Freelancer Schedules or Does anybody have an hour I can borrow?
I wake up in the morning about 7 A.M. and rush to get the kids ready for school. 3 kids, 1 Dad, Moms already at work. I'm outnumbered and outgunned most of the time. All but one of the kids will eat breakfast at school so that takes a little bit of prep time off the morning routine. Fix the remaining kid something to eat and pack his lunch while all of the kids are supposed to be getting dressed.
Medicine Time - Both of the boys take medicines on a daily basis. On a good day, all you have to do is remind them to grab a drink and assemble for their pills. On a bad day, I listen to "He got to go first yesterday.", "I can't find a water bottle"(which was in his hand the whole time) or they dance around and drop their pills on the floor three times before they hold still long enough to get them into their mouths.
Coats and shoes- Now it's time to get everyone in a coat, shoes on, and watching for the bus or Grandma to come pick them up for school. It is at this point every morning, I look around to find the 3 year old is missing. She has decided she would rather go back to bed, usually somewhere in the process of getting dressed. So now I have a 6 year old obsessive compulsive following me around screaming "TIE MY SHOES." a 9 year old control freak yelling "Can I go outside and wait for the bus? " and a half naked 3 year old contentedly sleeping in some corner of the house. KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK.... Oh damn, we're late.
"Hi Grandma, Come on in... Travis put your shoes on the right feet and I will tie them... Marc, you are riding with Grandma today... Loree, get up and put your clothes on. Grandma is waiting."
They Leave - This is the point of the day where things should calm down. The kids are in the car with Grandma as it pulls away. Bye, you little heathens. I stop to have a cigarette and as step on the porch, I look down... a lunch box? WTF? Why is there a lunch box on my porch? The question is quickly answered as Grandma comes around the corner. "He forgot his lunch... again."
I get to work now. Go in the house. Close the door and open my computer. Check the emails I missed during the 3 hours I was asleep and see if there are any new projects or payments posted to my accounts. I open my documents folder to start work for the day and RING...RING....RING. "This is the doctors office reminding you that the boys have appointments this week. Marc Anthony's appointment is Tuesday at 3pm and Travis' is Thursday at 1pm. Thank You."
Ok... Now I can get to work. Let's see, where is my Jarte shortcut? RING...RING...RING. "Hello?"
"Yes, this is Magazine Central. We want to give you some free magazine subscriptions and all we need to know is what credit cards you currently hold."
"I thought you said it was free?"
"If it's free, why do you need to know what credit cards I have?"
"Because you have to pay the shipping."
"Then it's not free?"
"Yes, the magazines are free. You just have to pay the shipping."
"Wow... what a deal! Do you think you would like to buy some free websites from me? I will only charge you shipping."
Now I'm going to work. I'm really going to do it this time. KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK. "Hello, we are Jehovahs Witnesses and we want to share something with you..."
"Umm. Sorry to interrupt. I was raised a Jehovahs Witness. You might know my parents and my sister. I was disfellowshipped almost 12 years ago." (At this point, they rush to get off my porch.)
Aww Hell, I'm not getting anything done and it's almost 10am. Let's have a quick smoke and a soda. Oddly enough, when I'm shirking responsibility, the phone never rings. Occassionally someone shows up on the doorstep and engages me in long conversations but usually, I get left alone until I sit back down to work.
Ten minutes later, I open the laptop again and start to type a new article for one of my regular customers and DING DONG... Yahoo Messenger alerts me that a client is trying to reach me and apparrently they have been waiting a while because they are just hammering away on the buzz button. I handle that situation, being as polite and professional as possible, and get back to work.
By now, it's close to noon. I have written a couple of articles and answered a few emails. Time for another quick smoke and a stretch.
A few minutes later, I go back to work. I might be able to knock out one more article before my wife gets home in an hour. Then she gets home and we visit for a few minutes. I listen to her tell me about her day. I tell her about the free magazines and the Jehovahs Witnesses and then I try to get one more article squeezed in before the kids get home at 3. Why? Because if you aren't finished by the time the kids are oout of school, you are better off not to try until they go to bed. If I have to work when the kids are out of school, I plan to answer emails and work on no brainer stuff while they are awake. Because of this, I am awake until 4am most days.
At about 245pm, I run around the house and start fasting things down. When three hurricanes blow through your front door, you want to make sure your valuables are secured. As I super glue my knick knacks to the shelf, my wife ask what I am doing.
"Well, baby, those kids are coming home... I want to be ready...."
"Only one of them is. The other two are going to Grandmas. Marc has counseling tonight."
"Oh, I forgot... Shouldn't we be getting ready to go?"
We drive an hour to take Marc to his counseling appointment, wait an hour and then drive back an hour. Three hours for one appointment... It's now close to 630 pm. We pick up the other two kids and go home. We sit down to eat dinner and RING...RING...RING.
"Hey what's going on? Are you busy?"
"A little. We are eating dinner."
"Hey, I know you're working from home now, man. It must be nice. You got like time to do whatever you want. So I was wondering could you go pick up something for me tomorrow? They got this sale going uptown but I got to work, man."
At this pont, the nice side of me is wearing thin... I quickly shoot back "So do I." and hang up the phone. An hour later, I will feel bad and call to apologize. I will probably even go run the errand tomorrow.
Bedtime for the kids is supposed to be 730pm on school nights. The boys have no problems with this one usually. The three year old however is a night owl. She will stay awake until 2am if she thinks she can get away with it. Once they all go to sleep, I can finally get some work done. I write a few more articles, knock out some blog posts and check on my websites and its close to 3am. I go start the car so my wife will have a warm ride to work and I have a quick smoke because it's freezing out there.
I walk Gigi out to the car and see her off. Then I go back in the house, shut things down and get ready to catch a little sleep myself. It's almost 4 am and I am just getting into bed when I hear "Daddy?" and a soaking wet 3 year old climbs up in my lap... "I pee'd."