Friday, 15 July 2011

Waking Nightmare

It’s Friday!  Welcome to ‘The Chronicles of a Reluctant Housewife’ where I document my love/hate relationship with my current occupation.

These past two weeks have been an exercise in balance.  I am basically ‘working’ full time.  However, I am working from home on a very loosely organized pilot research project with no real direction from the project leaders.  This combination is causing me stress.
I hear about people wanting to work from home and/or loving the fact that they can work from home.  I don’t understand these people.  I hate working from home.  I have been ‘working’ from home for about seven years and it sucks! It is my idea of a nightmare.  I am living in a nightmare. 
That might be a tad dramatic, but I really do dislike working from home. 
My ‘office’ is usually a corner of the open-plan living space, the kitchen table or the couch and on one occasion, when my shower was being ripped apart for the second time in as many months two days before my upgrade document (or comps for you in the US) was due, my bed.  These are not conducive areas for work if you have a slight OCD about organization and are the personification of procrastination.  Seriously, if you look up procrastination in my family’s dictionary you will find my name.  In Pen.  Written by my mother.
I have an aversion to cleaning the bathroom.  But I have been known to clean it from top to bottom to put off working.  My housemate knew I had a major project due when she came home from work and the entire house had been rearranged and she had new curtains (and curtain rods) in her room. 
Many of you may not consider academic work, work.  To you I say, “SHUT IT!”  It is the hardest work I have done for perhaps the least tangible reward.  It is all you, all the time, and it doesn’t go away at 6 o’clock. 
Which is another reason working at home stinks.  You never leave work.  It is always there staring at you, mocking you.  Perhaps with a home office it is easier. You can close the door and pretend it’s just a closet.  For the reluctant housewife in a one bedroom flat with no storage solutions and an aversion to housework the result is books, notepads, photocopies, laptop, etc.  piled in various configurations and continuously shuffled so that we can use the kitchen table and/or couch and/or living room floor.  Not so easy to ignore.  Of course, as deadlines approach, the use of kitchen table for anything other than work becomes a misty memory of golden times gone by. 

The daily balancing act these last two weeks results in me working at the kitchen table while loading clothes into the neighbouring washer every few hours.  My ‘work’ breaks consist of hanging out the laundry, doing dishes, prepping dinner or some light ‘dust-busting.’  It has gotten to the point that I can’t work unless the laundry is running. 

I prefer the sound of mechanized swirling, churning water to music or silence.  I find the sound of laundry soothing.

I might have to admit defeat and claim myself to be an actual housewife (that does a little 'work' on the side). 

These are strange times we live in, my friends.  Strange times indeed. 


  1. I say try adding in an extra hobby. A place and time to get away, even if it's just a little while. I must admit...been there many of times. I decided how much more fun it would be to throw in 2 kids to the mix and a little more to the plate, and now there is no time for boredom! I've discovered when working full time, I missed my kids, but home all the time,I missed the space. I've found a part time job plus full time Mommy seems to be the perfect fit!! Hang in there Ariel, you will find that perfect balance ;)

  2. I used to go for a run, but my 'broken' toe coincides with these four weeks of work. The running around doing interviews helps. It's the guilt more than anything. I swear those notebooks have eyes.

  3.'s Alex. I love you! :) I miss you, and I think you are wonderful! :) Love to read about your life.