Monday, June 06, 2005

Working from home in Marrickville, only the pilots can hear you scream

Today is Monday, as they say on Playschool, and on Monday Mummy works at home. On most of the other days Mummy (that's me, Bec) works in an office. Offices are quiet, controlled and have ergonomic chairs for my enormous bottom. On Mondays there is quiet only during Playschool and naptime; the only control is the power my two youngest children now have to extract any form of snack food from me when I am on the phone (the old point and shout method, an important developmental milestone in most child-rearing texts); and the chair focus shifts to the opposite side of my bottom as first one, then the other, two year old inserts him or herself onto my lap in order to "Hep you wiff your wurk". In homage to the first blog of the most wonderful Heather Armstrong (, here are some of the reasons that I should not be allowed to work from home. It's 12 past 4 in the afternoon and I'm wearing the yoga pants I slept in last night. I've been wearing them during several highly complicated, professional phone calls. I kept them on when I went out for the pre-nap wear-out-the-toddlers walk, too. I may still be in them tomorrow. It's now 16 past 4 and I have lost count of how many times my littlest girl has watched the Hooley Dooleys today. Between television, snack food, pre-nap walk, nap, more snack food and more television, the three of us somehow get through this Monday each week. Sometime in the next couple of hours my husband will walk through the door with The Pea Princess, and he will give me that whatdidyoudoallday look. Having worked from home himself with our double contribution to the 21st Century baby boom, he won't actually mean whatdidyoudoallday, but he won't be able to stop the look. It's hardwired. He won't so much walk through the door as negotiate a path. As I sit here, surrounded by the pieces of four separate Pooh Bear jigsaw puzzles, three newspapers, five of the kids' artworks (three of them screwed up into long paintbrush shapes and dipped into the breakfast milk to make the last two), the breakfast milk itself, two jumpers, a scarf, two half-squashed boxes of tissues, and what I've just discovered are the missing pair of Chloe's tights squashed into the printer feeder tray, I kinda wonder whatdidIdoallday, too. And the final reason I should not be allowed to work from home is that at the office the only stuff in the fridge is flat champagne, soy milk and someone's well-intentioned skinny salad dressing. I think I'll save the whole Monday EATING issue for another time - it's too ugly to write down just now. Shortly, I hope, I will be joined here in Glamorouse by the lovely Kim, who is a few months short of delivering her own One For The Country (, and who also knows the joys of working both from home and from the lovely quiet office, and who, like me, has tried and failed to keep a solo blog on account of all the evil rage that tends to pour out of Us Women when we send our diaries online. Our theory is that doing a double act will make us less like Virginia Woolf and more like Bridget Jones - dry instead of dour, and only depressed in a cute and peppy sort of way with far less dependence on prescription drugs. mtc Bec


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