Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mama, Mama….Mama?

Working from home is a gift in many ways. I don’t have to change out of my jammies to write an article or to make phone calls. I can take my children to and from school every day and get them to their activities.  I can get dinner started while I’m making my final edits for the day.

But there are some downsides. The money is great, but I never know when I’ll have work so it’s not as secure as a steady paycheck. And my biggest complaint is having to work when my children are home.
It never fails that as soon as I am on a roll and those perfectly paired words are flowing from my fingertips, I hear the words, “Mama?” And just like that, everything zaps from my brain and I forget what I was writing.

I’ve tried to teach the children that “when you see Mommy typing on the keyboard, don’t interrupt unless it’s an emergency.”

I quickly learned that my children don’t understand what a true emergency entails. In the past few weeks, I’ve had to inform the children that locating honey mustard, telling me the remote needs new batteries, and asking me if Harry Potter is a real person are not emergencies.

Not to mention that over the past years, I’ve seen the kids do really amazing stuff--lots of times. So, it isn’t necessary that I look at you to see that part of the Kleenex stuck to your nostril when you blew your nose, or that your hair looks crazy when you are only half-way done blow drying it for school, or that the dog looks like he’s smiling when you pull on his cheeks in front of the fan. It’s all great stuff, but trust me when I say I can live another 38 years without seeing all of those amazing feats.

After several outbursts of “Mama?” I find myself angrily announcing, “If you’re not bleeding, on fire, or have bones sticking out, don’t bother me!”

The announcement is usually met with a surprised, “Geez, okay!”

Apparently, I’m the one with the problem.

Then I start to feel guilty. It must be a product of my early Catholic upbringing.

I try to remind myself that there was a time when I longed to me a mother. I longed to hear the words, “mama” and know that I was the object of a young child’s affection.

I’m not sure if I will ever work in an office away from my children. If I do, I’m sure I will miss those sweet little voices calling from the next room, “Mama, I spilled my milk on the couch and the dog is peeing on it!”

What’s funny is that while I type this blog, I can see the reflection of small green lights reflecting on the computer screen. I realize my son is standing behind me with his spy goggles on—he’s giggling. I finally hear,

“Hey, Mom, look! I found my spy goggles!”

Yes, it’s all wonderful. It’s great. Thank God for the bad times in my life or I would totally take all of this for granted.

Whenever I feel like slamming my fists on the computer and screaming, “Can’t you see Mommy is freaking working!!!” I just remind myself of the day that my ex-husband stood in the doorway of our bedroom and told me that he would take the children away from me and that they would never live with me again. He had the job and the money and I believed that no judge would let a single, jobless mother keep her children.

I’ve been wrong about so many things in my life. I’m so glad I was wrong about that. I pray I never forget how lucky I am to hear “Mama?” whenever I start to write what could have possibly been the next Pulitzer Prize winning story.

I may never be a famous writer, but I know I will always be the most popular person in this house.

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