For those of you who have seen my last few offices, I have an admission. I am not that clean and I am not that organized. My home life has always been more of the organized chaos, "I know where everything is", kind of environment. I don't know when or why it happened, but sometime when I was developing my office/cubicle persona, I 1. realized how much time we spend in our offices (most of our awake time) and 2. REALLY enjoyed having my own space. You see, I have never, not once had my own room and now I was treating my offices as that haven. So like any self-proclaimed nerd, I began buying my own office supplies (who didn't love back-to-school time? new folders? new pens?) At some point, I went further, transitioning into interior design--incorporating paint, fabric, art! I know. It was a bit ridiculous. But it was mine. It was beautiful to me. And where I shared every other space in my life and so had relinquished complete control, here I was organized and comfortable, the person I wanted to be in all aspects of my life.
And now I work at home. My office is my living room. If I dropped my child off every morning at someone else's home, I would expect it to be neater than organized chaos and so I feel like it needs to be perfect. But the space is not mine alone. I share it with a family I love. It is obviously not fair to my DH to make him feel like he can't really live in the space. And so now I mourn my office and find myself negotiating a new self-awareness. It never occured to me when I decided to stay home and become a nanny that I would be losing my office. It now seems symbolic of the question I find myself asking often as a stay-at-home mom--how do I keep myself?