Back-to-school means work for parents

This time of year, a hush falls over households all across America as the children head back to school.

Not only do the kids go away, taking their noise with them, but parents everywhere fall to their knees and give silent prayers of thanks for their tax-supported public schools.

Most fervent in this gratitude are we millions of parents who work in home offices. As the long, hot summer comes to an end, we might finally get some work done.

Not right away, though. First, we'll need to pull the house back together after three months of round-the-clock kid habitation. That means scrubbing and tidying and fishing the dirty socks out from under the sofa. Putting away the mildewed towels and swimsuits of summer to make room for backpacks and school supplies and winter coats.

But once the house is all arranged, we work-at-home parents plan to jump right into the fray and catch up on those projects that have been hanging fire while the kids were hanging around.
OK, so maybe we'll take a few minutes here and there to revel in the peace and quiet. The kids can be so loud, their noises so random and sudden and disturbing. Just having the home to ourselves again is a blessing we should take time to enjoy.

Solitude is great. No interruptions. No distractions. No dropping everything every few minutes to answer questions or referee disputes. A little alone time is just the ticket. Finally going to get some work done around here!

And if the quiet gets oppressive, hey, we can listen to our own music now. Enjoy some classic tunes without smart-aleck teens making gagging noises in the background. Nothing like an up-tempo soundtrack to help propel a person through a mountain of accumulated work.

When the phone rings, it'll be for us! All summer long, every phone in the house has been tied up by kids. Now it's our turn. We can spend the first few weeks of school yakking on the phone, catching up with our friends and family all around the country. When we're not busy working, of course. That comes first.

The kitchen sings its siren song, and that can be distracting in its own right. Now that the kids are back in school, we can finally have some snacks to ourselves. We can stop hiding our favorites, as we did during the summer so we had some chance of getting to them before the voracious, growing children scarfed them all. With fewer dirty dishes on the countertops and fewer sticky freckles of Popsicle juice on the floor, the kitchen's a more pleasant place now, a good spot to hang out while we stoke the engines and get ready to get to work.

Here's another thing: It'll be easier to get back in shape. We've got some major working-out to do, as soon as school resumes. Having the kids around is so exhausting, we've had no energy left for climbing Stairmasters or pumping iron. But, hoo boy, we're gonna get after it. Have to balance off that lonely snacking.

Plus, we'll have time to get lots of work done. Did I mention that?

Yessirree, now that the kids are back in school and the house is finally quiet, we work-at-home parents can hear those long-ignored deadlines, tightening around us like anacondas.

Gulp. Anybody for a Popsicle first?

No comments: