Friday, February 18, 2011

Homus Interuptus

I love working from home.
I love it because i have small children, and it means i can fulfil my role as a mother and a musician simultaneously. Yes, it does mean a lot of juggling, some rule-setting (for the kids AND for me), and i've had to organise a dedicated space from which to work, but i like it! What i don't like are interruptions...not from the kids (because that's just the way things are with young children), but from people who don't seem to understand that you WORK from home.

The time that i can actually dedicate to working is very precious, as it's been negotiated through the maze of  motherly commitments, timetables, cooking, cleaning, clients, see, dedicated work time is often literally a case of QUICK! i can probably do an hours' work now that the kids are settled into some playtime, and there's a slim possibility they may just stay occupied during this window. Yes, i put motherhood before all else, so "time" is a complicated thing.

But some people like to just call past and "drop in" when i'm in the middle of something. This is very inconvenient, particularly when i'm recording, or in the middle of a difficult edit. Every artist knows that creativity itself can be a fragile thing, and there are many times when i have to cram my artistry into a few minutes. It's not that i don't want to see people, but i do think it's highly unlikely that a friend would just drop in to see me for a chat if i worked in an office for someone else. But because i'm "at home" i have a target on my back?

So i have made some rules, and set some boundaries. Firstly, if i don't want to be interrupted, i just wont answer the door. This has literally taken me years to feel ok about it. Sometimes, when i hear that knock or that doorbell, i feel like someone is DEMANDING i drop everything and act RIGHT NOW! I also remind my friends to call me before they visit. Some need a LOT of reminding. The children also now understand that just because someone's at the door, doesn't mean it's going to be answered. Boundaries are important. They help things run a little smoother.

So, if you're like me, trying to keep lots of balls in the air, let yourself off the hook. And if you have friends who are working like me, just pick up the phone before you hop in the car.

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