Working from home with kids is full of distractions.
Lawrence has been walking for a couple months now. He likes banging on my office door a few times per day. Very determined for his age, he won’t stop until I open the door. When I do, his little grunts turn into a big smile. He takes me by the hand to lead me into the living room, or into the kitchen, or just back-and-forth to nowhere in particular. If I leave my office door open in the evening, Lawrence likes to slip in and press a button on my keyboard to flash on the sleeping monitors.
The other night, while wrestling Calvin into bed, he hopped up into my office chair and started hacking away at my keyboard, “I’m working Daddy!” He even put on my headset and let me take a picture. I have to lock the office door while I work because, unlike Lawrence, Calvin can reach the handle and feels at liberty to barge in anytime he wants to play.
In April, I left a salaried job to start freelancing. One reason for the change was to work on my own terms, to spend more time with the kids. More time with the kids isn’t all time with the kids though. There are still trade-offs. The freelancing still needs to be done. It’s hard to say “No, Daddy can’t play right now. Daddy has to work,” but it’s necessary at times.
Calvin and I have this script: I ask “Why does Daddy have to work?” and Calvin responds, “To make money.” I ask “Why does Daddy have to make money,” and Calvin responds, “To buy Calvin toys!”
This is a partial and inaccurate truth. I’m not sure how to best correct it.
Daddy works to provide for our family, including sometimes buying toys. Daddy works because he enjoys helping people. Daddy works because it fulfills a sense of purpose to which he believes he is uniquely qualified. Daddy works because he can’t stand watching another Thomas The Train YouTube video with you right now and just wants to do something, literally anything else instead. Daddy works for a myriad of interconnected reasons he is only beginning to explore through freelancing.
Daddy looks forward to long conversations with you on the nature of work and play as you continue to grow. Daddy loves you. That’s why Daddy works.