Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
the rejuvenating effects of a blurred photo (oh yes, i'm only 22)
OK, June - Junuary, as it's known round here (and yes, you were indeed Junuary with only a few sunny breakthroughs) .... what did I achieve in June?
Well, on the business front there were three craft fair appearances; a municipal opening, a weekender and a very dismal street party. I'm slowly learning to be a lot pickier about when and where I turn up (and where I hand over the ash for table fees) these days. Two out of three this month wasn't bad. Supporting local events is hard work but can be a great way to network and meet new friends, or it can be a a freezing cold dismal and expensive way to subsidise someone else's street party (Car Free on Main Street = never again!).
with two out of three missing pals
The Wee Guy didn't get any more regular playdates scheduled but we did borrow a classmate for a couple of afternoons. He did also have a wonderful reunion with his best mate from babyhood (aww too sweet) but sadly it was only over a couple of afternoons before N and his bros returned to SK (we miss you guys).
day 2 capsule wardrobe challenge: it got less scary-looking honest
On a personal level I learned a bit more about making my wardrobe work for me by taking part in a capsule wardrobe challenge. Phew! Five pieces for five days???? I managed but only by reclassifying camisole tops as underwear. I did however finally use the tripod mr ebb gave me and worked out a way of taking some semi-decent self portraits. I even smiled in some of them.
i wish i was a jellyfish ....... (it's a jellyfish, OK?)
As usual I ranted and fretted with a side order of daydreaming thrown in. Life was a beach over on my other blog, and I instituted a fibre friday series of blog posts to counteract the ranting over here.
So June, June ... whither June? And now it's the end of June and school is out (this morning OMG).
Summer is here
(OK show yourself!)
Monday, June 28, 2010
me and my pair of shaddocks
(and this could be a verrrrrrrrry looooooooong series of posts ..... just sayin')
OK, so my mama renew sessions have come to a close and I'm going to miss getting together with a simply awesome bunch of mamas on monday nights. If you want to know what we talked about .... then I suggest you sign up for your own sessions - what goes on at mama renew, stays at mama renew.
But usually the questions 'in class' begat more questions and ponderings and exploration so perhaps I'll have a wee peek at some of the issues I've been left musing over.
In our last class we were asked "what holds you back?" or words to that effect. Fear? Embarrassment? Lack of confidence? Inertia? Lack of time? Yes, well apart from lack of time (the usual culprit) what does hold me back from achieving my goals and attaining joy? I didn't answer - I knew only too well what it is that is holding me back and I didn't want to spoil the meeting by getting all ranty (I save this for the blog, dear reader) and then becoming all blotchy with crying (sometimes I just don't feel like becoming that raw in public, unless it's the pool and I can blame the chlorine).
I'm as good at self-sabotage as the next woman but what really holds me back from my goals and joy? It's knowing that it's all completely up to me. Once more it is all my responsibility to get something done. There's no one who can do it for me and no one who will step in with a master plan of organisation ...... and after spending what seems like a lifetime doing what seems like everything for everyone else I'm really getting tired of it .... so the thought of having to haul my butt in gear yet again, and even though it's for me this time, just doesn't fill me with enthusiasm.
Ever felt like that?
Saturday, June 26, 2010
my little friend modeling a handcast fine silver maple leaf (gathered locally)*
Advance warning of a couple of significant events.
- School is out (at 10.30am) on Tuesday (holy freaking cow!!)
- I will be plying my wares in the artisan village at the Coquitlam Canada Day celebrations at Town Centre Park on Thursday.
You have been warned.
Happy weekend to all (another reason for being uberstressed IMO).
*PS: I'll be flogging some of these at the artisan fair on Thursday (hint hint)
Friday, June 25, 2010
crazy stack of felted pi pots
I look after the dinner, the meal prep, the groceries, adequate nutrition and balanced meals.
I look after the housework, the house maintenance, the running repairs and seasonal changes.
I look after the Wee Guy; I'm there in the morning to feed him breakfast and send him out of the door with a packed lunch; I'm there in the afternoon to collect him from school, wrangle homework, a healthy snack and explanations from him.
