I feel I should preface this post by divulging that right before I started writing, my brother arrived with a bag full of assorted whiskey bottles and announced we were going to do a taste test. And so we did. That being said, I’m surprised I can still remember words like “divulged” and “preface”, but I still have time for the alcohol to kick in so my grammar and vocabulary might devolve by the end of this. My punctuation is already shot. But I just used devolve properly in a sentence, so punctuation can suck it!
So, this month’s theme is ‘Work’. When I was growing up, I internalized that my work would be getting married and having kids and keeping the household running. I could be reading things wrong, it’s always tricky to look back on the personal experiences one’s had as a child and get a clear picture of the truth. But I do know I went to Sunday School faithfully every Sunday for two hours and was taught how to be a good wife and a good mom. And to get a good education. So there’s that.
But the whiskey is sidetracking me. My point here is that I have given up a career path to follow the “stay-at-home-mom” path. Many in this tribe of “SAHM-ness” make homemaking their job. I don’t disagree…staying home with kids to be the primary provider of their needs is a job. A hard core job. It’s the workiest work ever. Always on call, always thinking ahead, always being asked the who/what/when/where/why, always being the go-to…it’s extreme!
But! Knowing how hard it is to work as hard as I do, I enjoy the hell out of the perks. So while it IS my job, I don’t call it “my job”. First of all, no one in their right mind would apply to this. Seriously. The hours are 24/7. The pay is nothing. You’re around whiny, stinky, demanding people all day. Who would sign up for that?!
But omg, the perks are fanfuckingtastic. Especially if you can work it out so you do a little something called “unschooling”, which is like homeschooling but without all the curriculum crap to tie you down. If you’re an unschooler, then you just play with your kids and go on field trips all day. It’s pretty awesome. This week, the kids and I explored tide pools at the beach and then the next day hung out at the pool.
(photo mosaic courtesy of two amazing iphone apps: PicFrame and Instagram!)
In the past there have been park days, days at Disneyland, days in cardboard forts, days picnicking in the mountains, days and days on roadtrips, party days, hula hooping days, days at the beach…all kinds of days.
These days fill me with happiness and gratitude.
But nothing turns me into a shrew faster than someone else making snide comments about how they wish they could just sit around all day at the pool. Or hang at Disneyland. Or play at the beach. I don’t even have to have whiskey on board to get me all feisty with that kind of shit. Nevermind that when I’m at the pool, I’m always on guard against my kid’s accidental drowning or some kind of blunt force trauma to the head via running/slipping/diving/jumping wrong. Nevermind that while at Disneyland I’m hyperaware of some kind of getting lost/getting snatched/drowning in the Tom Sawyer River scenario. And the beach?! Please. It’s no day at the beach when I’m at the beach with my kids. Hello a little something called: riptides/kidnapping/pervy dude hiding in the public bathroom/falling over the handrails on the pier/drowning/getting suffocated by sand (I saw it on Rescue 911 people!!!)/getting 3rd degree sunburn.
I’m not particularly paranoid or freaked out, I’m just aware and on guard. It’s my job. Or, I should say, if it were my job I would quit it and ask for disabilities in the form of PTSD therapy. Instead, it’s just what being a mom is all about.
Those snide comments put me on the defensive. Like, excuse me. When you have put your hands in someone else’s shit and cleaned it up on average of 3 times a day for approximately 9 years, then you can talk to me about pool days. When you have turned the other cheek for an accumulation of 15 years towards the fruits of your loins who you love more than life itself but who won’t stop kicking/licking/throwing up/biting/whining/crying/screaming/harassing/hounding you…then we can talk about a day at Disneyland. When you have spent an average of 5 hours a day between the hours of 6 am and 3 pm pointlessly cleaning up after children that go about making the same sort of mess even in the midst of you cleaning it up…then we can talk about lounging at the park at midday.
I hate getting all bitter and defensive like that. It makes it sound like being a mom is such a chore. And it is…but it’s not. If I made it my job, then it would be a major buzzkill. So I don’t think of it as my job. I think of it as my life. My crazy, awesome, busy, messy, chaotic, blissful, non stop, round the clock, intense, passionate, loud, noisy, constantly changing life.
So here’s a toast to everyone living their lives in whatever form it takes. Working, playing, living, sleeping, putting in long hours, nurturing, office working, asskicking…whatever it is you call work. Or whatever it is you work at and call life. I raise my whiskey cup to you. Hell. I raise the entire whiskey bottle up. Cheers to you. Well done. May you dig deep and hang in there when you need to, and enjoy lots and lots of perks for your efforts!
I’d like to know…what do you call your life’s work? And does it vomit on you at unsuspecting times?