A Variation on the real world

So, we’re holed up here working away on the Sock Summit, and although we spend hours a day doing this over the phone, frankly there’s no substitute for our efficiency when we’re together. It’s like when we’re on the phone, 1+1=2, and when we’re in the same room it’s 1+1=14. (It likely helps that we’re sequestered away from society and our families. We miss them, but man… can you ever get a lot done if you’re not doing laundry and being interrupted – although I know both of us feel really guilty about it.

My guilt is partly relieved by the knowledge that applying myself now means that I don’t have to spend as much time “away” from my family when I’m home, but still, what’s with the guilt in general? I’d have to talk it over with Joe, but I don’t think that he fights back guilt for hours a day and talks himself down of the parental ledge when he goes to work, but here I am, feeling really awful about simply earning a living for my family, which is absolutely part of being a good parent.

There’s another thing there too. When we’re away together, work for Tina and I looks like this.

Hardjob5409

Yeah. Bummer eh? We had a really interesting talk last night about two elements of our guilt. First – Saturday after all the campers left we both collapsed and took 6 hours off. We talked, walked, napped, watched a little Stargate and bathed. It was probably necessary to restore us so we could keep working… but I can’t tell you how much my boss spoke up about that. (Hint. I’m self-employed.) She chastised me for not working all the time that I was away, tried to get me to work more so that I “deserved” to be away, and generally made me feel like a bad mother for being away even if I was working 14 hours a day. (I suppose she thinks I should be working 24 hours a day. My boss has really unreasonable standards for me.) Secondly, my boss (and sort of me) doesn’t like it that my job isn’t horrible all the time.

She doesn’t care that for years it was, or that it’s really hard work and focus that’s got me to a place where my job isn’t horrible, she just keeps dumping the crap on me for having the audacity to have a nice job… like if it’s nice it isn’t a job. (I have shown her the schedules, writing, spreadsheets and databases I struggle with. She isn’t into it.) It’s an interesting thing, maternal guilt… and I wonder why there isn’t paternal guilt? Men get weekends off without flagellating themselves into a pit about not working all the time… what’s my boss got against me getting 6 hours?

In any case, my boss also doesn’t really approve of knitting when you’re away from your kids, so I’ve had to sneak it in on the side.

Startshawl6409

A little garter stitch shawl. She’ll never notice… right?

Ps. Abby (who is also self employed) once said the best thing to me. “You know, my boss is such a hard person to work for, that I’d quit…. but I don’t think anyone else would hire me.”

Amen sister.

153 thoughts on “A Variation on the real world

  1. Hey Steph:
    You deserve to be “guilt free”……..save that for chocolate!

  2. Huh. My boss is always saying things like, “Go ahead and do the laundry/knit a row/make dinner. The project will be there in the morning.”
    Then she yells at me for not doing the project. She’s evil and inconsistent and I hate sharing the same body with her.

  3. Being self-employed as well, I also work for a tough boss, so I know well whereof you speak.
    Beautiful shawl! That’s work, too, even if you enjoy it – luscious, lovely work.
    Wish I could be at the Sock Summit.

  4. Wow, I might actually be the first commenter for once. Anyway, I think people are often harder on themselves than on others. I am not self employed, but I know I am harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. Just keep in mind that if you burn out and end up sick you will be stuck being even less productive.

  5. Beautiful colors in the shawl. What yarn & color.
    Can’t believe I’m first.
    You deserve time off. Enjoy!

  6. Even though I’m not self-employed, I still have the same guilt when I go away for work. I get so much done when I travel, and I know it’s necessary, but I really would just rather not. I think I just like my *own* bed.
    By the way – is that this month’s STR colorway?

  7. Goes with the territory I think – June Callwood once said (and I am paraphrasing) we feel the most responsible for what we are connected to the most – which is why, along with the guilt we feel about our time away from our families (even when it is work related) we tend to hear the children in the night long before the dads. As to why our connection seems stronger than men’s – not sure – likely an anthropological reason buried there.

  8. I recently quit my other job to focus on my business full time and I totally understand the guilt that comes with working for yourself (but I don’t have kids yet, I can’t imagine the quilt getting even worse!! If I sit down for lunch I feel like I should be eating while working, it’s so hard to find a balance, but like you, at least I like my work, so doing it every waking moment isn’t that bad.

  9. Just adding my curiosity – what’s the yarn in the shawl? It looks really nice in the pic.

  10. It’s almost like survivor guilt. The better we have it, the worse we feel. Seems pretty sick to me. If ever you figure out a way to turn it off, lemme know.

  11. The only way it could be better(for me, anyway) would be to be doing what you’re doing, but from the cockpit of one of those lovely sailboats in the harbour. The shawl yarn looks lovely-do you still have the ball band so you can share its name and colour. P.S. Tell Tina I just knit my first pair of socks with Tina’s “Lettuce Knit” colourway and they look remarkably like identical twins. Cheers!!!!

  12. I felt guilty for sleeping at the hospital while waiting for an operation. Maternal guilt is something special and not in a good way!

  13. Steph, I adore the colors of that shawl!
    I know about the guilt. I keep telling my husband that we have to fire the maid, as she’s doing a lousy job. We don’t have a maid.
    You’re doing a terrific job on the Sock Summit. Note to socketeers: the first two hotels I tried to get a room at were already sold out.

  14. No matter where a mom goes, the guilt follows. If we aren’t thinking about how our family can possibly survive without for us, it’s what we’re doing without to save them.
    The shawl is lovely, btw! I don’t think your boss will notice at all. :)

  15. You know, I’m not-yet-self-employed and feel guilty for doing all that hard-work-focus stuff in the evenings.
    And I don’t even HAVE kids!
    But I feel guilty for not cooking dinner or hanging out with my husband.
    I’ve been thinking this over a lot lately – but it seems there’s an internal guilt-monger who doesn’t believe I *should* be working towards a less-than-sucky job, one where I do what I love. She thinks I should suck it up and be miserable, just like everyone else!
    It’s so good to hear that other self-employed women go through this! Thank you for sharing!

  16. Taking a break, refueling and resting before the next big project isn’t a bad thing at all. I hope you enjoyed those six hours and didn’t listen too closely to your boss. :) By the way, my son seems to be fine now, just waiting for the results of the angio thing he had to have done to prove he’s fine for insurance purposes in the future. :) Thanks for your concern while we were so frightened.