I look after the pets, topping up bowls, emptying bowls (and worse), washing bowls.
I look after the social needs of the family. I program playdates, I know who goes where with whom, when and how. I facilitate our entertainment needs fulfillment.
I look after the health department - I know which doctor we go to, I know where the walk-in clinics are and how to get to ER (and when). I look after the medical supplies, vitamins, bandages, Tylenol and paper tissues. I look after vaccination schedules and holiday health insurance.
I look after the special events. I look after the gift buying for all. I look after the gift wrapping (except when we ran out a few christmases ago), gift receiving and thank yous.
I look after the budget. I look after the finances and the cash flow that I don't generate. I look after the bills, the savings and the the financial worries.
I look after the big picture.
I look after the details.
I look after the minutiae of living.
I look after the things you do not see.
.... who looks after me?
Thursday, June 24, 2010
My careers teacher thought I should be a chiropodist. It had something to do with the number of science subjects I was taking and the general ambition of girls at the high school I attended I guess.
Whatever! I assume she hadn't bothered to check out my class exam marks when she tried to put me off my chosen goal of veterinary medicine.
To cut a long story short I did become a chiropodist. I've dealt with the foot problems of guinea pigs, mice, rats, cats, dogs and the occasional reptile. I sliced into my wrist quite deeply paring a dairy cow's foot, and removed the entire toe of a ram using only a gigli wire, sedation and local anaesthesia.Oh yes indeedy, I became a chiropodist but not in the narrow one-species-centric vision my dear careers advisor envisaged. I had ambition and wasn't put off by the very competitive nature of my chosen profession.
So that was my first career.
It metamorphosed into a research track from clinical work and by the time I left the UK for Canada I hadn't been in practice for seven years ... and that was my second career.
So what now? Is being a stay-at-home parent my third career or is it merely a stop gap giving me some thinking space? What do I want to be now that I've grown up?
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
But it's not just the creative side of me that gets to appreciate the wondrous ways of fibre.
So in the spirit of all that is so bloody marvellous about being a housewife let me sing the praises of the Mr Clean microfibre Magic Eraser (and no, I'm not being sponsored or paid or anything to review the product here - I'm not in that stellar league of mommy-bloggers-who-industry-gives-a-damn-about).
The poor dishevelled scrap in the picture above surrendered its life to remove two year's worth of bath crayon from the tiles and grout surrounding the Wee Guy's bath (yes, he has his own bath - we're posh out here in the 'burbs).
It didn't take any noxious wax-dissolving chemicals or over-application of elbow grease to remove the artistic tub graffiti, and now my tiles look almost sparkly once more.
- eco cleaning method - check
- no nasties poured down the drain - check
- reasonable number of calories expended - check
- clean tiles and non-grubby grout - check
(pass me the gin)
PS: come celebrate Father's Day (aka 'palm the kids off on Dad for some quality daddy-time' day) with me at the Blim market on car-free Sunday, Main Street!
Friday, June 18, 2010
friday forte: in which i blog about my midlife crisis and you read about it, dammit!
Tum te tum. So what have we covered so far?
Well, we've been thru looks, appearance and wardrobe (still working on wardrobe, apart from the shoes).
I've muttered on about childcare solutions and failures.
I've hinted at relationship woes and successes.
We've covered finances, ageing and dabbled in pregnancy matters via events around mother's day.
There's an awful lot left (she says menacingly, looking daggers at anyone who dares to check a watch or try to leave early).
My career, godammit! *growls*
To be completely honest I put the career on hold when we emigrated to Canada in late 2001 (my choice). Once we got here the lure of part-time work at the weekends was, meh, not that enticing (poorly paid, not in my field of interest) so we recklessly spent our free time exploring our new home. Instead of paid employment I volunteered while mr. ebb was at work in The Big City. I helped coordinate continuing education for local veterinary surgeons (yes, I built that website too!) and kept up with my own professional development in return. I taught adaptive snowboarding on a local mountain and gained both CASI and CADS (level II) teaching certificates as a result. And I virtually lived at Vancouver Aquarium with its incredible volunteer program - I taught marine mammal biology to schoolkids, transcribed interviews for a book, dabbled in graphic design, helped cover the news desk, got dirty and smelly at seal rehab (during the first icky trimester of pregnancy nonetheless), and brushed up my admin skills in the volunteer office. (I was busy). I gained my Bronze Fish pin in my first year there.
