I set an alarm on my phone today.
(Bear with me, I realise this does not sound like a big fricking deal.)
I set the alarm for 5pm every week day.
At 5pm every day in the week, I am going to hear that alarm, and one of two things will happen.
1. I will turn it off, hunker down into my deep feelings of guilt and failure, and carry on working.
2. I will walk away from my desk and go spend an hour playing with my kids.
Yes – it’s a sad state of affairs, but I have now scheduled play time with my kids. I’m sure I can’t be the only working mum who feels like I never get the balance right.
But working from home – I think that makes it even worse. Because there is no cut off time. There is set part of the day that involved shutting everything off and leaving work behind for the night.
The computer is always there – lurking, like a malevolent force in my study, pinging away with emails and updates and reminders. The work is always sat in a constantly shifting, never reducing, undulating mass.
But you know what, I am sick of being ruled by ‘must do’s’. This is part of my whole grab my mojo effort, which, as I explain here, completely left me. I’m going to start finding ways to organise my time and throw off these shackles!
So I’ve put an alarm in my phone that says “Stop. Go play with those children before they no longer want you to.”
My daughter has stuck a sign on my bedroom door (aided and abetted by her grandmother) that says
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”
She also put another one on there that says
“If you haven’t grown up by the age of 50. you don’t have to”
Both extremely valid pieces of advice, I think.
Since I spent April writing letters of advice to my kids, I think it’s time I listened to them too.
PS. The sign on her bedroom door says
We made the room messy because we wanted you to feel at home.
It has not stopped me making her tidy up though! Nice try, Sackgirl!