some vacation!

When you're a rural telecommuter, being locked out is a lonely business.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

you can have time or money

As you might have guessed from my previous posts, this week I'm not doing picket-line duty. My husband is away for the week on his long-anticipated annual canoe and camping trip, this year in Temagami. Living (as we do) over 2 hours from Toronto, I can hardly nip down to the city for a quick shift on the line while the kids are at school. My requests for remote duty lock-out tasks seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

So, I'm plunging myself once again into domestic duties: on the kitchen table right now stand 21x1L jars of roma tomatoes and applesauce, harvested from the garden and the roadside respectively. I might not have any income whatsoever coming in this week, but hot-damn, we'll have food in the basement come winter.

The irony of it all is that my youngest entered grade 1 last week. This month was to be the time - after 10 years of being a full-time at-home parent with a freelance contract for CBC - that I was actually going to embrace my life as a freelancer. I was going to try and make the switch away from the domestic realm. I was going to buy my domain name, get a cracking website together, make a pile of phone calls and see what kind of work I might scare up.

Sadly, it seems that 5,500 other people with my skills are doing exactly the same thing this month. So, until this is settled, I'm hanging out in the kitchen. Again.

Until yesterday, I thought I did a pretty good job of not broadcasting financial anxiety about the lock-out to my kids. Yesterday they asked for take-out pizza, and I suggested we go to the store for frozen dough and some mozzerella cheese and that we make home-made tomato sauce instead. Fine. Then Nate spotted a new issue of the Spiderman comic and asked if he could get it. "Sure", I said "but we're going to have to watch our spending on treats right now while the money is tight". For the next several minutes, he kept saying "I'm sorry". He was actually apologizing to me for wanting such a frivolity as a comic book. It seems that he and his older sister, Cleo, have been talking about our situation and have even offered to empty their piggy banks to help the family budget if needs be.

I assure them, over and over, that we'll be just fine, it's only a month without pay, but they're not quite convinced. They're anxious.

This lock-out is hurting my kids. If I wasn't angry before, I sure as hell am now.

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