Monday, February 13, 2012

My dirty little secret


There you have it. My disaster zone. This is the lower level of my place, but you can barely see what it looks like as it’s currently being devoured by our laundry. Chomp! Chomp! Chomp! There goes the couch. Oh no, not the lamp too! And don’t even bother asking about the vacuum cleaner. I don’t even know how that got there.

I can’t believe I’m sharing this picture with you. I must really like you. The question is, after this, will you still like me? I guess it doesn’t matter because after you’ve seen this, I’m going to have to kill you.

So what led to this sorry state? My mother. OK, so that’s not entirely true, but indirectly, she is kind of responsible. You see, she left to go back to Malaysia two weeks ago. She was here since the birth of my infant and now, eight months later, the honeymoon is over. The reality of a household with two young kids and two full-time working parents is beginning to surface in insidious ways. Looking at the picture, I honestly can’t even remember which is the clean pile and which is the dirty one. Shit.

I think my mom would be aghast that I’m actually admitting and willingly showing you this wreck of a corner. I’m the type who, while I don’t keep a spotless house, at least likes to pretend like I do as I frantically clean the place just before guests arrive. But now, I don’t even have the energy to fake it.

Here’s the other reason, and some of you who follow my other blog would know: I’ve been working on changing the course of my career. Not drastically, but enough to occupy all of my waking hours as I try to figure out how I’m going to make it all work. After another phone call with an enthusiastic recruiter last week who thought I was perfect for a position only to retract her statement when I said I needed flexibility in schedule, I knew there’s no turning back now.

Inspired by My Guy who’s doing remarkably well at his new venture, I decided to take my own leap to give this working for myself thing a try. I felt like I “did time” with Little Miss, who I saw for a mere two hours a day for the first two and a half years of her life because of my corporate job, and I just couldn’t do it anymore with Thumper. Not this time; not when she’s my last baby. There won’t be another chance for me to relish these precious sweet moments of babyhood, and I just can’t stand the thought of most of it happening while I’m away from her. Deja vu? No thank you.

It seems like the only way to make sure I get in on some of the baby-savoring action is to find a work arrangement that allows me the flexibility I need. While my current position appears to be so, it is also contract work that ends soon. So far, my search for a regular full-time job that allows telecommuting and flextime has been futile. Hence this dramatic change in career scenery, and all the legwork and long nights that come with it.

This also explains the laundry that ate my house. By the end of the day, I am tired to the bone. I’m sure I’m not the only mom who feels that way. Even as I’m writing this I’m thinking of a friend who’s pregnant with her third and having to manage the entire house and pack for an impending move while her husband is away on business. Bless her heart!

So really, with my partner home and juggling it all equally with me, I shouldn’t complain, but having had the luxury of another set of hands in the house when my mom was here, playing house had a lot more “play” in it. Now it’s just mostly house. And all the responsibilities that it contains.

When the kids are awake, it’s mostly about them. We play, shop, visit museums, attend birthday parties, eat out, craft, cook together, watch TV – we try to cram in as much fun in their waking hours as possible. When they’re in bed, I have about four-ish hours to do everything else. Now that the career is taking precedence, the house is falling behind. Something has to give right?

This evening, this blog wins. I get my one post in, also known as my fix, and then I get to decide: do I work on the proposal for this potential client or work on my current client’s work? How about my portfolio? That needs serious updating. And what about my other blog? When will I be posting again? Ooh let’s see what’s happening on Twitter. And Facebook! I also need to shop for a birthday present online. And some diapers while I’m at it. I think the gas bill is due soon too. Thumper’s also running low on veggies – time to make some more.

And the laundry? Right. That. Probably not tonight. Again. It’s ironic that with a laundry list of things to do, the laundry almost never makes the list.


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When you’re juggling priorities, what is/are usually at the bottom of your list? Where does laundry appear on your list?