The whole ‘work at home’ concept is a godsend for many parents.
Take today for instance.
I went to wake Belle up at about 7.45am, and was greeted by a less than enthusiastic response. “I feel sick,” she groaned, in her usual dramatic style.
“Well, you do say that every single morning, so I think you’re probably alright,” I replied.
“But this is different from just-woken-up feeling sick. Honestly!” she added, sensing my scepticism.
She did look a bit peaky to be fair, and Bee wasn’t feeling well yesterday, so I decided to keep her at home. She did go back to sleep for quite a long time, which isn’t like her, but after a couple of hours of enforced bed rest was recovered enough for me to drop her in late morning. If I hadn’t been working at home today I wouldn’t have had the option to do any of that.
You know all that though. Here’s my question…
When you’re a work at home parent, how much work is it ok to do when your children are actually at home?
I’ve been upstairs in my attic study for two hours since Belle got home from school, popping down briefly just to pop some sausages in the oven, and I’m beginning to feel guilty. I’m getting lots done, I’m enjoying quietly working whilst listening to Radio 4 and looking out over the rooftops of Bristol, but is this ok?
Is it alright for me to leave the girls downstairs playing Mario Kart while I work, or does it completely negate the whole point of flexible working, which is meant to enable me to have more ‘quality time’ with my children?
To be honest, I’ve always been dubious about the term ‘quality time’, implying as it does the presence of craft materials or cookery books. Whose idea of a quality way to spend time is that?
So am I being a bad mummy, tucked away in my cosy study, or is it just an inevitable part of single parenting, and of trying to provide a standard of living slightly above super noodles for every meal and electricity just on special occasions?