This is what I always tell myself when there's something I've been procrastinating about. Usually it's an oil change for this single parent family's aging but beloved automobile, or something around the house that needs doing, but gets pushed aside because it will take an investment of time and effort that I don't feel like giving it.
The motivation to change my oil came the other day when I turned the key in my car's ignition. It coughed wearily, and there was an ominous clicking sound where the engine should have chimed in. Then there was a brief flashing of several lights on the dash. One of them was the oil light, and I sat behind the wheel for a minute, realizing that even if I had extra motor oil on hand, I've no idea where it goes.
A thousand what-ifs raced through my mind, and they all required a functioning automobile for me to address them. Foremost was the warning of a friend who learned the hard way that you don't put off oil changes. Something happens to the engine--something I understand only as "seizing up." For my friend, it meant having to buy another car.
Working at home is somewhat comparable, only in the sense that it requires the same mentality as the nudge to get your car's oil changed. It will take an investment of your time and effort, but consider: stay-at-home parents work pretty hard already—assembling furniture, planning days that contain just the right amount of intellectual stimulation, fixing lunches and snacks that deliver the right balance of nutrients and calories, making it better (whatever the current "it" happens to be), reading that favorite story umpteen times with the same enthusiasm as the day it was first discovered.
Forget about waiting around for the economy to improve. Forget about taking refuge on somebody's employee roster, and lining up for dibs on a limited number of summer weekends. Just get up and do.
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Zoe McNamara is the head of a single parent family.
She's also the mother of a toddler and a five-year-old.