  17. Re: guilt. I once went to a short workshop on guilt (for parents) and all but one of us were women. The workshop leader asked us all why we were there and all the women talked about their guilty feelings around parenting. The guy said he was there to try to understand his wife’s guilty feelings. Yup, they don’t feel it, they don’t get it, it’s a woman-thing!

  18. I had exactly this conversation with several people last week when I was on a deadline for a christening shawl that was sort of a commission – it really is only the mothers who feel this way.

  19. You can tell your boss you get way more done on your jobs than I do; you’re a terrific employee to have.
    Meantime, I love that yarn you’re working with! (See? Working with, not playing with. Tell the boss I said so.)

  20. Wow, and I thought I had it hard with my bosses, who expect me to keep them constantly entertained, fed, and reasonably clean. they are loud, selfish, immature, and still occasionally pee in their pants. still, at least with them i get that awesome cuddly unconditional love thing, which i imagine i’ll get to hang on to for at least a few more years (uh…right? maybe?)

  21. I (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on the day) work outside the home, part-time. And am often over-run with guilt. My hubs – who works fulltime outside the home, doesn’t spend one minute of his time on guilt. Not one. Is it just part of being a mom? Once that kid is evacuated from you, you are meant to bear guilt instead?

  22. When I was doing contract work out of my home, it was the worst. I seemed to have no boundaries on what I was doing and when and I always felt guilty about not working so I put in horrendous hours.
    I finally had to set up an office in a room that did nothing else. Get up in the morning, shower and dress, and “go” to work and force myself not to do anything else (close the door on all other family members no matter how they whine, cry, shake the door, etc.). No laundry, no dishwasher, no dog walks. I even arranged lunch dates with other working friends so I would get out of the house for a little while.
    I felt less guilty about closing the room to my office at 6pm (or 7pm). Once in a while I still caught myself working until 9pm but I was a little better about it. The key for me was being able to close my work space away from the rest of the world while I used it and from me when I wasn’t using it!
    And that is just Mom guilt for being a Mom to a pack of fur kids! I don’t know what I would do about human kids. Rent an office space? Crash at a friend’s house?

  23. You’ve worked so hard for Sock Camp and the Sock Summit that you definitely deserve some time for yourself! Time to give your boss the finger and go enjoy a beer and some good knitting!

  24. What an amazing encapsulation of my first couple of months of therapy! I don’t work for myself, except for the hours after I come home from my nine to five and proceed to work on a commission for 2-4 hours until I collapse and then feel bad that I didn’t cook dinner or clean up my dirty clothes.
    I think men get the guilt too, if they feel like they don’t provide enough for their families. We just don’t have a cultural trope for it because they aren’t supposed to talk about their feelings. Hell, I work a good but challenging job, I’ve qualified for a nice mortgagge (if someone would take my offer, I’d have a house) I do the shopping and the mending and clean the cat box. It took a while for my stay at home artist/crafter husband to accept being provided for by a woman. Now I have clean dishes and laundry all the time, and a very a happy partner!

  25. The hardest part of being self employed…asking yourself for a raise! (Guilt, laundry and kids all seem to go together.)

  26. Give the guilt a rest. I’m not self-employed, but I teach high school, and there is always something more I could be doing to better serve and educate my students. However, half of all teachers leave the profession within 5 years, and if I don’t accept my own human limits and make time for me, I will be one of the ones leaving.
    Just remind your boss that the odd 6 hour break is better than the few days minimum for a full mental breakdown.
    Take care and enjoy the lovely shawl.
    Sarah

  27. Better not let her know that you’re blogging from work!!
    I felt so guilty today for working from home (where it is beautiful and sunny, and I have the laptop out in the backyard so I can work and occasionally throw the ball for the dog) that I volunteered to make a nice lunch and take it to my partner, who is working inside a shop today. I might be a sucker.

  28. Thanks for the post today. It’s exactly what I needed. I work part time and am constantly feeling like I can’t do anything for myself because my days at home are my days “off” from work so I must be doing all my home duties and my days at home with my daughter are my days “off” from work. Therefore “my boss” has convinced me that I do have lots of time “off” but unfortunately none of it is ever just for me.

  29. (Em)Power(ment) Word Lesson of the Day:
    Allow
    When I learned that one, my shoulders relaxed for the first time since I had learned guilt as a child.

  30. My boss is the same way! And actually, come to think of it, my non-me boss is way more flexible and less of a slave driver than the me-boss. Hmm. (I work both for the local Adult Ed program AND run my own business.)
    PS: Abby was here this weekend and shared this funny message on her phone from some Canadian woman who was astounded about putting fiber in sideways. You wouldn’t know who that was, would you? :D

  31. Have you seen the stargate wedding cake on neatorama today? Socks, schmocks.

  32. I’m self-employed, too, and I wish my boss was a little harder on me. I try to work but she’s all “Why don’t you go look at the pattern browser on Ravelry for two hours, it’s research.” Or “Instead of standing up all day working let’s turn the alarm off and sleep instead.” I’d probably make more money if I fired my boss.

  33. Your knitting is kind of your homework for your work. Isn’t that where you come up with much of the funny stuff for your books and calendar?? Knit on! I’d love to be self-employed — I think that boss would be nicer and more understanding than the one I have now. Can’t wait for the SS!!

  34. Stephanie- enjoy that time off. I am there with you with the guilt thing. Self-employment isn’t for the faint of heart either…
    I know my “boss” is as hard on me as yours is on you! ;)

  35. Two things:
    A)you will be a better parent for being away for a few days
    B)your daughters have a FABULOUS role model to refer to in later years. Of course I am sure it is mostly still “all about them” right now, but later on they will be able to look back on how your hard work paid off for all of you.
    So, go forth and enjoy, the whole family deserves it!

  36. Go ahead, have some fun…you’ve worked hard enough to take a little break!
    ps- I really wish your boss would convince you to tell us what yarn and color that is…it looks like the perfect thing to chase away the miserable damp gray November-with-daffodils type weather we’ve had all spring.

  37. My husband is going to Rome later this month for work, and I can tell you he doesn’t feel guilty AT ALL. It’s work, those conferences, you know. Even when he’s touring the fricking Sistine Chapel with the group, that’s VALUABLE FACE TIME. And yet, if I retreat into the bedroom for an hour with the baby I feel guilty that the other two don’t have my attention. I think they pass guilt out with the uteruses, and quite frankly, it’s not fair.
    “Uteruses” is not acceptable to spellcheck. Uteri?
    And oh, I say, if a mom has a job that involves nice travel? GO YOU! Please post a tutorial for the rest of us, eh? I need to figure out how to get me some travel in this mom gig. :-)

  38. How very true. I often look at my husband, who never appears to feel guilty about taking time for himself, and I wonder how that is possible. I like the term “maternal guilt” and “parental guilt”. I had never thought of it that way before.

