It’s Sunday morning and I’m on my third cup of coffee. I worked until 2 a.m. last night then got up around 7:30 and will get as much done as I can before 3 or 4 p.m. I get the kids this evening for the week and need an hour or so to get the house in order, get groceries, make sure they have clothes ready for school etc.
This has become somewhat of a routine. Whether they’re at their mom’s or with me I often work late and weekends so that I can focus more on them when I’m with them. Fortunately I have the luxury of being an independent contractor in the entertainment industry. This provides me flexibility that a full time position can’t. It was a decision I made a couple of years before the divorce and one that has been a blessing since. It’s hard and requires an entirely different set of time management skills, but the reward is being able to be there when the kids get off the bus or need me. This has been especially true since the divorce.
I won’t lie to you. It’s an incredible adjustment both mentally and physically. Days get incredibly full very fast and you have to retrain your brain to focus and plan ahead to keep up. I thought that when I had weeks to myself I would get more work done, but I go through a bizarre mental transition where I feel like I’m in a large abyss and find it more difficult to focus than when they’re in the other room making noise. I feel alone and abandoned and have to really push myself to stay up emotionally. Their presence seems to assure me that everything is going to be o.k.
Typically just when I’m at my whits end, the kids show up and after taking an hour to shift gears nothing else matters. But sometimes I have deadlines that I can’t avoid and I have to rely on the kids (who are all under 10 btw) to occupy themselves while I wrap things up with work. Sometimes that works and others they end up in a dispute of some sort or start getting into things. Becomes tough to parent from the office. But you manage.
As you can tell I’m still adjusting. It’s the ultimate balancing act. But I’m getting there.