Friday, June 04, 2010

friday forte: the luxurious and glamorous life of a SAHM

.... and i always get this dressed up to craft!
posh dress for evening work

I have no commute to work because it's there when I fall out of bed in the morning. I can get straight into whatever task there is without wasting hours in the day. Conversely there is no commute home at the end of the day and my work tends to follow me into the evening, in fact sometimes the evening is when I do my work. The demarcation between work and leisure is somewhat hazy unless firm steps are taken. It often follows me to bed too.

self portrait 18th October 07 - a week of skirts day 3
posh working wardrobe

I don't need a working wardrobe for er work. Anything will do as long as you can reach into a toilet, dishwasher, washing machine, internal workings of a vacuum cleaner, litter tray, freezer or small child's mouth while wearing it. Heels are in or out depending on how steep the hill is to the school pick up zone. Make up is optional (and slightly silly at times but a real boost just for heck of it). It is likely that on some days no one will see you anyway except for other parents at the school pick up zone. Occasional glam moments are required for school events other than pick up time. NB: neither the spouse nor the child should be embarrassed/frightened by your choice of attire, judicious use of leather/cleavage/nude jewelry to 'amuse' male teachers or other dads is wanton (but fun).

After prepping someone else's breakfast, lunch and schoolbag the day is my own. I can waft from laundry to housework to grocery shopping in a giddy haze of domestic tranquillity. Real life moments such as remembering an unpacked lunch or not having a clue about dinner frequently intrude; does mummy-brain continue much beyond the first 5 years? I guess it does. I do have time for my own 'business' but only after I've done/ignored the housework/meal prep/household admin and locked it in the boiler room. Somehow I must find time to schedule family social events - playdates are my responsibility so I chase up (working) mums to confirm dates, and I rustle up enthusiasm for arranging (yet another) date night with DH.

I answer to no one's schedule yet I find it difficult to call my time my own. It's not all busy, busy, busy - sometimes I have a nap, usually I have chocolate, occasionally I have gin. Most times I do remember school pick up in the afternoon. Then I wrangle a healthy snack/piano practice/entertainment/out-of-school activity/homework out of a strangely unwilling offspring who changes his mind frequently. To compensate,my mind now flits automatically, never staying on topic longer than a couple of minutes.

another happy family dinnertime
... and the nutritional value of a rejected meal is ....

In the evening I prepare yet another (rejected) healthy and nutritious meal.
Afterwards I balance the family budget with money I no longer earn and have no control over. Sometimes I pay myself an allowance so I don't feel guilty about buying a magazine; more usually I balance the budget and impose strict spending controls. It makes me feel uberpowerful. Towards bedtime I work on my own projects which I've picked up and put down during the day. I feel blessed that I can work without continuity and thrive on frequent interruption, if I can remember what I am doing.

selfportrait 16th August 07
another multi tasking moment: filing metal while pretending to watch Wee Guy during swim lessons (in reality watching Hunky Swim Instructor)

During any day I receive kisses, cusses, deaf ears, stale food, late returns and lists. I experience consciousness, daylight and strange smells often all at the same time. Euphoria is finding a product which is environmentally friendly yet removes soap scum without scrubbing. Job satisfaction is arranging the recycling in a pleasing manner or taking pleasure in a clean set of stairs until someone walks on them. Job appraisals are infrequent (usually negative) and feedback is frequent (usually negative). Summer arrives once the landscapers remove their shirts to mow the grass and housework seems to take a little longer on Fridays. Anticipation is a loaf in the bread machine, networking is a good wireless connection, spa time is conditioner in the shower, 'me time' is yet another day without talking to a living soul.
I can now ignore dust bunnies until a remote control car harvests them from under the sofa.

yes, i always look this glam
making an effort for the dusting

I laugh in the face of routine. I dance nimbly over job satisfaction. I whet my wit and mental agility on tidal bath rings.
I am a stay-at-home mum - hear me er weep roar!


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