the home office


All moms need an office.     I have two part time jobs, neither of which cost me more time and brain space than parenting, and neither of which gives me an office, or even a desk, and  I would really like one.  A place of my own, where the treadmill to my right isn’t reminding me that my exercise regimen is pathetic,  or a place where the laundry room door isn’t staring me straight in the face saying “You! Come here! There’s work to be done in here!”   How am I supposed to be effective working from home with all these distractions!

Everybody in my family has a place to go and a door to close. They alone command everything inside their room.   If I had my own room, just for me, I imagine it would be glorious.   Nobody would just walk in demanding I help find a missing shoe.  The door, my barrier, would limit my availability to the rest of them.  I’d have office hours. Inside, there would be actual living houseplants for an abundance of oxygen, and I would use aromatherapy and  playlists to set the mood I choose.  All just for me.

Outside, on the door I’d keep a “problem box” with instructions:

  • Please fill out a form and state your problem, all complaints will be read on Friday between 4 & 5 pm.
  • Feel free to offer a solution to the problem for extra allowance.  
  • Forms submitted without a viable solution will be charged a small processing fee in advance of any response from the management.    
  • The turnaround time is about a week.  

I imagine that my office has a beverage container from Crate & Barrel, filled with spring ice water and pretty slices of fruit.   The drinking glasses are so clean that the sun  bounces off of their shine and fills sparkles of light fill the room.  And there is no dog, cat, rabbit, or guinea pig fur whatsoever.

As I come out of the dream scene I just described it becomes clear that I do not have my own room, or a beverage container from Crate & Barrel.    I have a desk in a cluttered room and one glass pitcher from Ikea.  As for the sparkling clean glasses and the absence of pet fur?  (enter laughter here)

So, for now I’ll just appreciate the roof and four walls that I call home.  I could paint the laundry room door a pretty color and put more things on the treadmill to disguise it but maybe, what I should do, is set out to prove what I tell my kids all the time.  It’s not what you think you need that really matters, it’s what you do with what you already have.

Whenever I complained to my own mother she’d always point out the more disadvantaged.   “Be happy you have shoes at all,” she’d say when I wanted really expensive converse sneakers that weren’t in the budget.   Or, “there are children suffering all over the world that would love to have the asparagus on your plate!”

I know. I really do have everything I need but gee, wouldn’t it be nice if I just had an office.    I can hear my mother now,  “be happy you have a place to live and food on your plate,” and I am happy for all of that .  But I wouldn’t mind if I were also happy for an office.


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