I can’t pay attention at work because I want to be home with my kids.

I seem to have lost my work mojo. I show up, do the bare minimum, and phone in the rest. How do I get inspired and refocused? I am the breadwinner in my family, and there is no scenario possible that will allow me to quit my job and stay home, yet all I do all day is kid-related stuff from my office. My body is here, but my head isn’t.

I’m looking at your grass, and it’s so, so, so green. The pressure to provide for your family must be enormous, and I know what a luxury it is to spend time at home with my kids and just work when I feel like it, but really…I have a fantasy. In it, I wake up in the morning and get dressed in something that’s not yoga pants, and while the kids are screaming at each other over who gets the blue bowl and who had the orange cup yesterday, I leave. I drive without listening to the Imagination Movers or anyone begging to watch a movie, and I listen to NPR and drink hot coffee out of a travel mug and nod in agreement whenever Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep say something I totally agree with. I also go out to lunch, and people tell me how great of a job I’m doing and any time there’s anything crusty on my shirt I can rest easy in the knowledge that I put it there, and that it’s probably not a booger. You really are lucky in a lot of ways, you know.

Anyone who phones it in at work for an extended period of time is going to suffer some consequences, especially these days, since I’m sure there are about 9,000 people out there who are willing to do your job with a lot more enthusiasm and for a lot less money. I should think your employer would be more than happy to replace your slacking, online-pajama-shopping, potty-training-researching self with one of those desperate unemployed people you hear about on the news every single day.

You could always motivate yourself to look for a new job (they’re still out there, if you’re in the right place or the right time) that you might enjoy more, but until then, let the thought of your unemployed self sitting at home with your kids and your husband in the dark eating ramen noodles and selling off your furniture, piece by piece, on Craigslist, be your motivation for now.

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