The end of the work day is the busiest time for me. Not just because I support a west coast base and I live in the Midwest (I swear those California people must go surfing all morning and don’t actually start working until after lunch), but it’s also when all my kids’ activities happen.
I work until 5:30pm, partly because I’m not a morning person and can’t drag my butt out of bed before 9am and partly because I support that California base and they are two hours behind me. Before all the kids were in school, working late was never a problem for me. When it was just Keaton and he was in preschool I worked late most nights and even went on weekends. Now I don’t have time for overtime at work.
These days the kids have activities every. single. day. But tonight is our pull-my-hair-out, crazy night. On Wednesday nights Keaton has soccer practice and youth group. Skyler has dance and gymnastics. And Caleb has soccer practice. We put a lot of miles on the cars on Wednesday nights.
Since Keaton’s practice ends at 5pm and Skyler’s dance class ends at 5:15 and the two places are clear across town from each other, Lee usually picks up Keaton and I slide out of work early to pick up Skyler. But it never fails. Just as I’m trying to sneak out at 5pm, my phone rings or somebody pings me on IM with a fire drill. “I absolutely have to have this contract within the next hour because the only person at this huge company that can sign a contract is going out of town for the next month and he’ll be in a submarine [or the middle of the rain forest or in outer space or any place else they can think of to be a big pain in my side] with no cell phone, internet or fax access. He has to sign tonight.” What do I do? Do I stay and review the contract or do I go get my daughter?
So now I get ready to go long before I actually leave. I don’t answer my phone (unless it’s from home) after 4:30pm. Instead I let it go to voicemail and then listen to the message to see if it really is an emergency or if it’s just sales with their their panties in a bunch. I also log off IM early. I hate IM anyway because it’s so distracting. If it’s an emergency they’ll call. These two things have really helped me get out of the office on time (or early on Wednesday nights).