“Stuck, help!”  cries my 20-month old daughter from the living room.  From where I’m sitting in the kitchen, trying to beat a deadline, I know without even seeing her that she isn’t stuck.  This is my daughter’s way of calling my attention.  She knows that whatever I’m doing, mommy will stop and “rescue” her.

I’m a part-time freelance writer and a full-time mother.  I try to juggle the two, but most times I am finding it difficult.  When I am working, I try to explain to her that “Mommy is working”.  But of course, that is hard for a toddler to understand, especially when all she wants is her Mom’s 100% attention, which is fine, but not okay when one is frantically trying to beat a deadline.

So what do I do?

I drop what I’m doing.  I go her and see if she really needs “rescuing”.  I play with her for a while and then for the nth time in the day, explain that Mommy has to work now.  That works until the next “Help, stuck!” moment.

I’m sure I’m not the only mother who is experiencing this.  And like all those other mothers, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels guilty when we ignore our little ones even for just a couple of minutes, no make that seconds, just so we could complete the sentence we were typing.

I am a mother.  My daughter is my main priority. While I am thankful that I can still do freelance work, I am more thankful that I’m able to stay at home and take-care of my daughter and spend every single waking moment with her.  I keep saying to myself that this won’t last.  She won’t be forever 20 months old and calling out to me with a “Help, I’m stuck!” and wanting me rescue her.  Time drifts by swiftly.  These moments will be over before I can even get used to it.  So instead of gritting my teeth or ignoring her, I go to her and laugh, especially when I really find her “stuck”.

This is what I do when I’m trying to finish an important deadline (I’m sure a lot of moms do this too).

  1. Switch the TV on (I know a lot of times I feel guilty about it but it’s the only way to keep her distracted) and put it on cbeebies –  BBC’s children’s channel, a lot of them are educational shows.
  2. My daughter loves her crayons and colouring book.  She can spend hours and hours just ‘crayoning’. Of course that involves colouring our white furniture too.
  3. Build a house for her toys using her mega-blocks and duplo and also make sure her train-set is all laid-out-for her. And as soon as she’s busy playing, I sneak out and try to get some work done before the next “Help, stuck” moment.

My daughter trying to follow instructions from the cbeebies program ‘Squiglet’

What about you, what do you do to get some work done?

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