Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why Moms Shouldn't Work Outside The Home

Okay, the truth is, I am just thinking and writing about myself, here. But I'm being honest; most of the articles and opinions we read about the work-vs.-home divide are also written from the point of view and personal experience of the writer. You can pretty much guarantee that they will present arguments and evidence from the side of the divide they live on.

Not me. I'm back at our family's business full bore these days, and I have now forgotten to pick up some of my children twice. The good news is that it was the twins on Friday, and my other daughter today. So far, that's not enough damage to give anyone a complex, but it is sure a reminder that the kind of work that requires sustained concentration and thought and physical presence and performance for one's boss or customers as the case may be, is not entirely compatible with thinking about one's kidlets.

I could never understand how a person could leave a baby to bake in a car all day, for example. But now, scarily, I see how it could happen. When you are (read: I am) consumed with all the details that your high-intensity job entails, your (read: my) mind just doesn't have room for pesky details like clocks and pickups.

So things that were always second nature to me -- pick up children, get food, make sure house is not a hovel -- are now being entered into Outlook with little reminder bells. My kids are old enough that they will call me when they're neglected -- and that's cold comfort.

Just so you have a little perspective, I have always multi-tasked with the best of 'em. Acting (yes, with actual lines for actual money), helping some with our business, volunteering at school, menu planning for nightly family dinners and being team mom for my son. But this 110% effort to grow a real business in, as people are wont to say, "this economy," is crowding out some really important stuff. The best way for me to work this way would be for my husband to be at home, but he's at work with me, for right now. Time for a new strategy.

Or maybe the headline is that Moms Shouldn't Work Outside The Home If They Suck At It Unless They Are Being Paid Mountains of Cash To Pay For A Nanny Who Drives. But I couldn't get that to fit!

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