  39. Work to live – don’t live to work!
    Recent studies have shown that people who are allowed to access Facebook or play a game online during the work day are more than 30% MORE productive than their counterparts who have their noses to the grindstone all day – therefore the time you spend knitting makes you MORE productive while you’re working AND it’s more fun than computer games!!
    And – I hate to mention this, but the day has come – your daughters are not babes in arms who need you for your milk, they are beautiful, strong, resilient young women who are learning WAY more from a mother who actually has her own life than they would learn from a mother who has given up her own life in order to sit around the house all day waiting for them to come home from school!
    Having a job that doesn’t suck ought to be everyone’s goal – EVERYONE! Are you listening ladies and gentlemen? If your job sucks – plan to change it, to get something more in line with what makes you tick. It might take some time to get there, but plan to do it.
    Stef, you’ve been successful – and you’ve shown your daughters that it takes time, work, dedication, to get to this place.
    Please, please, please don’t show them that when they get there all they find is guilt and anxiety.
    Show them the glow of a woman who does what she loves and loves what she does. Dare to be happy, all the time!

  40. Among the huge inborn differences between men and women are that men are generally able to separate things in their minds(work, family, etc.) and focus on one thing at a time. Women just aren’t wired that way — never were, never will be. We are designed to multi-task. And especially when it comes to family — we were designed to be very solidly tied to them, and can never really put them out of our minds.
    In my mind, that was part of the plan of whoever designed women to be the ones who become pregnant, give birth, nurse babies, and keep toddlers safe. We HAVE to be able to keep them in our minds all the time. Can you imagine a man having the patience and tenacity to handle pregnancy, child-birth, breastfeeding, and toddler-wrangling? I don’t think so!
    Men, at least anciently when they were the hunters/gatherers, had to be able to put the family out of their minds long enough to focus on bringing down a deer without being taken by a bear himself — while we women were sitting inside a snug warm cave nursing a newborn.
    The differences aren’t bad. We’re just different. Realizing that has helped me handle a lot over the years.

  41. So, how is it that children are supposed to learn maturity and self-sufficiency if the first time they are ever left on their own is when they leave for college? Think maybe there is a connection between the answer to that question and the children who freak out when they get to college?
    So, I realize that being away from home is torture; but after all, it is vital if your daughter is going to grow up into a young woman who can get herself out of bed, fed and off to school without getting into trouble along the way without full-time, ever-present maternal supervision.
    So, in the interests of being a good Mother. Have a glass of wine and get a little knitting done.
    Elaine
    Norman, Oklahoma

  42. If your job revolves around knitting, then knitting on the side isn’t goofing off, it’s contributing to your job. I only wish I had that excuse!
    As another self-employed person, even with my kids all grown and gone, I still feel guilty taking time for myself. It has to be something hard-wired, it makes no sense otherwise.
    My husband actually felt guilty last week for going out of town for a few days — not because he was leaving *me,* but because we had had to put our beloved golden retriever to sleep the night before he left, and he felt awful about leaving our *other* dog. At least I know where I rank in his guilt scale. :)

  43. I’m sitting here wondering if “guilt” is really the most accurate word for this phenomenon. It’s really almost a variation on “irresponsible”, isn’t it? Can’t you substitute “I feel irresponsible” for “I feel guilty”? It is absolutely, definitely a Mother thing, probably a Wife thing also (but not in all cases, especially if Wife and Mother aren’t combined). For those of us whose self-identities are tied up with caring for those we love (and it is possible to care for those we love without defining ourselves by that love…I just don’t know how to pull that off), we seem never to be able to get away from it. My girls are grown with children of their own. I now take care of those grandchildren parttime. Also my mom. Also my husband. I make an annual visit to my best friend who lives 3000 miles away and has no children, no husband. It is the only time I ever feel as though I’m not taking care of somebody else. It’s heaven.
    I feel guilty writing this.

  44. When my kids were little, I was a stay-at-home mom, and I’m really happy I did that. But guess what? I still had guilt and wondered if I was being a good enough mom, even though I carried them for nine months, shoved them from my loins,(with no epidural!) and baked homemade bread and cookies for them. My husband did not feel one bit guilty for anything, and slept through all their sleepless nights. It’s just not right. Someone needs to do a study on this.

  45. I think between your post and all the comments so far that you’ve definitely hit a nerve that resonates through us all. Heck, I even feel guilty just thinking/admitting this. And, while on paper I realize that if we took all the time we spend/waste feeling this guilt – for things we really shouldn’t in the first place – and applied it elsewhere…I still can’t do it.

  46. I could rant for hours on why mamas have guilt and papas don’t but then I’d get annoying. Let me just say that I hear you loud and clear.

  47. I’m not even a Mama and I feel guilty when I take down time away from lesson planning and wifely duties. What is it with us women?? In spite of this, I wouldn’t want to be a man though!

  48. I’m not even a Mama and I feel guilty when I take down time away from lesson planning and wifely duties. What is it with us women?? In spite of this, I wouldn’t want to be a man though!

  49. Self-employed, a mom, AND a writer, don’t forget. That’s WAY too many people tripping around in your head, is the problem.
    So worth it for the rest of us, though ;)!

  50. My boss is a passive aggressive cow (I’m self employed too) – she says things like “you should take the afternoon off after successfully completing that enormous project on time and under budget. You should celebrate with a big glass of merlot. And while you are sitting down relaxing there is no reason why you can’t be sorting the laundry, alphabetizing the filing and answering the switchboard. Enjoy that drink!”

  51. Your post, and many of the comments here, clarified the fear that I have in thinking about starting up my own business.
    When I was in academia, I felt that I had to be working on my research and/or my teaching all the time; that there was no time for the fun stuff that I wanted to do.
    Now that I’m doing more of the fun stuff – albeit combined with the stay-at-home-mom, housekeeping, no income thing – I’m afraid that turning it into a business in some way would make it less fun and more stress.
    The guilt and the stress involved in balancing all of the myriad things mom’s balance gets crazy, and I don’t know whether it’s something we pile on ourselves because we think we should be all things, or if it’s instilled in us early by moms who are trying their best to keep all the balls in the air.
    Thanks, Steph, for giving me something else to think about.

