.

I fix dinner. The hubby gets home. He's tired and wants to talk about his day. He needs and deserves my attention. We always sit around the dinner table and have dinner together. We rarely eat in front of the TV. After dinner, the kids finish up their homework, hubby cleans up (it's a deal we have - whoever cooks, the other one cleans up). The boys usually have math homework which is a taboo subject for me. I'm absolutely stupid in math. No, really. I'll be honest. Numbers and I...well, we just don't mix. Funny, I use to be a bank teller, (and damn good at it), go figure. (Was that a pun?)

While Kev is working with the boys, I'm usually wrapping things up on the computer and finally, shutting the thing down. (By this time, I'm so sick of looking at the thing I'm seriously thinking about throwing it out the window.

Kids go to bed, and me and Kev spend some time together. By this time it's 8:30 p.m. and I can barely keep my eyes open. I cautiously plan for tomorrow - I'm going to write 2000 words tomorrow! *snort* Yeah right.

The weekends are slower, but only just. There are chores to do, grocery shopping and of course the neighbor kids HAVE to come over and play. Again, today was completely busy because I had to "work." When you're a wife, a mother, and you're self-employed, the work never stops.

So let's see - a 9 to 5 job, or a 24-hour job. Which is better?

For me? The 24-hour job. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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