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It's been a full week of summer vacation, and after my post a few weeks back, I wanted to follow up with a little check-in on how we're doing with the whole "no camp, mama's gotta work still" situation up in here. As of tonight, here is what is working for me/us/me and us:
1. Mondays are for planning our week. We spent Monday organizing a game plan for the week: playdates, day trips, etc. It's also the day we get our errands done for the week. I organize a list of things I need to get to every day/by the end of the week workwise and the kids decide where they want to go on their weekly adventure. This past week we hit up the California Science Center to check out the Dead Sea Scrolls. Next week (weather permitting), we'll hit up the beach. By getting all errands out of the way on Monday and stocking up on markers/crafts/new books to read/etc., we can go the rest of the week with plenty of options.
2. I can work nights. And I have to, in order to not fall behind completely. During the school year, I put in six-hour workdays and then, at night, work another hour or so. Judging from this week, my hours are cut to three (on a good day) so I HAVE to work nights. The kids are in bed by 9 and I need alone time with Hal, because, duh, so I have taken it upon myself to carve out late-LATE-night work time between the hours of midnight (when Hal goes to sleep) and 2:00 a.m. — my new bedtime. Because I don't have to be awake at 7 a.m., I can sleep in until 8:00, allow the kids to watch cartoons/completely thrash the house before I stumble out of bed and get the twins dressed, fed and ready for school. Hey, you know what? It works for us. (Hal has to be at work at 6:30, so he's always long gone when the kids wake up.)
And it is totally working.
Making plans to exchange kids with other work-from-home parents is kind of a game-changer and, for next summer, we discussed the possibility of creating a co-op of working parents who would be willing to take turns hosting kids for one day out of the week. Free camp, yo!
Take this post, for example. It is 12:22 a.m. as I type this and the house is quiet. I have my music and my candles and even though I'm fucking exhausted, I'm here. I'm doing this thing. Which brings me my next bullet point.
3. I must embrace my inability to be at 100%. Or 90%. Or 65%. It is not possible for me to bring my A game at the moment and that's OK. Being my own boss and working for myself is a luxury I do not take for granted but being my only employee has always been a struggle, because underneath the laid-back "I'm so chill love and light for all" ways, I am extremely hard on myself. I am the shittiest boss of all time. I refuse to give myself a break even when I know I am desperate for one. (I literally was back to work three hours after giving birth to the twins. Because there is no maternity leave when you're a writer on the Internet.) My hard-on-myselfness is something I know I need to change so this "no camp, no nanny" business is, in the long run, good for me, maybe. Because I have no choice but to exhale and do what I can do.
4. Carving out time every day to work on special project(s). I wrote about the zine Fable and I started on GGC yesterday and so far, it has been the highlight of the summer for both of us. Having a project that we can work on together has been incredibly special. It only takes us a handful of minutes to complete each day's prompt and, while I'm sure that there will be days (yesterday, for example) where we lose track of time and/or don't get to the day's prompt, having something with an end date is a really lovely feeling. And having something we can make with our hands together, side by side, has breathed creative life into both of us. It's fun and exciting and I can't wait to see what she creates tomorrow.
5. Go-Go-Gadget-Kid Exchange. This week, some work-from-home friends and I exchanged kids for three hours on Wednesday and Thursday so that that we could each have some work time. (My kids went to their house on Wednesday. Their kids came to me yesterday.) Making plans to exchange kids with other work-from-home parents is kind of a game-changer and, for next summer, we discussed the possibility of creating a co-op of working parents who would be willing to take turns hosting kids for one day out of the week. Free camp, yo!
And that's a wrap! So far so good! Kind of. But we're doing it, you know? I managed to get most of my work done this week. Not all of it, but most—and "most" is pretty damn amazing considering the time constraints. And you know what else? I'm proud of me. And I would never allow myself to say that last week but there you go. I rule. High five, self. Way to make it work, kind of sort of in a way.