Dear Beloved Work-from-Home-Dad,
I love you and appreciate all of your hard work. I love that we get to see each other all.day.long at any given time, with absolutely no separation. What a unique circumstance we have, although, I am pretty sure when the idea of “work” was created, it was partly made to sustain marriages. As much as I love seeing you at any given moment, sometimes, I just need to be alone.
What I am trying to say here is . . . you’re getting an eviction notice. It’s not that we don’t adore you. We do, but this just isn’t working out.
You know that lock you had put on your thick, solid-core door to keep the wild toddlers from running in? Well, it needs to be used in order to work. And that idea of a red sign that means “walk away from Daddy’s office” and the green sign that means “welcome, kiddos, come sit on my lap while I close this multi-million dollar order?” Yeah. It doesn’t work either. Try the lock, and then maybe I’ll let you stay.
I get that you have to pee every 16 minutes, and then you need to take a lap around the living room to “stretch your legs” and get your fourth cup of coffee before 9:00 a.m. (and, oh my Lord, the afternoon snacking), but it’s gotta stop. The moment that door opens, the kids drop their toys and go from peaceful to chaos in about 0.23 seconds, all for you to rummage the pantry, grab what you need, and get back to work, leaving the little people in dramatic tears and me picking up the pieces.
And let’s talk about those little text messages that say, “Skype conference call. Lock the kids in the back bedroom with you, maybe even in the closet until it’s over,” or the little less than polite texts that read, “GET THE GIRLS AWAY FROM MY OFFICE,” while my hands are knee deep in raw chicken, or GOD FORBID, I take a moment to use the restroom. How about I start sending you nifty little messages proclaiming we are about to have Nerf War followed by an Epic (with a capital E) dance party with all the neighborhood kids INSIDE. OUR. HOUSE, right outside your door?
It’s pretty exhausting when I take a break on the couch with kids, and then I hear your door open and I have to chunk my computer or latest novel under the closest blanket, couch cushion, or what have you then jump up and immediately begin shuffling papers, dusting, or unloading the dishwasher because “I am working.” All the time. Just like you. Right? When am I going to eat my bonbons and watch my stories if you’re always coming out of your “office” for salsa?
Oh, yes. Bonbons. I know what you are thinking. Those are the real days of freedom for the stay-at-home mom. F R E E D O M. And you know what, sweet husband, you’re right!!!! These are two days a week where for six hours, NO ONE is hanging on me or expecting a thing of me . . . except I come home to work on chores, write a blog post, or send thank you cards and suddenly (a far cry from the days when the kids are home) you seem to be on the prowl, suspiciously lurking at every corner as if I have something you need. I love you, sweetheart, but I have to get stuff done while this house is empty. No distractions.
The impeccable timing of the phone ringing after “work” hours (what are those anyway?) suddenly when the baby begins to cry or the toddler needs a diaper change never fails. The elementary school kids begin to fight right as you remember that report that was due and you have to go back to into the “office” for the remainder of the evening. And when mama gets sick? Well, you don’t have to take a day off of work to help out with the kids. You’ll just tell them it’s gonna be a light day for you because you’re wife is sick while all the kids are piled up on top of me in bed . . . all day long.
It’s time my love. It’s time to move on from the home office.
But wait, who will help me in a crunch when I need to unexpectedly take one of the kids to the doctor on a Monday morning? Or let the baby keep napping while I run pick up the preschooler? What will happen when the toddler gets sick and will only nap after she gets another hug and kiss from Daddy, but you’re gone? How will the kids feel when you can’t make every single event any longer because your office is too far away? What will we do when those fast paced seasons come up and we have no time together in any empty house, except when the kids are at school?
Nah. Nevermind. We can’t evict you. Not yet at least.