By Marion Rhodes
You can always tell when business is going well from the state my house is in. I mean, honestly, who has time to clean with deadlines looming over their heads? I’ve been spending the last few nights proofreading translations, both my own and those by other translators, so forgive me if I don’t have time – or energy – to pick up the books my youngest scattered across the floor in my office earlier in the day. I mean, what’s the point anyway? I have more work to do tomorrow, and I know the little monsters are just going to create more chaos then, so why bother?
Yes, being a work-from-home mom is all about priorities. Since we are still on summer break (one more week!), I usually have at least one of them home with me at any given time. In fact, more often than not, there are a few minions running around, picked up from various houses in the neighborhood. The only way I get any work done these days is if I completely ignore them and the tornado of toys left in their wake. That way, I may just get a few hundred words translated during the daylight hours, which I carefully proofread after the kids’ bedtime to make sure I didn’t accidentally write down my thoughts of strangling my offspring during their last argument.
It is a never-ending battle in the best of times: I clean, the kids wreak havoc, I tell them to tidy up, we pick up their toys together, and somehow, half an hour later, my house is once again in a state of despair. I’ve come to terms with the fact that while I am tied up in a project, there is no point in wasting time on clean-up efforts. In the end, it is much more important that I deliver a translation my client can be proud of than run a household that I can be proud of. Let’s face it: My translation might end up on the Internet, while the current state of my house usually remains a mystery to the outside world – unless I take a photo and post it on my blog, that is.
I’m no slob by any means. In fact, I have a tendency to be quite obsessive compulsive about keeping things in order. Seeing books and puzzles on the floor or blankets draped over couches to build forts makes me anxious. I usually spend a good part of my day organizing, rearranging and decorating. That’s during slow days, of course. The more translation work I have, the better I am at looking past the mess to what really matters: I get to be there for my children while pursuing my professional passion, and my children are making the best of their mom’s limited availability. It’s a win-win, really.