So I got pregnant too; a sort of traditional posted overseas, expat, trailing spouse kind of thing to do. It made sense - my eggs weren't getting any younger, indeed they were probably frying as we debated, and when would we get the time to pursue fertility like this again?
The Wee Guy arrived, we became parents and I became a fulltime SAHM .... and mostly it wasn't too frightening. I did what my mother had done for me - I stayed at home while the Wee Guy did his infancy growing up thing.
He's now in school full time - he still needs me to be around, but I now have this chunk of childless time in the middle of the day, not really long enough to do anything out-of-the-home constructive with but long enough to make me wonder, "what the heck am i doing now?"
.... which is the crux of my question. What exactly am I doing here now? What should I be doing? Where should I be doing it?
I'm over the 'it being a complete luxury' to stay at home - we don't need two incomes so far, end of discussion. We only have one child, one car and few expensive tastes (shoes don't count - I get most of them at thrift). Should I feel guilty for being at home 24/7?* Should I feel guilty at wanting to resume some kind of career? Should I feel guilty for 'wasting' my education? How many shoes is too many?
But, what about security, financial security, job security and all that jazz? I am financially dependent on my husband, for today, tomorrow and into retirement now. My job skills are not current - if he loses his job it is unlikely that I can just pick something up to keep us afloat. And what about retirement? - he now has to think in terms of a pension for two ........and all of this because we chose to raise a family and have a parent at home for the child we are raising.
I would like (and it may be lala cloud cuckoo fantasy land in reality) to work out something which would remove so much of the burden from my husband, which would allow me to contribute to the household budget in a meaningful way ie. not just pouring it into childcare, which would provide a satisfying out-of-the-home life for me, but still allow us to parent our child in the way we choose to.
Is this too much to ask? And what exactly am I asking for anyway? What exactly am I prepared to give up in return? Do I have to give up the SAHM-deal in return for the kind of career/financial/not-just-a-mum existence I'm envisioning? Will the extra work be worth it all?
Yes, I know - back to the gin and the Valium! Thanks for reading :))
* Hell, no!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Her work is an amazement of embroidery and fabric collage .... and so much more than my limited adjectives will allow me to describe.
I suggest you try to catch the exhibition in person.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Wee Guy is a singleton.
He started out as one (or perhaps two since he's a lefty) and will most likely always be a one.
I started waaaaaaaay too late on this procreation lark, the events surrounding the actual birthing process were a little iffy, and even though I loved being pregnant it's just Not Going To Happen Again.
So he has no siblings. No ready-made playmates or sparring partners. We have to go seek them. On a daily basis I attempt to organise playdates, arrange out-of-school activities where we will meet mini peeps, and orchestrate social interactions.
But mostly it's just him and me, out for the afternoon. He's naturally sociable and I encourage him to "make friends".
This afternoon at the beach he "entertained" a couple of inquisitive two-year old twins, coping admirably with toy appropriation and their alien concept of sharing.
I watched as he made tentative steps to joining a group of older children playing in the sand. He asked me first before picking up his bucket to go join them, stopping a few feet away and hesitating until an invite, a glance was issued.
My heart aches for him at such times. He'll never have a confident or delegated older sibling to forge these new paths, or a brash younger sibling as an automatic ice breaker. I wrestle with stepping in to fight his social introduction battles for him but hang back knowing he's acquiring his own valuable life skills. He's developing his own social persona sans interference.
I hope this is the right way to parent. I guess I'll never really know because I really did start waaaay too late.
Monday, June 14, 2010
my first attempt at shibori!
I admit - it is all about me.
In my wanton pursuit of crafting happiness I was willing to drag my son, the Wee Guy, to a totally self-indulgent shibori workshop ........ which we both enjoyed.
