Category Archives: work


I am always so tired at the end of the night, which is when I end up writing most of these posts.

I work online–and I’m now at 3/4 time, so I’m online for at least 30 hours a week. Working from home may seem so lovely, but it’s not the glamorous life you all dream of. Yes, I may work in my pajamas (read: unshowered), and yes, I am home with my son, but I don’t get to work while he’s awake or otherwise unoccupied. He slams my computer shut if it’s open for more than a couple of minutes when he is around. So I work when my wife comes home, but that’s not easy either. BG barges into my office, wanting hugs or snuggles or a book. He demands that I stop working (“Mommy, all done working!” “Mommy, outside!” “Mommy, make BG muffins!”). The work I do is fairly cerebral. But there really is no focusing with a two-year-old in the house. And there is no focusing after wrangling a two-year-old from 5am on with no nap. I’m a tired mom, and more than once a week, I find myself working insanely late hours, falling asleep while typing. I have been known to start dreaming and typing what I’m dreaming. It’s creepy.

We’re going to start a new routine next week where I leave the house to work from a coffee shop or something a few times a week. To be determined: whether the distractions of a coffee house are greater than that of a two-year-old banging on my locked office door shouting, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” At least I’ll be more inclined to finish a cup of coffee than I am at home. I don’t remember the last time I actually saw the bottom of a coffee mug before abandoning it to read I Wish That I Had Duck Feet or to change a diaper.

I guess when it comes down to it, I sometimes kind of miss being a woman who gets ready for work and leaves the house and sees real people who are older than three. I might even miss the feeling of coming home and kicking off my uncomfortable work shoes and releaving my back of the weight of my teaching bag. I love being at home with my son, but as introverted as I can be, I guess I’ve learned that even I need to be out in the world occasionally doing things that resemble important activities.

But ask me again in a week how I feel about this whole work-at-home-mom thing, and I may be in total WAHM bliss. Isn’t that the nature of these things? Isn’t the grass always greener on the other side of the two-hour-commute?

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hi ho

I am back at work this week. This simply means I’m on the computer at home, but it’s work nonetheless. The upside of this is that I get to blog when I have quiet moments.  Of course, the downside is that even though I’m home, I’m not available, and that is oddly hard.

Last semester, I put in my hours, but my productivity was for shit. I would start working and then feed BG and then get distracted and on and on. This was largely because I worked from the living room (don’t ask me why–I just don’t know). Now we have set me up in the office/nursery, and when I go to work, it’s as though I am leaving the house. So far, it’s a hard adjustment for all of us. My work this semester is primarily live, meaning I am online assisting students in real time (last semester it was entirely asynchronous–that is, I was just responding to writing that students submitted).

This is such a shift in how I have to behave and think. I’m used to being able to pick up the Baby Genius for a snuggle at least, but now that would mean leaving a student waiting for a reply (which obviously I cannot do). If he is crying, I can’t offer to help, and that slays me. I think I’ll have to start plugging some ear buds into my computer and going under so that I can’t hear him. It’s crazy how hard it is to concentrate, even when he’s just fussing.

On the other hand, I’m grateful for a little mental stimulus. While I love all of the time I have with my boy, I crave intellectual excercise, and at work, I do get that. Of course, my intellect has taken quite a blow with the latest round of sleep deprivation. I am having the hardest time accessing the simplest words–a huge problem in my line of work. Explaining things like how to document sources or how to avoid dangling modifiers is akin to mental  bench presses right now. I just hope that my mind isn’t gone for good!

This is good for all of us. It’s good for my wife to have time with BG where I’m not constantly interjecting my help, and it’s good for BG to look to his mama for his comfort and not just fun and entertainment (although she’s really good at that too). It’s good for us to have a little time apart as well, even if we are just a room away.

I can’t imagine what life is going to be like soon when J has to leave the house for work and when I go back to teaching. We’re hoping for minimal time in daycare for BG, but the thought of leaving him at all right now is still so hard, and I am so grateful that for now, we get to be home with our boy, that I get to have a job that keeps me here.

