All across the country, work-at-home parents are doing the happy dance called, "The Kids are Back in School!" I woke up extra early this morning and in the pre-dawn darkness began to dance around the house in my pj's, humming "I want to fly away..." by Lenny Kravitz while laying out my daughter's school clothes, checking her back-pack, washing her glasses, and boiling the water for her oatmeal. I got her up and ready for school in record time. She was actually glad to go back too, having suffered long enough with the boredom of a rainy vacation, so she didn't dawdle while dressing like she usually does. Traffic was light as we drove to school and even the dog was cheerful, especially when the usual crossing guard gave her a doggy-treat when I stopped at the stop sign.
At last my daughter was back in school! I rushed home eagerly, longing to get into the swing of work; the stacks of pages needing editing, the submissions I needed to read and the few of my own to send out, the two review copies of Laura's book needing to be mailed, and fifty emails in need of answering. I sat at my computer with a fresh cup of coffee and... stared at the computer-screen. I couldn't figure out where to start. So much had piled up since before the holiday vacation and Christmas celebrations. I looked at my new organization chart for a direction, but it all needed to be done NOW. Which one first?
I tried editing one of my interviews for the Punk book, but I'd lost the thread of the story. I spent two hopeless hours trying to keep the subject's authentic voice while cutting and pasting the story into something that made logical sense. I got more coffee, took the dog for a walk, went to the chiropractor, but nothing could shake the cobwebs from my creative brain. It's like my mind is still stuck in Mommy-gear and nothing related to Publishing can un-glue it.
Can you hear the cry of work-at-home parents as they shout, "Why can't I concentrate?" Finally peace and quiet after two weeks of non-stop noise and childcare and then we discover that we are incapable of functioning as productive, non-care taking, adults. And all the Christmas cookies are gone, too.
I give up. I'll put away the last bits of Christmas decorations and lug everything into the attic, then attack the laundry. Perhaps in a few days I'll transition out of Mommy-mode back into a more balanced, creative-mode. Medusa's Muse can wait one more day.