- quality time - check
- play time - check
- crafting time - check
- spending time with my son time - check
- in, around and in spite of the family - check!
multi-tasking ....... bring it on!
KoolAid dyed shibori silk by the Wee Guy
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I'm dipping my toes into the world that is posterous in an effort to streamline my online life.
So I've added the Posterous button to my AddThis toolbar (which has streamlined my web browser) and tweaked my autopost .......... let's take it for a spin!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
day five: all set for the rain
So I completed the wardrobe challenge!
Using only five main items of clothing (a Tshirt, a pair of jeans and a pair of capris, a sundress and a bright red cardi) I got thru the week ...... in questionable style.
That's all folks!
So what have I learned from the experience?
- Well, five items is not very much. Since I won't wear the same top again without washing it it I also had to practice strategic laundering. Maybe I should have cut down to only the jeans and the dress but the weather has been too variable to guess the depths of heat/cold to be experienced.
- Getting ready in the morning was much faster - I didn't waste as much time on selecting an outfit. However, the evening before and the strategic laundry planning did take more time than expected so I'm not sure if I gained at all.
- I was a little bored ..... the weather wasn't much help either.
- I don't consider throwing a vest into the mix as cheating - it's an undergarment.
- I'm not too good at accessorising with scarves - in fact I suck! Must do more homework on that one.
- I used my tripod to take some almost OK self portraits of each outfit - will definitely do this again.
Did I cheat?
Not really though I did make a subsitution halfway thru. My original choice included another T shirt but by Wednesday I was crying out for some colour so in came the red cardi (a good choice IMHO). No, I didn't get changed immediately after taking the day's photograph!
What will I take from the experience?
I think I will start planning my clothes for the next day as having an unhustled morning start was a luxury. I think I'll start being a bit more creative with my clothing choices and maybe making them multi-task more.
my week's wardrobe
Well, there are other documented wardrobe clothing challenges. The first one which springs to mind is Andrea Zittel's uniform projects where the artist makes a piece of clothing which is worn for a period of time. In one project dresses were made, each appropriate for a season and then worn for a period of six months. The exhibition I saw at Vancouver Art Gallery included her fibre uniform series which are made by directly felting wool into a dress form. By creating a uniform a lot of the choices, impositions and requirement for different outfit each day are removed. Her latest clothing project, smockshop, involves other artists interpreting her design into their own garment.
Another formidable project is MakeShift where only handmade clothing (including underwear, shoes, socks, coats etc.) will be worn for an entire year. The project has been running since September 2009 and the amazing wardrobe is being blogged.
Other challenges include little brown dress, in which the same handmade little brown dress was worn every day for a year, and a one year 100% recycled wardrobe project in which all clothing was sourced from within the same collection of clothes.
And the originator of this wardrobe challenge pledged a whole year of not buying new clothes ... and she succeeded.
So what next for me?
I've done A Week of Skirts (which got me out of a jeans/Tshirt/sweats rut) and started me thinking about pulling myself together appearance-wise. Could I wear the same dress for a week? - well, probably no as I have issues with underarm stinkiness and unnecessary loads of laundry. A Week of Trousers (that's pants to you N Americans) lacks impact but a Week of Formal Attire would be fun. I could wear some gorgeous dresses which currently rarely see the light of day due to my limited social life and I'm sure the other parents on the school run would be amused (community service). A Week of Thrift is a possible - wearing nothing but charity shop or upcycled items, including shoes but not knickers or bras (ewww) - and of course would earn me extra points on my Good Mother Chart.
Otherwise ....well, I have some lovely thrifted jeans I cannot wait to try in some new outfits, and a couple of items bought Friday from the Roots factory outlet sale ..... and there's a dress I rescued from my charity bag ...... and hopefully it will be summer soon ........ in fact I may just change outfits several times a day just for the hell of it.
Friday, June 11, 2010
It has come to my attention that some of you gentle readers may not fully understand what the life of a SAHM is actually like, with some myths and confusion muddying your minds.
