Friday, July 16, 2010

friday forte: walking the walk? moving closer to my goal

Wee Guy waves 'surrender' on the annual family camping trip

It's Friday - nominally my 'day off' this week as my Summer Fun teens class ended yesterday (thank you, young ladies, I had a blast of a week in your company). So today I thought I would have some R 'n' R (that's rest and relaxation, not rock n roll or ribonucleotide reductase in clarification, though as a full-blooded mid-life woman a little of the former with the movie star of my choice would make the wish list too).

But it's also the day before the family camping trip ..... and all you stay-at-homes know what that means. Yes, I'll be swinging from my ankles sorting 'gear' into the various Rubbermaid storage totes for our trip and packing stuff for the Wee Guy (toys and all) ..... on my day off. This year is slightly different as we're going to a 'walk-in' site - I'm not sure what kind of walk-in (heck, I don't even know what time we're checking in) or what kind of distance is involved. I could go online and check up but It's Not Me Who Booked The Trip.

yes, i even have to file the cat

Somehow, being the Shut-In Stay-At-Home has brought the additional job title of Family Organiser. I apparently am responsible for a plethora (a great word - say it again with feeling, plethora) of administrative scheduling tasks ranging from out-of-school programming to date nights, encompassing pet vaccinations, house maintenance, sex and holiday packing, and ending up with the more mundane matters of spring cleaning/decluttering, watering the lawn and pet boarding. Oh and I run a great reminder service too (round here it's called Nagging Inc.). It's easy for a family holiday to turn into 'somewhere with a different kitchen, remembering all the things I forgot to pack or organise before we left home'.

Have you read "Equally Shared Parenting" by Marc and Amy Vachon? (link below - do buy it and swell my coffers). I've been dipping in and out as I trundle round the house. It's a fascinating peek into a world where parents do indeed share everything; the parenting, the housework, the outside work. It requires a huge shift in thinking away from traditional gender or parenting roles, and requires both sexes to re-imagine living together as parents. For instance, mums could no longer use motherhood as an excuse to avoid 'going out' to work (yes, I know that sounds harsh - please do read the book to see it in context)) and dads would have to open their minds to making domestic duties/childcare a priority in the old grey matter. The emphasis is on ample communication, as well as trust in the partner to make the sharing equal. In translation for a camping trip, this would not involve one parent making the booking then being nagged asked to check through the camping gear, leaving the other parent to arrange pet sitting, packing, re-packing the "organised" camping gear, contemplating transport of camping gear into a walk-in site, packing for the child, conjuring up a mini menu and selecting store cupboard items to take in a vacuum of information. It would involve discussion (not interrogation) followed by delegation (not automatic assumption) of tasks involved to make it A Family Holiday (goshdarnit).

obscure verse
nope, i don't understand it either!

It would also be a glorious run-through for what I'm contemplating next in my life as a mother ie. 're-entering the workforce' (yes, that phrase is totally dripping with sarcasm*- one bazillion points to whoever spotted it). There is no way I can ever imagine taking up paid employment and still have all the household/relationship/parenting/childcare/concierge duties solely on my plate. I'm not completely stupid/masochistic - adding to my workload has never been part of my career plan.

Neither has being a concierge, though I think I might be quite good at it.

PS: please do remind me to type out info sheets for the pet sitters.
k thnx bai  happy holidays :)

*not a wildly correct link, but a funny one nonetheless


Anonymous said...

I had to click through to see the movie star of your choosing. And I must say - good choice!

Happy travels. :)

Bex said...

A few comments

- George Clooney - hmm, you could do so much better!

- sex packing - now that I have to see

- family organiser, - sorry, yes it does come with the stay-at/work-from home role. If for no other reason than employers tend to be less forgiving of 'time away from the job' to organise the family. Not necessarily fair but true all the same! The real unfairness is when the woman is expected to be family organiser AND work outside the home. Far too many of my married friends have to do that if you ask me. With one very honourable exception!

- fridge poetry, - ok, it's probably not entirely reasonable to display but I think my last effort is far more obscure (and funny!)

Good post tho big sis

lil sis xxxxxxxx

pomomama said...

LOL! I dithered about putting Ewan MacGregor in there instead but I think I might frighten him (poor wee lamb), and there is most definitely a need for the serial comma in that long list (the sex packing is relevant though - it's usually me that packs the lube or not, way TMI!!!!)

I'm in agreement in part re: the Family Organiser role as a stay-at-home But it shouldn't have to be everything. As far as I remember, a relationship is meant to be a shared effort, and parenting is meant to be a shared effort. The house-stuff I am willing to accept though I would swoon with delight if I had the kind of man-about-the-home who I had to physically restrain from putting up shelves/decorating/mending stuff. Being Family Organiser does not however, preclude communication - it has never been an acceptable substitute.

The fridge poetry is a small metaphor for how much i still don't 'get' about life :) and was one of your less sordid offerings

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