  52. I’m feeling kind of guilty here, for not feeling guilty. I guess I’m very lucky to be able to have complete confidence in my husband in the role of alpha parent, whether in my presence or absence. (okay, he is not allowed to brush my daughter’s hair because he doesn’t understand the nuances of tangles. I have trained my daughter well in the ways hair trickery, to use until I can get home.)When I am away, however, I do experience homesickness and miss them terrible by the time I’m ready to come home.

  53. You should have seen Oprah today! The moms who were discussing motherhood said what we moms all really need is a WIFE! (oh, and there was mention that one would trade her husband for a housekeeper….)
    Take some time for yourself. The way I figure it, if my kids don’t turn out to be axe murderers, I’ve done something right!

  54. How’s your blood pressure these days? You’re sounding a little wound up! Here is my favorite quote to help talk you down:
    You have to make something.
    You shouldn’t spend all your time cooking and cleaning – those things are never done.
    You have to make something!
    Anonymous Woman (and undoubtedly a mother).

  55. I do work outside the home, although I was as a stay-at-home and self-employed with a home daycare while my kids were growing up. I work just far enough away from home to make the commute impractical, so I stay with relatives during the week and just go home on weekends during the school year. During the week, I teach, prep for classes, grade papers, and knit a bit, and that’s pretty much it. When I’m home on the weekends, I try to take Saturday for down time and _just_ knit or garden–and I feel guilty the whole time because I’m not running around cleaning, etc., even though my husband, who’s been retired for ten years, quite cheerfully and competently does it all, anyway. Even telling myself that I _am_ being productive, growing things, making beautiful gifts, things for people I love and for charities, doesn’t quite make that guilt go away. Heaven forfend that I, oh, just _read_ for a change! Where did this fixation with being productive come from, and how do we make it go away???

  56. Hey Steph,
    Give yourself a break, breathe deep, and knit. Miss the family, enjoy the view, take a walk and the productivity will mulitply 10-fold

  57. Yes to all of that. But I just keep telling anyone who will listen, “If Mama’s not happy, NOBODY is happy.”
    Repeat as necessary.

  58. Before we got engaged, hubby mentioned that we could certainly afford for me to stay home with the kids, if we had some, and if I wanted. I pointed out that I would probably be a much better mother if I DIDN’T stay home with the kids. Not only are you supporting your family, but you are refilling your own cup so you’ll be a better mother/wife when you get back home. We are made as multi-faceted people, and we need to explore and use all of our gifts and talents to stay that way. JMO, YMMV.

  59. Marjorie, you’re absolutely right, someone should do a study – so they are! A motherhood study (but you don’t have to have kids to participate). The Australian/New Zealand part starts later this week. The American study will be later this year, but you can register now to get updates about when it’s happening. It’s online. It’s anonymous. I think we should all participate – we obviously have a lot to say! Details here: http://www.yousexymother.com.au/content/research-study.aspx?l1=YOU0002426

  60. I found that guilt can be vaporized when you get to 50 !!! So don’t worry – be happy etc : )

  61. me thinks you thinks too much
    but then i am afraid if i sleep
    the world will fall in to the abyss

  62. When I was eight, my father became self employed and my mother went back to work. That meant my brother and I spent a lot of time helping around the house and the businesses.
    The result? We had a closer family than most teenager’s, we had less time to get into trouble, and we became very adept at solving problems on our own (plus my brother learned to cook).
    I look back at it with fondness and know it prepared me well for the real world.

  63. I’m also self-employed, and along with my other freelance friends, I have also had the same sentiment… people like us aren’t cut out for “regular” employment. And every time we work together, it’s like the Island of Misfit Toys. It’s a lot of fun.

  64. Well, your boss needs to lighten up. I’m sure you both needed those 6 hrs (or more) to regroup. I think I like your work environment much better than mine………trade ya….. ;)

  65. Guilt. The gorilla that will happily weigh one down. So – a reminder: go back and read Stephanie’s post of June 17, 2008.
    Knitting is GOOD. And Worthwhile.
    As family is Good. And worthwhile.
    As work (if one is lucky) is Good. And worthwhile. (Even if the work itself isn’t the best, supporting one’s family/self is Good. And worthwhile.)
    Slave-driver bosses (external & internal) need to remember that happy people who get to re-charge their batteries are more productive than those who try to “produce” (widgets, or services, or whatever) all the time.
    Wishing daily doses of re-charging time to Stephanie & Tina & all of us!

  66. Ain’t it the truth! My boss is also an evil slave-driver with unreasonable standards…but only for ME. Everybody else TOTALLY DESERVES time off, and relaxation, and so forth and so on.
    But I don’t think anybody else would hire me, either. Heh.

  67. That is some seriously beautiful yarn. I just might have to spring for that pattern and some of that Koigu. Yum. And since I am finishing up Nancy Bush’s Truly Tasha shawl, I can sincerely say there is hardly anything more relaxing than mindlessly knitting a garter stitch shawl. And your’s is a beauty.

  68. I had the good fortune to save a little sanity and be part of a knitter’s retreat in Vt sponsored by the Green Mtn Spinnery. What wonderful people! Only 15 of us , plus our hosts, but what a great weekend. I’d never done anything like that. All those knitters wearing their creations and making me feel like a) a normal person in their ranks, and b) a novice for not finishing and wearing something I had knit. Next year! So sock camp looks wonderful and all you write about the support and comradery is so true. Wish we could all do this once in awhile – well beyond the LYS level. Sarah’s shawl is incredible. I spindle, but I can’t imagine spinning cashmere, let alone enough to ply with silk for that size a shawl. Love the colors in your garter stitch shawl too.

  69. From one self-employed Mama to another….I totally have a healthy dose of guilt for breakfast, lunch and snack.
    Also, Abby is a wise soul….my boss is an unbearable brute and she’d argue with a fence post most days….still, I can’t part with her…LOL

  70. While I understand your boss, you have to remember that the first real job she had was 24/7. You know, those little things we raise called children??
    I am here to tell you that once the nest is empty and is empty long enough, that boss kind of learns to be quiet and you can actually do something for yourself. Like today, I have read half a book, knitted two baby wash cloths and done three loads of laundary and one load through the dishwasher. I said she KIND of learns to be quite! LOL

  71. LOL, Baaaaad Boss!!! A good boss makes sure the employee is rested and ready to start the next day. Really helps the employee work better and take care of the home front.
    So give your boss a beer and tell her to take a break!

