So, if you are a long time reader of this blog, you know that my work is a hodge podge of things– I am a freelance writer for magazines, a book author, a speaker, a professor, and I chair a non-profit, Circle de Luz (if you are new to the blog and interested, feel free to click on the links to learn more). When we started down the road to parenthood last August, one of the very first questions we needed to answer in our home study was what our plans were regarding childcare. BF is self-employed, too, so we had a unique opportunity to come up with a solution that involved both of us. Ultimately, what we decided was that we would split the day between work and being home with the baby. I would be with SBA (sweet Baby A) from 8 am until 1 pm and BF would be home with him from 1-6. The hardest part, it seemed, was deciding who got to work the morning hours since we both contend that we do our best work in the morning. As our trip to pick up SBA approached, I worked to get all of my February deadlines met before we took off on January 23. I was eager to have a month without deadlines and knew that if I could get it all in, all I would need to attend to in a time sensitive manner for the month of February was my teaching– grading, lesson plans, and then the actual teaching, etc. Before we left, I turned in six articles and officially wiped my February slate mostly clear.
We thought that one month– February– would be just the thing to get some semblance of a schedule in place so that we could officially resume working in March (and, to be fair, BF has needed to do some work this month, too, so neither of us had completely clean slates but we did have tidier slates than usual). Neither of us (me and BF) are terribly routine driven so we weren’t hell bent on a fast and hard schedule. A ball park of how things work would do plenty to suffice. Except there is no ball park. There is not even a sand lot of a schedule going on. There is, perhaps, some semblance of a back yard pick up game type of schedule (ie: ‘meet in the yard afterschool and see what happens’), though, and that, you see, is our silver lining.
It’s about that time to go back to work on a more regular basis than we have been, and that hint of a schedule will be so helpful in making that happen. I spent this past weekend cleaning out my office to make room for a workspace for BF so that he has a place to do things here while the baby is napping. I will “commute” to BF’s office– a little less than a mile from our house (it’s a good thing I embarked on my make an effort resolution since I’ll now have to leave the house to do work on a daily basis)– to do my work in the afternoons. And, slowly, we’ll figure it out. I’ll learn how to be creative and productive in the afternoon (with less sleep than before), and we’ll both learn how to get as much done in half the time (because, honestly, we both know we piddled a few hours of every day away before SBA joined us), although I imagine our biggest challenge will be working while fighting the urge to be with our boy. And, right now, I can’t even imagine writing an interesting sentence or giving a talk that isn’t laced with me desperately trying to find the word in my sleep deprived mind but I have faith that it is like riding a bicycle after a hiatus. It works itself out. Someone reassure me that that is true.
I have a pretty blank slate when I go back to work and the ability to make things happen the way I imagined– if I am patient and deliberate. There are two books I desperately want to write that I can go ahead and get started on– but writing them alone doesn’t pay the bills so I’ll need to spend some time trying to land contracts for them. There are a few articles that I really want to write and I’ll need to find homes for them. I’ll go back to teaching adult continuing education classes in April and I just love those workshops so I am especially looking forward to them. And there are exciting things on the horizon as Circle de Luz begins to grow. All in all, I am hopeful that all the pieces can come together into a plan that helps most moments seem intentional and good. Because, in the end, that’s what we all want. To do work– both at home and away from home and however that work might be defined– that speaks to us, that brings out our best, and that adds to our life.
And, on cue, SBA is up from a nap. A new normal indeed.