The Art of Undivided Attention

Tina Fey's Amex print ad
Working momma Tina Fey’s Amex print ad

I work a lot. I mean a lot. I forced myself to take the day off for my birthday, and even then I still probably put in 2 hours. I work on weekends. This “vacation day” thing for a consultant/freelancer is usually nothing more than an interesting idea.

But then my son will interrupt me, and it will bring me back down to Earth. He is my reminder of why I’m busting my ass to begin with. Private school tuition to make the most of his amazing brain and thousands of dollars in medical bills out of pocket. I want him to have everything, and yet, giving him everything is part of the reason I don’t have time to spend with him. Irony?

This weekend, he made a pretend computer to sit next to me and pretend to work on so that we could be doing the same thing at the same time. He wanted to go to work with me in a make-believe way. This wasn’t great for my productivity. At one point, though, I realized that he really did need me. So, I closed the laptop, made him “shut down” his, and we spent time playing games and reading together. He gets mommy time, I get a break, and then he’s ready to play on his own for a little bit while I’m churning out some more work.

The tough part about doing what I do is remembering to take these breaks. I tell myself that if I keep going, I’ll get to the finish line and be able to spend more uninterrupted time with him. But that’s not the reality. There’s always another deadline. There will always be improvements I can work on. Right now, the improvement I am being most conscious about, however, is being able to take a work time-out and give my son what he really needs: me.

Side note: when I posted the Tina Fey image as my profile pic on Facebook, several people thought it was me. Not quite sure what that means. 

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