  72. Guilt. It’s such a soul destroyer. It has no purpose, makes people miserable. Flush the guilt. Your daughters are not toddlers. The path to becoming an adult is being able to live without being coddled by maman….Work hard, play hard to balance out the work. It’ll make you a happier woman, therefore a happier wife and mother.

  73. Steph, I’ve worked for myself on and off for the last 20 years (how did I get this old, I ask you?), and what I think I’ve figured out is that if you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like you’re having a good time. Kind of like Steve Martin’s “The most amazing thing to me is, I get paid for doing THIS!” Sounds to me like you’re doing it right.
    Guilt, on the other hand, is attached to the X chromosome. We can’t help it, it’s just there.

  74. Your kids are teenagers, right? I was a teenager recently, living with a single father whose job required him to be constantly “on call” and often away at odd hours. I know he felt guilty about that, and even guiltier about the fact that he loves and is great at his job. In retrospect, though, I think the occasional “abandonment” is a very good thing. I would never have learned to do my own laundry or cook scrambled eggs or any of the myriad basic things you need to be able to do to be an adult if it weren’t for the occasional judicious doses of parental absence. Plus, the more you are forced to figure things out and fend for yourself, the more confident you become in your resourcefulness and independence. And when you get to college, knowing all the things your roommates don’t is a real ego boost. Your kids will be just fine.

  75. Oh, the guilt. Well, you already know that your children no longer need your every moment and your hubby is happy to have a fulfilled wife who also brings home some yummy bacon. You know everyone needs leisure, even the most driven busy bee.
    So. You work in a creative field. New ideas and fresh insights, let alone humor, do not spring forth continuously without taking time to fill up your well and refresh your spirit. This is as much a part of your job as the tedious hours of editing and correcting.

  76. Ah, the eternal quandary of the feminine interior dialogue…..Have your boss cut you some slack some time.
    Watching Stargate is only good for mental health.

  77. When I was writing fiction full-time, with a young daughter, my boss raked me over the coals if I brought my daughter home from pre-school and let her watch TV for an hour while she had a snack and before she took a nap, even though I had a deadline breathing down my neck and she needed to unwind from all those kids before she could sleep. Even though it was PBS. My boss was a b@$#%! And I’m sure my husband wasn’t bothered at all in that way. Why?

  78. Add on the regional guilt for LIVING TWENTY MILES away from the gloriousness where you now sit…
    and even without maternal guilt, it’s still hell on wheels in my head.
    Where’s the cool co-worker who leans over the cubicle and says (“How smart were we to take this gig, eh?”)
    p.s. I can feel guilty for knitting on a pattern – which is technically work for me – when I’m not walking the dog.
    Shall we ban guilt? You know, as an Olympic-level gesture?

  79. What you didn’t mention (because it would make the guilt so much worse) is that the weather is drop dead wonderful. I know, I’m only 40 miles away. Just when the camp got over the sun came out with temperatures almost to 70. Enjoy

  80. Hey Steph, you better be enjoying this weather we are having on the Olympic Peninsula. We just finished with the coldest March in 30 years. This weather is pretty special, really it was ordered just for you.

  81. You have to remind yourself what your job and creativity give to your family not what they take away. It doesn’t matter what we do creative people will always question themselves.

  82. I totally understand – my boss is having issues with the fact I’m going on a family vacation (first time in 10 years), and I’m NOT allowed to take my computer nor blackberry (hubby’s orders). I’m really scared…not sure how I’ll survive without internet access (possibly there’s a computer in the lobby of the resort I can sneak to though)…
    And, yes, I’m self-employed – and hubby has allowed me to bring as much knitting as I want (I guess he is feeling guilty about the computer/bb thing)…I have 3 projects, and 3 books and a 4year old child…odds are, nothing will be completed by end of vacation :)

  83. Wasn’t it an incredibly gorgeous day in Portlandia? I think doing anything other than soaking up the rays and being thankful for the trees in flower and the daffodils and the companionship around us and knitting a little on a spring-colored shawl is an insult to the day. Lissa said it 3 times, but she was dead on right!!

  84. There is an entire book about that paradox of maternal guilt versus paternal non-guilt. _Breaking Point_ by Martha Beck. I highly recommend it.
    In western society, men are good parents when they go away from their families and earn money to support them. Women, on the other hand, are always wrong. If we stay home to care for the family, we are not “working” to “support” them, and if we go away to earn money we are not “caring for” them. Plus, when we are employed outside the home there is no other pool of free labor (or labour) to do the tasks that keep the “workers” going (laundry, meal preparation). It isn’t fair and it aggravates me to the nth degree, but for most of the women I know, the guilt is a reality and the paradox is crushing.

  85. I am very very very so very extremely lucky. I have a go-to job that is much like being a college student, only I get paid. I do research, I make bug porn, and I occasionally travel to lands afar to chase butterflies. It’s not a permanent job, but damn it’s good while it lasts. I go in with my hair black and fire-engine red and my boss (my professor) says “Cool!” Another professor who’s on my committee says, “You should dye your hair the color of one of those butterflies!”
    What you are doing is following your bliss and you should 1. Be proud of you for doing it and 2. Tell your boss that I said to slack off a bit, willya?
    We of the blog shall support you like pantyhose.

  86. And yet, your “boss”, whilst supervising ANYONE else – would be the first to say “Take a day – you’ve been doing a grand job and you deserve some down-time.”
    Interesting how generosity applies to everyone else but ourselves.
    Harlot Boss-person: Please take a deep breath, acknowledge the guilty feelings are normal, and ease up on your “employee”.
    She’s doing a grand job, the family probably totally understands, and she’s earned some recovery and knit time amidst the towering creativity/organizational feat that will become the 2009 Sock Summit!
    Kudos!

  87. I can’t imagine going back to a regular looking work life – good on you for keeping at it while it wasn’t nice and not allowing the guilt to completely overrun what sounds like a greatly deserved 6 hours off!
    And seriously- that garter shawl colour is gorgeous. Made me happy just to look at.

  88. AMEN to Lynn in Tucson, “If Mama’s not happy; nobody is happy!”
    That judgy voice belongs TO US, not the other way around. No, we can’t seem to get rid of it, but I promise there’s a mute button. WE are in control. Life is too precious for self-torture. It’s sterile and sad and sets a bad example for the daughters. Ladies, let’s move beyond!!
    And now I shall go back to lurking. I LOVE this blog!!

  89. RELAX – you have earned it. Sit down, take a breath of that lovely Canadian fresh air – and just watch the daisies grow! It’s good for the soul – not quite as good as knitting, but nearly! Ignore the inner boss – what does she know?! Love the shawl – what is the yarn – do share!