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a woman’s work

I went back to work at two weeks postpartum. Two weeks. I worked until the day my water broke (and I was scheduled to work that day too). Granted, I’m working from home, and I’m working only fifteen hours a week, but it’s still work (rather cerebral work at that), and it’s still something for which I have to find time and headspace. Monday through Friday, I am constantly looking for three hours in the day, three hours when I can focus my thoughts and get to work. I am finding that isn’t as easy as it may sound.

Yes, I do have my wife here to help me out, and most days, she takes our son to another room while I attempt to work. She even takes a bottle of expressed milk, and they go and do their thing. Sounds great, right? Not really. In fact, most days, Baby Genius insists on having some milk from the tap after he has decimated his bottle and his Mama’s nerves. So I nurse him and try to type one-handed and try to think about writing pedagogy–and I fail.

I thought at first that this would get a little easier with time. At first, our son slept quite a bit during the day, so I was able to fit work in during his naps, and I thought that would continue to be the case, but it hasn’t. He rarely sleeps longer than forty minutes at a time, which is about enough time for me to find a small amount of focus before needing to tend to him again.

And that focus issue is really the problem here. I was not ready to go back to work at two weeks postpartum, and as a result, I’m not ready to be back at work at ten weeks postpartum. I want the luxury of maternity leave, to be able to focus on nothing but learning to be a mom and nurturing my family. But that three hours a day keeps me from doing that. It’s always looming over my head, and I just don’t want it. I want a break.

I don’t mean to whine. I’m lucky I don’t have to put my son in daycare or go back to a job outside of my home, but I’m still not ready to be back, and I’m struggling in so many ways because of it. It’s causing tension in my relationship; it’s causing me to feel endless guilt and anger when I can’t immediately go to my crying son because I’m busy helping a college student craft a better thesis statement for an essay comparing and contrasting city life and country life. It’s causing me to completely resent my work, and it’s causing my performance to suffer greatly. But I have to keep going because we can’t afford to lose the paycheck.

There is a bit of respite on its way. I only recently learned about California’s Fa.mily Leave–essentially six weeks of unemployment for new parents–and I think I’m going to take it soon to give myself a taste of that maternity leave I have needed. But I can’t help but wish it was more.

I’m beginning to think we need to move to a commune where we can work in trades and raise our kids and blog about how awesome commune living is. Anyone out there care to start one with us?


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semicolons and inseminations

Wow, I was cranky yesterday! I think I’m in this space where I’m ready for all the trying to be over. I’m normally so patient, but now that we’re settled in our new place, I want our whole new life to begin. I need to get into more of a zen space. I have a feeling that once life calms down even more that this will happen. In the meantime, it’s a little frustrating.

 I was so cranky yesterday that I didn’t really talk about how amusing the whole thing was. I was actually working at my online job when I inseminated. (No, I don’t work for any of those adult sites. ) Instead, I respond to student writing, and I also work live with students on grammar and writing questions in a chatroom type setting. Well, I was working one of these live sessions when the sperm showed up at the door. Once I finished with the current student, I had to quickly get everything under way, so I temporarily closed my chatroom, took my laptop to the bedroom, propped myself up, and injected some DNA. Directly after, I had to get back to work, so I opened my chatroom back up, and as soon as I did, I had another student.

 So there I am, no undergarments on, my butt propped up on a pillow, and the laptop resting on my abdomen, and I was trying to type. It was ridiculous, and I couldn’t help but laugh. I managed to get through the next three hours of my shift (and I did get up after an hour or so), but that one hour was one to remember.

On the ovulation front, my temperature went up again today, and I’m certain that tomorrow, FF will say I ovulated the day before insemination. My intuition says it happened very late that night or early on the morning of insemination, which isn’t ideal but is within the realm of possibility. I’m still promising myself that I’m not going to obsess. Instead, I’m going to evaluate our options for next time and see if J and I can come up with some viable possibilities.


Filed under insemination, ovulation, ttc, work