I guess all we women, mums, grandmothers could say that really. Many of us seem to be pre-programmed to multitask and live life at a run!
Because I am self-employed and work from home, I sometimes think I get caught in this trap more than most. There have even been fleeting incidences when I’ve thought how nice it would be to go out to work again and be able to sit in an office and just focus on doing the work work in hand and not try to juggle getting the other work done in between.
The problem with being a freelancer is that you never really know in advance how much work you are going to have – mostly it lands in my in-box unannounced and with a tight deadline attached – which makes advance planning tricky. I’ve learned to be very flexible – I can’t afford not to deliver when my customers ask me to do something – they’d be off quick as a flash to somebody else and I’d lose their repeat business. So, as you can imagine, I bend over backwards to be professional and deliver a good product.
But in the meantime, ordinary life does still go on….
This morning is a case in point.
6.00 Up to make sure the kids are already up or almost and getting ready to leave – the first went out at 6.20 and the last at 7, by which time the washing machine was running, dishwasher emptied, living room tidied and hot cross buns (which I had promised to make before I knew about this week’s workload) were rising. Drink coffee.
7.00-8.00 Start to edit and correct a paper for a German post doc which has been re-jigged since I last looked at it. Drink more coffee.
8.00 -9.15 Shower, dress, make beds, do the ironing, bake hot cross buns (the recipe is here)
9.15 – 10.15 Finish the editing project and start on a huge translation on fine art (which turns out to be very interesting – one of the perks of the job). More coffee please!
10.15 – 10.30 Deliver the hot cross buns to the church warden to take to church on Easter Saturday to fortify the ladies cleaning and decorating the church (my contribution as I shan’t be there).
10.30 – 11.00 Write blog post
11.00 – 13.00 Translate, translate, translate, look longingly at Hopscotch blocks on the floor, translate, grit my teeth and force thoughts of sewing out of my mind.
And it’s still only lunchtime. My afternoon break was supposed to involve planting broad beans and onions, but as it’s tipping down that isn’t going to happen. It’s also Gründonnerstag (Maundy Thursday to the Brits out there) so I think the kids will probably be sent home from school early, so I’d better have my nose to the grindstone till they get here, at which point concentrated work becomes fairly impossible as World War 3 is usually breaking out.
Because sports activities don’t take place after school and on school premises here – and we live in a village where none of the after-school activities the teenagers are involved in are to be found, I generally spend the late afternoon and early evening in the car, periodically running into the house to cook one of the at least 2 sittings of dinner or to assist with homework or cajole eldest daughter to help with things that I can no longer remember (principally maths and physics).
By 21.15, when with luck everyone has finally come in and eaten, the kitchen is cleaned and everyone has headed off to bed (seldom) or to study, I am to put it quite frankly, about as much use to anybody as a wet dishcloth.
That is my life.
If I’m honest I wouldn’t have it any other way!