  90. I’m in total agreement with Debbie’s post, especially the part that everyone should love their job! As for the guilt thing, I’ve had my own business and worked outside my home (yes both at the same time and yes, I am a bit of a maniac LOL!) I find that if I have a lot to do and am having a hard time getting it done, that I either need to leave my house, and leave my family, laundry, phone and pets and all the other household tasks that come along with them, or I plan a “Stay at Home But I’m Not Home Day”. When I have a home but not home day, I don’t answer the phone. If another family member does answer it then they are under strict orders to say either I’m not home or that I’m unavailable (unless it’s an emergency.) I’m usually working outside in my barn so it’s ok to say I’m not home because I’m not in the house. Home but not home days mean I don’t do dishes, laundry, let out dogs, or any other household chore except for work I need to get done. I used to feel guilty about this but then I found that not only did I feel good about the work that I got done, but when I came “home” I could tackle the household chores with more energy because I wasn’t feeling guilty or had divided attention and energy. In other words, it worked like all get out! I got things done, my house wasn’t a wreck, and I didn’t always feel like if I was working on one thing, that I really should be working on something else. So whenever I start feeling guilty or find that I’m no longer being effective because I’m feeling so divided, I schedule a home but not home day and get back on track. As for husbands, I don’t think most men have the internal nagging that we do. I think they can compartmentalize way better that we can. I do think that they suffer from other types of guilt, just not this particular one. So let yourself off the hook, enjoy your time with Tina and planning the Sock Summit. You can always feel guilty about something when you get home!

  91. I’m not self employed but I have this all the time about college work. I often think it would be so easy to go to work, come home and be able to forget about it at evenings and weekends. Not worrying about this assignment or that exam. I have to be firm with myself, ‘I deserve time off’, ‘I need rest’, that sort of thing.

  92. I think that men feel guilt about different things. While I believe in the equality of the value of men and women and their choices, we have several centuries of culturalization AND biochemistry to battle. We are simply wired differently, and that causes women to seem to feel guilt about home/hearth things more strongly. My husband gets it, even though he doesn’t believe I should feel bad for watching a movie while the kids are at school. (Oh, yes I did!)

  93. I’m not self employed, but even though I have an external boss (who is fairly nice) I have this same problem. Interestingly, she bosses me about my paid-for work at work and she bosses me about my housework at home most of the time. She knows I hate my paid-for work though and occasionally cuts me slack at home because of it. But only occasionally.
    In fact, right now she says “stop reading blogs and go get dressed this instant.”

  94. You need to train yourself better!
    Who brought up your children to cope with life? Are they really so bad that they need you 24/7?
    What is the point of working so hard to organise time away if you don’t actually take the full benefit from it and relax?
    And finally, what happened to knitting to calm yourself and improve your brainwave patterns? I’ll bet you wouldn’t catch Buddhist monks stressing about their children (if they had them of course)
    Chill out.

  95. I’m employed, contracted, and self-employed at the moment. It doesn’t matter what I do, I feel guilty for not doing something else. At the same time, I can’t drop any of them, because it’s so great when I get stuck/tired in one thing, I can switch off to a totally different activity and still accomplish something. Hey – look at it this way, you managed to accomplish workshop-work, summit-work, face-time contacts in your field, knitting project (hey, you gotta keep warm/decrease the stash/have a gift ready, right? it counts!), and warm-the-soul-meditation all in one trip. Sounds like a very, very good use of your time.
    Now I’ll try and convince my boss that the last two weeks of slackitude was really unavoidable, and I’d be much more ill now if I didn’t lie on the couch. Since I’m feeling better today, she’s not buying it :P.

  96. You do yoga, right?
    Aren’t there articles about yoga teachers needing to re-group after an intense weekend retreat? They have more mindfulness about it, so maybe those articles might be something for you to see.
    And, second, I’d like to point out that in the last month or so, you’ve had all these floating, non- blogging, vague sort of days. If you were your own employeee, you’d say “Hmm, pre-burnout, why not take a vacation to Bermuda.” Productivity is estimated for 50 weeks a year, five or six days a year. If you are more senior, and thus presumably more “thinky” than a line-worker, you have more time off, since of course your brain batteries need more re-charging.
    There’s also a southern tradition-and, I expect, anywhere with iffy air-conditioning- where the kids and kid-tenders scarper off to the mountains, leaving the working spouse at home, and said spousal unit coming up on some weekends. Gives everyone a breather. It bothers me more than a little that we don’t do this in my house. Some of my friends do it. I had it a bit growing up.
    Plus, let’s see, the notion of work ALL_THE_TIME was a notion, a very serious notion, for a long time. Like, most of recorded history. We’ve gone into “enough grain to go around” so we can play liek lab-rats with the keys to the kibble. The first writers, the Sumerians, had gods who thought humans were created to grow grain each day of the week, to make bread and beer for the gods. They were serious about the beer, too. Archeologists have found solid gold wrought three foot long straws. The first Jewish people had a God who said “Take a day off. I did. And look at my productivity the other six days. Wow!Even I’m impressed!” And, well, we live in that imagination, and with that set of notions, not the abject slaves to the gods notion. ( Notice who is still here, and who’s in a museum.)
    Plus, let’s see,you did very physical labor for a long time- catching babies, milking new mothers. I would think “community building” and ” inspiring creativity” would not have enough concrete “oomph” to satisfy the carpenter in you. If you could picture that, would it help? I know the things that really help you breathe are very concrete- the socks on the Imagine floor mural. Maybe knitting while walking a labyrinth would help you “breathe” through this?
    ari

  97. This is what my Doctor calls “Ukrainian Mother Syndrome”….everyone else in the entire world is more important than me therefore if I am having a good time, I must have forgotten to do some chore and some person somewhere is neglected and unhappy because of ME.
    He had me do little skits in my head on how I am the most important person…Tough let me tell you!

  98. Time to get a new boss for sure, and if your “they” committee isn’t any better, then time to fire them all!!! I was my own worst boss until I realized how well I treated people who worked for me. I finally realized I deserved the same treatment.

