I'm sure this guy is not a married stay at home mother but I like the way he thinks. I also find comfort that there exists categories upon categories of quotes about laundry.
"It's better to have loved and lost than to have to do forty pounds of laundry a week."
-- Laurence J. Peter
In case BrainyQuote is seeking contributors, I thought I'd submit this little tidbit:
"It's better to blog, get your thoughts and worries down on paper than to do forty pounds of laundry a week. By the way, a little dust won't kill anyone either."
-- Lisa Poltz
I like to tell people that I knit so I don't kill people. Well, I blog and write so I don't kill people. That's an exaggeration of course but I do find it therapeutic. I don't get to talk with people my age during the day and I need to break the habit of referring to myself in the first person with my husband. I realize that writing is not the same as speaking but it is communicating with other adults. Other stay at home moms. Expression and commiserating with other women keeps my mind fresh and often leads to friendships.
It also leads to piles of laundry undone. When there's laundry to do there's also a gaggle of other domestic tasks that need attention. Sometimes I get so absorbed writing and networking that I hallucinate that I have a butler and a maid. When I write a really good piece or when I guest blog or get offers to do so my eyes don't see the ring around the toilets or the "dust me" written on the dining room table. I get a little eye strain. Sue me.
Like it or not, being a stay at home mother also means that you are the primary housekeeper. Unless you are an aristocratic family with a staff of servants, mothers do the scut work. I speak for myself of course but I'm sure I'm not alone.
Somewhere during the journey from working women to mom with kids my marriage was tested. I left my job abruptly when my son was born. It really was a split second decision that my husband readily supported. I expected an hours long debate; should I leave or shouldn't I. Instead I got a kiss on the far head and a wink.
From my first day at home with the baby until as of late I assumed the role of Mrs. Cleaver. The only difference being I wore jeans or yoga pants and had no apron to speak of. I was so grateful and quite frankly amazed that my husband was so readily supportive. Now I didn't exactly ask if I could leave my job. Rather, I gently stated it using the best puppy dog eyes I could muster. He'd known me long enough to know I would get my wish. I took care of everything HOME. From taking care of the children to cleaning the woodwork to balancing the checkbook I was CEO of the House of Poltz.
Married life after children was a totally different portrait from before the children were born. Me and my husband were essentially working roommates. We shared and shared alike. And we had a lot of sex. A lot. Really, a lot. When we weren't at work or eating or having sex we cleaned the house. Being just the two of us there wasn't a whole lot to keep clean. Married life after children was different. He was working and paying the bills. He wouldn't let me near his tractor so mowing the lawn and shoveling was his job. We still ate and less frequently and primarily quickly in the bathroom or between naps (and I don't mean ours) we had sex. Not a word was uttered or a conversation had but I took on the task of housekeeper. I felt it was my responsibility to clean house and since I was home it just made sense. So, while there was no document drafted or even a handshake on the deal, I kept house.
Twelve years and two more children later not to much has changed. I took a stab at working part-time but that didn't work out. It didn't work out because it was a doctor's office and it gave me bronchitis three times. It also didn't work out because I had to straighten up the magazines if I filled out a form the wrong way. Really the main reason I left was because the kids still needed me more. My little one was only seven and her older brothers would rather of locked her in a closet than babysit her. So for the second time in my life I gave notice.
There is one change I want to talk about. I'm also writing about it now as your read this. I stumbled into the world of blogging. My kids were older and I was relieved of certain duties like cutting up food, changing wet sheets and peeling them off the staircase. I was still pulling cleaning duty but I definitely had more time for myself. When all three were in school full-time I was granted even more time just for me. Facebook, Twitter and Blogger came for tea one day and I was hooked. When I first launched into cyber space I only orbited in short spurts. That's when sticky floors and cobwebs trumped friending people and learning to tweet in under 40 characters.
My husband actually preferred that I stay home. The fiasco at the doctor's office was enough proof that I was needed in the home more. He's never mentioned looking for work again. That is, outside the home. He's been hint hinting me to find work from home. My sweetheart. His favorite phrase was "you're on the laptop a lot, try to find something." That phrase morphed into a mantra and the man needed to be stifled. Apparently all of his friends wives do it and it was easy to find. I bit my tongue and resisted the urge for him to name names and their jobs and continued on my merry way through social media,.
I found or so I thought I found a solution. Blogging! Genius! I would blog about some topic or another and be famous! Well, it didn't quite start that way. I sort of fell into blogging. I knit so I searched for free patterns high and low on, ready, blogs! Damn there were tons of them. Most of them were so well written (which is not easy when you're discussing knitting and purling) and creative. I wanted in. So, I got in. I was muddling around in Google one day and, poof, started this blog. I love knitting but I was more into the knitting part of it than the writing part of it. I barely had time to make a hat so that topic was out. Blogger was kind enough to ask me to tell everyone about myself so part of my cutesy response was "I am the CEO of the House of Poltz." Just like that a blog was born. It began in the late evening hours one October night and I haven't stopped. Love every minute of it.
My husband, not so much. I called him at work to tell him I had a surprise. Was I pregnant was his first question. He sighed relieved then guessed again. Did I find a job. Then I thought, did I? I told him to wait until he got home. I needed time to concoct a story. A story of how a blog could be a job.
Upon hearing the surprise my husband gave me a "you'll shoot your eye out" reaction instead of one of excitement. Our thought processes diverged. He thought blogging would just be an obstacle to finding a job. I thought I could profit from it some day. He saw my blog as just another one of my short-lived hobbies. I saw it as an opportunity. I had proof having connected with so many others bloggers that were really businesses.
In any case, this is no deal breaker for our marriage. I won't let it be. I should have anticipated his lack of enthusiasm. As he's learned over the years I always get what I want so I kept at it. As for me, I intend to earn income some day from this blog. Or some other one. Things don't happen overnight. I want to be productive financially and relieve some of the burden of my husband. In time it will happen. I always get what I want and I am very persistent and stubborn. Though he needs no proof I still want to show how useful blogging can be even if I stay home with the kids.
As for the laundry, it won't get done over night either. Ignoring it can actually be a win-win situation. I get more time to write and he'll get a brand new package of Jockey's! I have time to figure out how to generate some income and he can lose the boxers and wear briefs without holes in them!
Follow your dreams ladies...