One of my main issues with ‘Mummy Blogs’ is the repeated reinvention of the blogging wheel. Once you’ve read about one lot of maternal guilt its kind of hard to get excited/interested/sympathetic about the next lot. Its boring because while maternal guilt exists for most of us, like other people’s children, other people’s guilt is just not as special.
One of the reasons The Business Partner and I kicked the wage-slavery into touch and decided to start our own business was the old chestnut of work-life balance. We were keen that the kidlets knew who we were and remembered us as being around, rather than just two random strangers who turned up to put them to bed at night, five nights a week, and then snapped at them all weekend (because the brain never really disengages and the kids insist on wanting our attention all the time), or continually referred to the blackberry (because A.N. Other Investment Bank will go under if I don’t read that email from that dude in Hong Kong who has no other life). We had a lovely summer off with them, working gently on the side on the beginnings of TechCo, but not really committing to anything.
Now TechCo needs to get going in earnest, or the experiment will fail and we’ll be back in wage-slavery. The problem is we’ve all been spoilt over the summer and now the work-life balance has to shift again. Working from home while the kids are with the World’s Best Nanny seems to be something that The Business Partner can do easily. Switches off outside input, laser-like focus. Kids shouting? Doesn’t hear them. He’s working and so has his work head on. I only wish I could do the same.
Kids shouting? I’ll just pop in and intervene. Kids quiet? I’ll just make a cup of tea and see what they are up to. Kids out? Maybe I’ll finish that bit of knitting up. I know I need to work, I just seem to have forgotten how. And it feels so wrong to be in the house while they are with someone else in the next room. (That was the guilt part, feel free to be unsympathetic).
End result: I feel like I’m giving neither the kids nor the business my best. I’m cross with myself for not getting as much done so I’m back to grumpy when I am with them, and I’m cross with myself for not being with them when I’m in the house so I’m not focussing on the work side of things. (Ooooh, look at me letting everyone down at once, cliché, cliché, cliché…) So we’re solving it before it kills the business.
Mid-November we move into our new office (wit-woo, get us) and we’re making a commitment to be there at least three days a week. We’ll still not be doing the hours we did before, but it will give us focussed time to build the business. One day a week from home and then one day off so we keep the three-day weekends we always wanted. Hopefully that’s the compromise we need. And hopefully my guilt wasn’t too boring.