Fear not - I can dispel these untruths and make all clear again. Read on!
Myth no. 1: being a SAHM is a complete luxury
Reality: No, the real luxury is being able to survive on one income and not have to go out to earn extra thus being available to parent and housekeep. There's not much about what a SAHM does that could be seen as luxurious living.
Myth no. 2: you are a waste of your education
Reality: True enough. I don't think there is anywhere in the world where you can get a certificate, let alone a higher degree, in de-crusting a toilet. My PhD, BVM&S, school diplomas, music certificates, Girl Guide badges, etc are of no practical use for the tedium of running a household but they do come in handy for inspiring my child who is the real reason why I am currently at home 24/7.
Myth no. 3: SAHMs have it easy and have nothing to complain about
Reality: I guess I hung up my right to hold opinions at the door when I put on my pinny then? Or if I do hold opinions on my world then I should keep them to myself? OK so my world has contracted sharply and is maybe more focused on child rearing and housework than someone with outside aka salaried/non-child interests but it doesn't mean that I should put up or shut up.
luxurious poolside living, earning some pin money during the Wee Guy's swim lesson
Myth no. 4: SAHMs are 'kept women'
Reality: Yes, I'm being 'kept' by my husband, the breadwinner who also pays for the living expenses of his
new shoes: what else is a mall for?
Myth no. 5: Isn't it just one long round of coffee with the girls, shopping sprees and gazing at the pool boy?
Reality: (we don't have a pool) If I wasn't also responsible for the family budget maybe I would fritter away more time in coffee shops .... in reality other mummies are dealing with their home responsibilities or grabbing some peace and quiet while the kids are out at school. Housework does take some time (all day if you're bored) but mostly I'm working on my own projects while in the house by myself. It's my way of staying sane among the tedium (and making some pin money).
Myth no.6: Must be nice to have the house to yourself all day, easy to potter about doing the housework and relaxing.
Reality: Firstly may I state that I usually do not do my housework during the week while everyone is out. Why should I give my son the illusion that housework is done mysteriously with no sweat or toil and not by himself. It's like saying that the brownies will do it all for you? I pity the poor girl who ends up with him if that's what he ends up believing! I also firmly believe in making sure my husband is not totally clueless about domestic matters either! Secondly, I don't usually relax. OK I took a week off but that was Unusual. I work ... on my own business, not family housework stuff! Thirdly having the house to myself means that some days I don't see another living being from school drop off to afternoon pick up, and then my only conversation is with a 7 year old. Very relaxing.
just about got the hang of this housework thing
Myth no. 7: Don't you just sit around painting your toe nails all day?
Reality: Hmmmm ... I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer, cretin!
Myth no. 8: It's a cushy old life!
Reality: Absolutely! For being a kept woman, relying totally on my husband and staying home with the kid I'm not losing out at all re: career, pension or future earning potential. All the skills I'm building up while staying at home will be totally meaningless when/if I do get out into the job market to resume a career so I probably will end up dead-heading dahlias into my dotage.Oh yes, I can keep the economy afloat by volunteering ...... hoo bloody ray. I feel so worthy.
Myth no. 9: You must have oodles of quality time with your child(ren)/family
Reality: We live together - we don't need to artificially schedule "nice times" with each other. We interact, warts and all - it's called being a family.
Myth no 10: SAHMs should be totally devoted to their children and family, to the exclusion of all else. After all it's a choice that they've made so they should live with it.
