Working From Home With a Baby
Renovations continue on here, noise and clanging and contractors arriving late, stomping in and out, slamming doors, letting the wrong cat out. We are moving around here and there, all of us sleeping in different rooms, working on different surfaces, napping in different positions. The baby is also her own noise maker, gummy, mouth-open cries, groans, squawking, mumbling murmurs, sucks and gulps. I am working around baby and contractors and things are hairy, even if I am mainly watching things as they slide and tumble and float down between the cracks. Jon just forwarded me the same email for the third time, waiting for my action. “No problem, no problem,” he says as he pulls out his hair.
While I sometimes wonder what it might be like to have a year of maternity leave, just the baby and me and the cats, it’s also with a lot of gratitude that I can appreciate I have the opportunity to work from home, and not just work from home, but do it with a fair bit of flexibility, during nap times, late into the night, heading into appointments when I need to. If I can’t get that blog post out, if the newsletter goes out a day late, I am the captain of my own ship—my own ship being the very insular social media part of things, my own emails, my own projects. It’s the ultimate choose your own adventure, with my folder full of half-finished blog posts, an overflowing bin full of items that I’m interested in doing blog posts about, some of them special editions that will likely sell out and be discontinued before I get a chance to ink them up. In some ways I revel in this, so many things to do! All the balls in the air and I can contemplate them all floating, wondering which one looks the most ripe for the picking, even as the occasional one drops. I burp the baby, pet the cat, call Sabine at the shop for a little chit chat, move things, photos, drafts, around from folder to folder in the drive and call it a day. Sometimes I take a photo of the baby, send it to Jon, who responds back saying cute, and then follows up about that email he forwarded. “Okay, fine, forget about the email. Did you decide on the name for the baby yet?”
It goes both ways, though, since my own ship is tied very closely to everything else. For entrepreneurs, or small business owners, often your success is tied to how hard you work, how many hours you put in, how much content you put out. Knowing that your staff depend on you to continue on in your own small way, that you have kids who have music lessons and lost library books, that the world doesn’t actually stop because you had an off day, does usually mean there are still eventual deadlines to meet, algorithms to feed. It does sometimes feel non-stop, even if I get the luxury to pump the brakes every once in a while, with a little help from creatures demanding attention.