I am writing this listening to a cacophony of hammers as roofers replace the siding on the back of the building I live in. I am glad it's being done, as pieces of the old siding have been falling off since we moved in four years ago, but ye gods, the banging crashing and smashing! Not to mention that I have had to clear off the shelves along the back wall or risk a smashed mess of glass spice jars on the kitchen floor. Ick. (And with the cost of some of that stuff, not a chance. Have you ever bought saffron?!? I should keep it locked in a safe, for Hestia's sake.)
This is my first week away from what I tend to call 'the real world;' I'm home, catching up on housework, writing work, and myself, really, having just wrapped up a job that took much more out of me than I expected it to. I'm on the lookout again; I really can't stay home and enjoy myself, much as I'd like to. But while I'm waiting for a job that actually adds to the household rather than takes away from it, I will revel in the fact that the biggest responsibility of my days is to make sure I remember to pick up Little Bit at the correct time. (Normally after 3, but today is an early day. I am obsessively checking the clock.) I have time to meditate, to write, to cook, brush up on research and practice my Reiki techniques. If only some kind of salary were tied into all this life would be as perfect as life gets.
In the meantime, I continue my days, digging my house out from beneath the mess it became in the last couple months when both my husband and I were too tired after work to do more than fold the clean laundry (leaving it in baskets in the living room) and ordering out far too many dinners. For someone that enjoys cooking, I have done alarmingly little of it lately. No wonder the numbers on the scale mock me every morning. (Well, they did. I've stopped checking, because the last thing a person with depression and an an eating disorder needs is to look at the damn scale every damn day.) I have been working on various projects, articles and reviews, not to mention plotting this summer's reading list. Occupied as I am, I don't feel like I'm working at all. And I am.
Too many women (and some men, in this enlightened day and age) have to hear the words "Oh, you stay home all day, you don't work?" Homecaring is work. Cleaning the house, keeping the family clothed and fed, how is this not considered work? Because a salary isn't earned, I suppose. In many cases it may save a family money. I was using over a tankful of gas every week driving to and from work, and let's not discuss childcare. (Though our daycare provider is the most amazing person in the world, and I'd happily pay double what she charges, she's that good.) All I'm saying here is that the stay-at-home parents and work-from-home professional should be recognized, too. I may be working: writing is what I do, after all, but in between paragraph revisions I'm washing a load of dishes. A break to brew some tea generally involves some other household task as well. In less than half an hour I'll be picking my little guy up from school, and any quiet writing time will be gone. (Okay, not so quiet...the roofers are still out there...) The rest of today is going to be spent on things not work, but play. And this is okay. I won't feel guilty about drawing maps with my son when there are dishes to be washed. The dishes can wait. Childhood won't.