Reality: I'm tempted to call in answer no. 7 to this one or direct you to no. 3 above. All I can say is that this statement most commonly comes out of the mouths of other women, either "working" mothers or those who are childless "career women", and it's usually meant as a complete put-down when they discover that SAHMs are active in so many other areas than just "kinder, kirche, kuche". Somehow a SAHM is meant to function within the small realm of home, husband and child and, wait for it, be satisfied! The implication is that, since many have made the choice to 'withdraw' from the 'world of work' then they should be happy with their lot. Bull.shit. Some have no choice in the face of inadequate childcare or have done the maths and realise that pouring money into contracting out the parenting makes poor economic sense for the family. For others, a chosen career does not fit in with the rigours (yes, you heard me - it's hard work) of raising a family so returning to the career world is either delayed or regretfully shelved. Many strongly believe in raising their own child in an age-appropriate way, which often means being there as a parent when the child needs them. Sadly (and this might be news) society still doesn't value raising a family which, in translation, means that it is darned difficult to be on an almost-equal footing with the childless working population. Whatever the choice (or lack of) expecting a SAHM to forsake everything else just because she is at home all day is as bat shit crazy as expecting 'working' people not to run errands during a lunch hour or pick up groceries on the way home from 'work' or even not do any 'work' over a weekend or perhaps (gasp) not blog (yes, inspired by the old "if you're blogging you must be neglecting your child" chestnut). SAHM hours and work location are poorly defined at the best of times without imposing extra workplace practices from an uninformed viewpoint. Sure, I'm here for my child when he needs me but sometimes he doesn't want anything to do with me, playing quietly by himself (self-directed) or working on some solo project (developing his concentration). Likewise, running a household cannot/should not be done in isolation of childcare so I do the domestic stuff while he is around too (gasp. neglect, neglect!). In translation, there are times during the day when I don't need to be ironing gussets, pretending to be a spaceman, cooking, cleaning, wiping, tidying, whoring, titivating/titillating, adding, subtracting, provisioning ...... and I don't just go into stand-by mode, sometimes I do indeed blog! As I've explained, I consider it important that a child knows that housework is not done by a mysterious sect of little people, that parenting is important, that parents regardless of employment status are people too, and that being the stay-at-home is not all fun fun and coffee mornings as exemplified in myths 1 - 10 above.
PS: I can paint my toenails and do the housework - multitasking = easy peasy
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Well, it has to be something that's easy to move around in. There are an amazing array of interactive displays to get stuck in to.
the recycling barrel full of monkeys
.... and then there's the child(ren) to chase around after. They rarely stay still!
blur of interactive motion
So much to see and do, with only brief moments of stillness. Clothes have to stay the pace.
intense and concentrating
Wipe clean, non-staining or camouflage is also a good idea, especially during mealbreaks.
When having fun, clothing should be functional and non-inhibiting.
capris and jacket: H&M
Tshirt: Dorothy Perkins
shoes: New Balance
pendant: yours truly
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
first, the pretty stuff
then the not so pretty
day 2: H&M dress and capris, Aldo shoes, Jacob Connexion vest (don't mess with me)
cardi from Zara
jeans from Reitmans
white vest from ?
cowboy boots from a western store in Bandera, Texas!
a little more cheerful!
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Blackberry Gift Shop in the Port Moody Arts Centre (and for all the amazing businesses in the Old Town centre of Port Moody).
They're at it again! Another shop 'n' stroll with prizes! This time it's a Passport to Summer (rather than the winter's Moonlight Madness) and it's taking place over a whole weekend! All you have to do is pick up a passport from any of the businesses taking part (listed here) then visit the remaining twelve to collect all your stamps. Once your completed passport is dropped off you are eligible for the prize draw (a cruise for two ..... Mexico!!).
So plan your route. I'm suggesting a visit to the gift shop is a must (just in time for that special Father's Day gift), and while you're there check out the exhibitions at the Arts Centre.
... and of course there's a Facebook page for it!
Monday, June 07, 2010
for the next five days i am restricted to only five items of clothing plus unlimited shoe and accessory choices (and i'm hoping this means underwear too!)
my collection is a pair of jeans, a pair of black linen capris, two T shirts and a dress which can double as a top
jeans - reitmans
Tshirt - Dorothy Perkins
scarf - vintage M&S
shoes - Harlot
the weather forecast for the week is shit - neither summer nor winter. i'm re-classifying cardigans as accessories, counting jackets as accessories and taking unlimited vest tops as underwear in a bid to stave off any chill.
this might not be easy
wish me luck!
PS: i'll try to look as though i'm enjoying myself in tomorrow's pic (no promises though)
Friday, June 04, 2010
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.
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.
... 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.
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.
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