  99. I come to this issue with an interesting perspective – My parents are divorced, have 50-50 joint custody of me and my nine year old brother, and are both academics at the same university.
    My mother is much more likely to go to conferences, take research trips abroad (to the slightly-dangerous country of Gabon, no less), take personal vacations etc.
    My father does go to conferences/on research trips – but he does it much less, and has made several comments about how its wrong for my mother to do so – he has insinuated that she’s a bad mother for taking personal vacations (this is really the only reproach I have of my father who is otherwise a lovely man, and the best father I could ask for – divorce is hard on everyone).
    The funny thing is, I’m glad my mother has a life outside of me (and my brother) – and I wish my father wouldn’t feel guilty about having one as well. I’m proud of both of my parents and the work they’ve done, and I want them to be happy. My mother’s ability to lead a fufilled life while having children has taught me that I can have that life as well. To be the absolute center of a parent’s life is too much of a burden for children – it’s not healthy.
    Plus, it’s kept me from growing up too full of my own importance, which I think is a wonderful thing, it’s made me very independent, and has taught me important life skills like how to break into your mother’s house when you forget your math book in her living room while she’s off in Turkey.
    So, as I’ve said to both parents several times, don’t feel guilty about having a career, or taking vacations! We (we being the children of working parents) WANT you to be happy, no matter how much we may complain about having to do the extra laundry. We want you to be fufilled, and rested, and have friends and travel all over North America. We think you’re a better parent for it, because you teach us that being happy is important. I think your daughters are exceedingly lucky to have you for a mother.
    And with that, I believe I will call my mother and tell her how much I love her.

  100. You know that you are required by Canadian law to take a minimum of two weeks holidays. All employers are required to allow them too or a pro-rated amount if you have been employed for less than one year. Tell that to the boss.

  101. Serendipity.
    On the day that I am starting my new job (staying home to write my knitting book), you post about being your own boss.
    Perfect timing, as always….

  102. I think you’re just rubbing it in that it isn’t snowing there and that there’s currently enough snow outside here to require my Sorel’s again. And I live about 2 hrs from your house. :)

  103. You could try reasoning with your boss… every job has perks, and this circumstance happens to be one of them. :) Probably own’t work, but it’s worth a shot…

  104. You want worse? My husband and I work TOGETHER. We take turns being the project manager on a project. Project manager = Chief Nagger. This morning’s project I’m the manager, so I just walked back into his office (we can NOT work in the same area of the house) and said “I need that slideshow today. I want to send a bill and we can’t do that until we get the slideshow. So finish the slideshow today… and then put in the new light fixtures.”
    He grunted. I think that means ok. This afternoon when we’re working on the other project, where he’s the project manager, he’s going to come out and ask me for the text for the web page for the optical physicist. I should get going on that, and quit reading your web page.

  105. While reading this discussion about guilt I have been fielding calls for substitute teaching jobs — and turning them down. A double dose of guilt. I passed on getting paid today, and I’m not helping the teachers who need it. But I have my standards, one of which is: I do not make myself miserable if I don’t have to. Being rushed, unprepared, and stepping into the potential chaos of those last-minute jobs, just sets you up for a miserable day. I take care of myself that way. But I still feel guilty!

  106. If you think men don’t feel guilt, ask one that is unemployed. If he’s sitting at home drawing unemployment which is sufficiently contributing to the family, he will still feel like he’s not good enough a provider. He won’t call it “guilt;” but it’s the same sort of anxiety.
    Your work as a writer and mother is a little slower to see the payoff than a regular 8-5; which may be one reason you have to constantly check to make sure you’ve done enough.
    But as a consumer of your writing output – trust me! – you go above and beyond the call of duty!

  107. You clearly have a strong strain of Puritan Work Ethic in your DNA. I thought that was only an American burden! (They weren’t nice people. Don’t emulate them.)

  108. I love me, boss. Me, boss, told me to put a suggestion box in my office. After some months, me, boss, told me to look inside. Whoa. There was a suggestion. “Earn more, work less.” Me, boss, says “Good idea. Let’s work on the second part first.” Love that.

  109. :) hey, I have problems with that, too. with homework, etc. I get upset if I feel I don’t do enough work. Just be glad you’re not lazy (like some other siblings of mine I could mention) :) It’s our personality. Hard to work for ourselves. I don’t think she’ll notice the shawl.

  110. This is called ‘self care’. By taking good care of ourselves, everyone around us benefits. Women in particular have trouble with this concept. Healthy food + exercise + sleep + good friends + knitting = contentedness. It also equals a better parent. At times we all need to switch ‘the boss’ off.

  111. I learned an interesting thing about guilt from Dr. Phil. In order to have guilt, you have to have intent to do wrong/harm, and know that you are doing wrong. However, maternal guilt is a little different. But, the paternal half knows that it is NOT wrong to need to be ‘absent’ from parenting occasionally. It is a vital part of parenting, actually. So they have no guilt. It stems from the days when men HAD to leave the family to go get the saber-tooth tiger for dinner. It was a GOOD thing to be absent, and it is also possible to be absent, but still be doing your parenting job and there should be absolutely no guilt in your mind now!!

  112. I understand where you’re coming from.
    I have a judge in my head who says really harsh things about me. She’s not a very nice person to live with. I can’t ignore her because she’s my own inner voice. The best I’ve learned to do is to laugh at her. She’s so unreasonable its ridiculous!! So I tell my husband what she’s saying and together we have a good laugh. Then I carry on with whatever she disapproved of.
    I’d suggest you laugh at your boss and get on with enjoying yourself. Her unreasonable expectations of your working life are down right silly.

  113. I’m so glad I scrolled through your comments today. Suzanne’s post (parents have joint custody) is awesome and it’s wonderful to hear her perspective! Here’s to being strong and happy and imparting those traits to our children!

  114. You must be catholic, or have some catholic in you somewhere. Just remember, if you aren’t where you are, then you aren’t anywhere (I quote Col. Potter, M*A*S*H)

  115. You must be catholic, or have some catholic in you somewhere. Just remember, if you aren’t where you are, then you aren’t anywhere (I quote Col. Potter, MASH)

  116. I just had this same argument with myself last night as I booked my room to attend Sock Summit … my ‘boss’ was acting like I didn’t need this vakay on top of the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling. I spent some time with ‘my boss’ calculating the days her husband will be gone hang gliding, the fact that my daughters are in college and fully capable of feeding themselves and the cats, and told my boss to shut up. She’s still lurking on the edges as I look at flights … good grief!

  117. I’m self-employed too (RoseFamilyClinic.com) and I LOVE my boss! She lets me take days off when I want and always fosters a good work environment (knitting or reading while patients are cooking, etc). But the bitch still doesn’t pay when I don’t work.

  118. I read somewhere that the best part of being self-employed is that you can set your own schedule — you can work whichever 16 hours of the day you choose.

