In a past life, I was an insurance agent. I worked the typical 9–5, Monday through Friday, work week and rarely did my work follow me home. Back then, both my biological children were small, my oldest being five and my youngest just having been born. Childcare was a must.
My youngest had medical issues from birth. When I interviewed for the position I eventually got, I made clear that I had a child with medical issues and another with mental health problems. This was probably not the smartest move in an interview, but I didn’t want to pretend to be something I was not.
I didn’t get up each morning and say to myself, I don’t feel like working today, so I’m just going to call in sick. Honestly, I didn’t have that luxury ever. Having children who couldn’t attend day care for one reason or another, on a fairly regular basis, ensured that I was the asshole co-worker who went to work sick.
My work was impeccable, which I’m convinced is the only reason I kept my job for five years.
At that point in my life, being able to work remotely, or have some kind of work from home business would have been a saving grace. There were times I missed more work than I attended. And through it all, though I did keep my job, I had zero help from my employer or anyone else.
Nineteen years later, both my bio kids are adults. Almost two years ago, I began writing in earnest, full-time. My kids were grown and on their own, for the most part. I had no small person to be responsible for any longer and for the most part, during the day, I was home alone. The peace and quiet were nice. I’ve had ups and downs over the past two years, but through it all, I’ve always come back to my writing. I’ve learned that it is one of the things that helps keep me sane.
Life has a way of throwing unexpected things at us, and I’m no different. Seven months ago, my two year old step-son came to live with us full-time. There’s a back-story to that, which you can find here:
Suddenly, things weren’t so peaceful or quiet. Moments I had taken for granted, for myself, were in flux while a routine was established for him. Something he’d never had, so it was a process. But surprisingly, it gave me something else I didn’t expect.
The passion to write in public again.
With a two year old? I must be crazy.
True. But it works. I still take early mornings for myself, to enjoy my coffee, read what others have written, and write down my own ideas and thoughts. Once he’s awake for the day, we have breakfast, then go to work. He has a chair next to mine at the table where I work. He doesn’t always sit there, but when he does, he likes to jabber his ideas to me. A lot.
It reminds me of the movie Baby Geniuses. I only understand about 4 out of 8 words, but I bet if I could grasp the entire concept, it would be world shaking.
Or he’s just saying he needs to poop, who knows.
Being able to work from home with him is something I’m thankful for on a daily basis. It allows him to be here with me, learning and growing at his own pace, while I’m able to work towards providing for our family. If he’s sick, not much has to change, other than writing with a baby on my lap instead of sitting beside me.
My boss can be a bitch, but at least I don’t have to worry about taking time away to care for my kids, and that is worth its weight in gold.