I have a flexible job that allows me to work at home. That's the good news, and the bad news.
You see, although I live here in Northern California, I'm an attorney admitted and practicing in New Hampshire. I lived and practiced law actively in New Hampshire for 11 years (also remembered nostalgically as "the single years," "the thin years," "the well-dressed years," "the years when I watched late-night television" and "the years when I had an adult life on evenings and weekends other than parenthood and collapsing into bed as early as possible.") Family needs brought us back to California, and for a while I worked for a number of California attorneys doing bits and pieces of appellate and other contract work. But a year ago, Bob (the attorney I used to work for and who remembers me as thin, smart, focused, and able to form and express a coherent thought... even though I haven't been like that in a while now) asked me to officially rejoin his firm and commit to just doing his written work and litigation support stuff. So, that's what I do.
All that is to explain how it is that I can work at home, wearing my bathrobe or sweatpants or shorts or whatever I want, and how I can keep pretty much whatever hours I choose, as long as the work gets done. As you moms know, this is ideal because I can work in Caroline's classroom, be around to hear the after-school tales of her day, go on field trips, observe her gymnastic classes and horseback riding lessons, and otherwise be actively involved in her everyday life. To be able to do that AND hold down a well-paying job is a huge, good thing.
But that also explains how it is that at midnight, I'm at my desk pouring over a binder of purchase orders and engineering drawings to sort them into some semblance of a chronological story so I can write the "facts" section of a big pleading due soon.
At times like this, I think longingly of the days when I could watch tv or a movie after dinner, or get into bed with a good novel and read the evening away, or do other similarly relaxing things. It's the down-side of a flexible work schedule--all that flexibility has to get made up for some other time.
I know I'm fortunate to have work that I basically enjoy, that keeps me intellectually challenged, and that pays well for the time spent. But gosh, I'd really rather just go to bed.