  119. I used to feel guilty about time away from the kids. Then it occurred to me that I’m BETTER at being a mom when I’ve done at least a LITTLE to take care of myself. I realized that when my daughter grows up and has kids, I’d want HER to take care of herself a bit and to feel like she should have time in her week for things she enjoys (like showers, sleep, time with friends), so I need to set a good example by doing those things for myself.
    So, I’m with Krayola–tell your boss to “lighted up” and be a better boss! :)

  120. Don’t know about you, but if it weren’t for guilt, I would never do any housework/family care at all. Nada. Zilch. Guilt is a powerful motivational tool!

  121. I was fortunate enough to be raised by a mother who taught her daughters to take care of themselves first or they’d be no good to anyone else. Work is work. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a soul-less cubicle or on a harbour. If you’re working, then enough with the guilt! Cheers!

  122. Why do you think that first timers to an Al-Anon group learn about self-care? Do you think maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are so bent on looking after everybody else we forget that we have needs? At least until we are sick and/or addicted ourselves. Keep up those knitting breaks, and whatever else kind of breaks you need.

  123. The hotel where you and Tina are staying looks peaceful and beautiful. After you check out, would you tell us which one it is? It looks heavenly and if it’s close to me, I’d like to drive down with my family and maybe stay overnight.
    Thanks

  124. Whatever makes you more multi-dimensional, gives perspective, depth of insight, and so forth, makes you a better person, and therefore a better parent. So re-label that travel, being away, knitting, etc. as maintenance and upgrades so that you can keep doing the parent job/do it better. Bye-bye, guilt.

  125. My husband does get the parental guilt…we are both teachers so our guilt is often sourced in the energy we put into OTHER people’s children while “neglecting” our own.

  126. So I have some theories on this maternal vs. paternal guilt thing. Nothing deep, because I’ve had a bad day and I’m half a wineglass in. But here it is–I’ve been the only “employed” member of our family for awhile now. And I feel like if I’ve got a single hour of the day when I’m not working–at job one, job two, or on the house–there’s something the matter with me. I feel guilty as hell. On the other hand, my husband who is not actively earning income feels guilty only because of that fact. He contributes to housework 3-5 times weekly, enough that we’re not in a germ factory but not to “my” standard. I think that because of our society of “women can do anything” we feel like we have to, and the shifting demographic of women working while men are homemaking/working from home doesn’t help us as women to unwind.
    So yes, you do need to recharge, and yes, your boss is going to give you a hard time. But honey, you have to tell her to shut the hell up, even if she writes you up for it. Because she’s a driven harpy who’s never going to let up and if you give her an inch she will take it all away.
    Hang in there and enjoy your hard work!

  127. All of the kudos in the comments are well deserved (confession: I didn’t read all of them. So critiques are not included in the previous statement).
    I have been reading your blog (and archives) for several years and am so happy you make time to write it. I’ve just discovered the joys of reading it via blackberry, to be honest. Anyway, for my first comment I wanted to share the sentiment my daughter expressed as I worked for the third weekend in a row (after often complaining about the knitting);
    Mom: why do you have to work all the time now? When are you going to just knit whle we watch movies? We miss you….
    Blessing to my ears..but also curses, if only I’d known the secret to knitting adoption sooner!
    Keep up the amazing work.

  128. Heads up: Maria D’Antuono of Tempera, Italy was rescued from her home today 4/8/2009 after the earthquake. She spent the last couple days knitting as she waited to be rescued.

  129. That type of boss stinks (I have one of those too).
    Frustrating.
    Tora beat me too it – The 98 yr old woman who was rescued – had been knitting.
    My Hero!

  130. I know you’re super busy and I feel bad asking, but are you still planning on sharing the pattern for your gorgeous cashmere cowl/neckwarmer? I’m still in love with it and in awe of it. :)

  131. I’m a housewife (not desperate, but close), and my inner boss says ALL the same things to me. Except my work is all volunteer, so I’m not even earning money to support my family, which really
    gets her on my case!

  132. Fie on the inner boss! And amen to knitting as Zen. I have plenty to challenge me in my job/life. For me, knitting can be meditation or a prayer.

  133. It sounds like you and your boss should agree on reasonable terms of employment. Then, when she rails on you for having a good life, you can shut her up with the agreement. (Who says you have to be an employee, bereft of the protection of a contract? You can totally work out a contract, even if it doesn’t include hourly pay.)
    My husband is also self-employed . . . and it can be a nasty trap. Even when he has a contract (software mercenary), he’s always thinking about how much he loses for each hour/quarter hour he’s not working.
    And what’s with the guilt for not having a nasty job? Aren’t we supposed to find meaningful, fulfilling work? We don’t live in Kamazotz, after all.
    Send the boss packing. You don’t need her, anyway. Just imagine showing her the door, and then focus on what you’re doing. (And anyway, are you sure that your boss isn’t your grandmother, continuing to haunt you? Just love yourself, and live in the moment you’ve got. You know you work hard, and you can’t work 24/7. (Or even 18/6!) Don’t let her tradition borrow trouble, or spoil the beauty around you.)

  134. I am harder on myself for my writing (which is COMPLETELY self-inflicted) than I’ve been for any job I’ve ever had. The boss just wants stuff done right, that’s all.

  135. I’d like you to know that right this second, my boss just said to me that she thinks I deserve a break, and my past couple of weeks is definitely no harder than yours… To be honest though, I think Denny convinced her. Maybe you should let your boss talk to Denny.

  136. I’m self employed. My boss is MEAN. She doesn’t let me sleep unless I’m working on the couch with a laptop on my lap and I pass out in spite of my intent.
    For the record, I’m not a mother. It’s not maternal, entirely. I’m sure it’s female, though. Wish I knew why, and where I could find the remote control so I could change that channel with a push of a button.
    I took Easter Sunday off and spent time with friends, two 4-hour tea dates one after another. Then simple dinner at home with my beloved Brian. I had to lead up to this with 2 weeks of stress and sleepless nights.
    I’m happy to say I did not feel guilty. Well, until after dinner anyway. And for once I did not give in to the guilt and go back to work.
    We are talking 23 out of 24 hours, not working. Just *being.* I did better than expected.
    My boss finally insisted that I take a day off. How luxurious!
    LynnH, who SO wished to see you in Ann Arbor…

  137. I’m self employed too. Unfortunately, my boss needs to hire someone to get more work for the business, or to strategize on how to get me to work more lucrative hours.
    Man, I’m finding it depressing right now. I just need to keep my eyes on the prize and hope that it pays off eventually…

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