No matter how hard I work as a freelance writer, the reality remains that I get paid to do things that most people wouldn’t considered as “real work” (reading, traveling, photographing, drawing). By all accounts, I am on the greener side of the fence, where I call all the shots and do as I please. This past week however, after freelancing for almost three years, I finally found one thing that I miss DEARLY from my days of 9-to-5 in Corporate America: Separation of life.
When I went back to work after my 3-month maternity leave with Asha, I felt like a superhero who lives a double life. No matter how busy and hard things got at work, it didn’t phase me because it sure was easier than staying up all night with an infant. Hours later, when I was indeed up all night with the said infant, I was still so happy and thankful because I had spent a chunk of my day away from her. In this way, I was able to deal with all the crap that life throws at you at home and at work, because at the end of the day, magically, the two negatives cancelled each other out.
These days, not only do I mostly work from home, but I do the kind of work that can’t be turned on and off. Even when I am not physically typing a story, my head is thinking of how I am going to write it later. It doesn’t help that I moved my “office” from my closet to my kitchen in order to be more productive. Which is funny because now while I work, I am constantly reminded of the dirty dishes and laundry, but when I do get to the house work eventually, I constantly think about writing instead. Basically, I feel like George in Seinfeld, where my two perfect worlds have somehow collided and all the crap is collecting in the same place.
Then there are my three children whom I love very much, but the combination of their ages right now makes for very interesting times. Asha is so competitive, talkative, and full-on creative that she constantly wants me to see what she is doing. Arjun is subconsciously trying to deal with the middle child syndrome by acting either like a fussy baby or like the annoying little brother who snatches and breaks things while trying to be like his sister. Ajay, my littlest guppie, wants nothing to do with life if I am not carrying him even though he now knows how to crawl. All of this usually happens simultaneously and I try my fest to deal with it. I wonder though if I would have more patience if I had a “regular” job that required complete time away from babies and home.
This past Saturday (early) morning I was running barefoot down the street, in my pajamas and robe, with a baby on my hip and my hot coffee spilling from the cup still in my hand, yelling and chasing my two older kids who had run out the door to another neighbor’s yard so that they could drive a kiddie jeep like drunken sailors. The 9-to-5 Chika was having a great laugh at the situation; I couldn’t say the same about the Freelancing Chika though.
And while I am at it, let me also say how many times I considered hitting the delete button for this post. It seems wrong to have a perfect world that I created for myself, and then to still complain about it. BUT, then I said heck with it, venting in my boss’s office was one of my favorite ways to destress in Corporate America, and just because I don’t have a boss now, why should it stop me from burdening you with my diminutive troubles.
As my sister would say – the grass might be greener but it still needs to be mowed!
***before I end, I want to take a moment for a public service announcement on behalf of all (or at least most) parents who somehow find themselves in possession of a kiddie car – Dear friends and family who are thinking of surprising the beautiful children in your life with a mini electric car, unless the parents ask you specifically for it PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS TOY UNLESS YOU YOURSELF PLAN TO BE THE CHAUFFEUR RUNNING BEHIND THE KIDS FOR HOURS, DAY IN AND DAY OUT, TO BREAK UP FIGHTS, KEEP THEM FROM FALLING DOWN CREEKS, OR RUNNING INTO NEIGHBORS CARS, PETS, AND FLOWER BEDS. JUST DON’T DO IT (unless you’ve got something against the parents and are trying to get back at them for something mean they did to you, in that case, be a grown-up for god’s sake and just get over it.) – End of announcement***