You know how it is, you have everything in your life running smoothly and then WHACK, and you’re ambushed from behind.
This is what happened to me yesterday. I was in my office gathering my thoughts for my blog and my daughter called. She said she had something she wanted to talk about and needed to come over. When she got here, she looked nervous which, in turn, made me nervous. It boiled down to she, her fiance and my two year old granddaughter wanted to move in. They are having financial problems, the apartment complex they live in isn’t exactly the healthiest environment for my granddaughter to be in and basically between college, taking care of Alexa, finances and my daughter’s bi polar disorder, she is totally overwhelmed. Our house is big enough, we have an extra bedroom and the basement has an unused room that could be made into a living area for them. So the space isn’t the issue, it’s the peace and quiet that I have now that will be gone. But she is my daughter and I adore my granddaughter, so yes, they will most likely be moving in.
So what will I do to adjust to the invasion of my workspace and my quiet moments? I have already told her that when my office door is closed, I’m at work. Alexa is in daycare for the time my daughter is in classes. Her fiance works second shift and gets home about 1:00 am. So my mornings should still be good for writing. I can edit later in the day and make any changes that need to be made. If I make my boundaries known and enforce them so that things should work out....most of the time.
When situations like this arise in your working life, you have to adjust and make compromises. Laying down rules of only being disturbed if emergencies happen or if there is a problem should be known from the start. When your door is shut, you’re not home..period. It should be as if you have left the house and are actually physically at work. If you make your family members aware that what you do is important to you and your budget, then they need to respect that. Don’t let a family member make you feel guilty because they want to do something or go somewhere and they want you to babysit. Your work is as important to you and being a writer is often a misunderstood occupation. They see you sitting there and figure you aren’t doing anything or that you are on the computer, therefore, you aren’t busy. Not true! A writer’s muse isn’t called up on demand, sometimes it needs to be coaxed and staring out the window may be the only way to wake it up. If your train of thought is broken, it can take up to 15 minutes to reconnect again and sometimes that particular train of thought has derailed totally.
So my advice to you is this. If a situation of this type does arise for you, state your boundaries. Make a schedule of your working hours. Show them you are serious about your work and then go about it. Then when you are finished, take your granddaughter outside and show her the butterflies in your garden.
Have family members moving in unexpectedly affected your worklife? How have you handled it?