This morning after feeding the kids and informing them that I need to make some calls for work, I gave them the usual direction about not interrupting unless there is an emergency and also gave them a clear definition of an emergency. I then tell them I am going to close the door and that they should only interrupt if there is said emergency. I asked if they understood and made them repeat back what I said and then felt confident enough to go into the office and close the door.
About 3 minutes later there is a soft knocking while the door pushes open, apparently not waiting for an invitation to enter. There stands my five year old with the first emergency of the morning, “Someone didn’t flush the toilet after they used it and sissy says it wasn’t her and it is probably daddy but I know daddy doesn’t use our bathroom.” I stare at her for a second and decide that rather than me yelling about being interrupted I will give her a solution, “How about you go flush the toilet and wash your hands?” She nods in agreement and then heads out to complete the task.
The second emergency of the morning was while I was on the phone with my boss giving her my updates. The door slams open from the older child and I hear sobbing, I assume there is going to be something that constitutes an emergency. “Mommy, sissy threw my new American Girl doll on the floor and she did it on PURPOSE!!!!” I gave her a look that meant she was in grave danger and pointed my finger for her to ‘Get Out’. She looked at me like she was confused, but I stood up behind the desk and she ran out of the room.
I am trying to figure out a game plan on how to react better to these situations, I am tired of constantly melting down when the kids don’t follow my simple directions, but I am left thinking could it be my direction that causes the confusion? I think what I am saying is clear, but clear to whom? If someone told me that they would be making a phone call and not to interrupt I think I could handle that, in fact I am sure of it. I could even remember it for a period of time and it would be more than 3 minutes.
Raising kids is not easy and I understand why working from home is not as great as it sounds, in fact I realize that working in an office away from your kids is easier. In an office you have bosses, co-workers and employees interrupting you and giving you grief but they don’t need you to stop what you are doing to wipe their butts or rescue the hamster that mysteriously escaped from its cage again (at least I hope they don’t). On the flip side you don’t get the surprise leg hugs, kisses and the affection either and that should be some kind of perk. So back to trying to work with interruptions, while I remind myself that my kids won’t lay me off or cut my pay due to the economy, they just REALLY need me.