The title of this post is a little unfair, because, in that way that we all love gossip (and in the celebrity category, you must start reading this, right this very minute), you might think I've got something really juicy and important to report, when in reality what I want to write about is working from home, a subject I touched on recently for my other blog, Motherland, which I know you guys are all checking, millions of times a day. (Actually, I've had some technical issues with that site and haven't been able to post much, which should be remedied soon. Still, millions of times a day, ok? No excuses).
But, despite it being in regards to a pretty mundane topic, I did see a therapist for a few months prior to having Gabriel for life coaching sessions. If you haven't heard of life coaches, or you're thinking to yourself that that sounds like a pretty nonsensical profession, I've gotta tell you, it was one of the more helpful steps I've taken in recent years, and I'll tell you why: Because I needed someone to tell me what to do.
When I had Nora and found myself at home much of the time, much more occupied with childcare than writing, I found myself thinking self-critical thoughts, like, "Jewel lived in a trashcan and she became a professional singer," or, "J.K. Rowling lived in squalor with her young kids and found the time to create the whole goddamn world of Harry Potter, why can't you motivate yourself to develop a somewhat successful career?"
But Jewel and Rowling and the actual validity of those statements aside, finding the get-up-and-go to write - or do whatever kind of work it is you're doing - is really pretty hard when you don't have a boss or an office or, ahem, a paycheck. So with a new baby on the way and my life as a mother about to get all the more intense, I decided to enlist some professional help. I was really fortunate that our health care plan covered the sessions.
So off I went to see this guy and within my first hour, and undertaking his first directive - to create a comfortable office space at home - I was feeling better about life in general.
I cleaned off the desk in our guest room/office space, put up a bulletin board and tacked up a few pictures of Nora and a few of my newspaper clips.
Over the next few months I saw this guy weekly, as I got bigger and bigger, and our visits came to an end just before I had the baby. Since he was an actual psychologist I'd sometimes try to slip in other business, like how J likes to keep old magazines in the house and I try to secretly throw them away but he always catches me and gets mad, now, who is right? But this guy would always steer me back to the matter at hand, namely how to create and sustain a productive working schedule while raising children, so that I wouldn't go crazy or feel like I was letting all my career aspirations go.
It was awesome.
When I had Gabriel, of course, all that went to hell and I dove headfirst into being a mother of two, which - at first, especially - is so different than being a mother of one, it is not even funny. Not funny, as in, total insanity.
But my darling boy has grown into a somewhat reasonable four-month-old who will probably have some daycare soon, and Nora went merrily off to preschool last week and has been loving every minute. Suddenly I'm remembering what it's like to have a few seconds to sit at the computer, and I'm trying to put my working-from-home plan back into play.
At present the baby's sleeping in what was once my office space, but I'm looking forward to changing up the sleep arrangements, i.e. kicking him out and taking it back. A desk, my bulletin board, a cup of tea. For now, my laptop and these priceless hours of quiet time are more than enough.
Better than a trash can, anyway.
Goodbye lazy days of summer. Here we go.