I try very, very hard to turn off the computer on Friday evening and leave it off until Sunday evening. Back when I was the Managing Editor of the paper every single one of my days was sucked into the computer. I had to keep it on – just in case.
Once I quit the paper I resolved that weekends were for family. Just family. Not email. Not blog reading. Not Skyping, IMing, or even Tweeting.
For the most part I’m really good about my no-computer weekend resolve. Granted, I sneak a peek at my BlackBerry every so often, but I do try hard to stay off the actual computer.
The kids appreciate it, the husband appreciates it, and frankly, I like it too. I get to read more, play more, and just relax more.
Then, every so often, a weekend like this one rolls around where I have to keep a closer eye on the BlackBerry and then I actually have to get on the computer and work for a bit.
I had no idea it would cause such stress.
Because of a scheduling snafu I was late in lining up someone to interview for the column I still write for the paper. My article was due Friday, so I needed to find someone fast, schedule the interview fast, and get their story fast.
Fast turned out to be today.
I spent yesterday stalking my email and today prepping for the interview that I had managed to schedule during nap time.
Have you ever scheduled something “during nap time?” It’s code for “the kids will wake up the instant you start whatever it was you were trying to do while they sleep.”
I looked C in the eye and explained that I was going to be on the phone and she could. not. talk. to. me. at all. until I got off. She nodded solemnly and went to go hang out with her daddy.
Much to my shock they actually listened to me and no one talked to me or even came into the kitchen for the first 40 minutes of my call. Then C came to ask me something. I did some crazy waving and shooing away and she actually left the kitchen. Moments later Little L came to see me, only she didn’t leave quite as willingly. I had to apologize to my interviewee for the screams that rang loud and clear into the phone as M hauled Little L out of the kitchen.
I stayed on the phone and tiptoed into the living room, throwing a bag of popcorn to M before scurrying back to the safety and quiet of the kitchen.
A few minutes later I was able to wrap up my call and hang up. I had all my answers and a good feel for the article. I could hear the kids digging into the popcorn happily and I went to thank them for being so good and patient with me.
“I’m sorry I came to talk to you mommy.” C said sadly, looking up at me with her big eyes. “I just couldn’t take it any more!”
I understand her well. I couldn’t take it either. It was brutal being in one room working while they played in the other. I wanted to be with them, enjoying our weekend time together. We’re apart all week long. The weekends should be for family and family alone. It was good to have a reminder of that.