My husband has the sort of job where you have to shave and get dressed. I have the sort of job where you have to do neither. He has to set an alarm on the morning to get ready for work, the other morning I complained how he was waking everyone up with being so noisy in the morning, his comment being I am the one that has to get up for work – however when he is up so are me and E, so I am assuming being a stay at home mum isn’t viewed at work?
I tend to feel defensive about this, particularly when he asks, “So what are you up to today or tomorrow?” Up to? Up to? “Up to” is a phrase used for kids and retirees, people with tons of free time. My answer is at once “not much” and “you name it’. I’m defensive because it’s impossible to explain what I do all day without inducing a your boring me coma. Get E up, go to the shops as you have eaten everything, call the dentist, call the doctor, school runs, prepare the food, clean up aforementioned food, find the socks, be a children’s entertainer, be a nurse, be a laundry worker then more cleaning up and much more.
I get a lot of stuff done during the day, but very little of it is visible to my husband. In fact, to the untrained eye it looks like nothing happens at all around here. When he leaves in the morning, I’m in my pajamas and the kitchen’s a mess. When he comes home at night, I’m in my comfy clothes and the kitchen’s a mess. How can I explain to him that, though the clothes are almost the same, the mess is a totally new, fresh mess? Hello, those are dinner dishes, not breakfast dishes.
I want to explain to him the critical distinction between “still” and “again.” The E isn’t still hungry, she is hungry again. The sink is not still full of dishes, it’s full again.
The stay-at-home mum’s job is pretty much just getting things back to zero. Getting the fridge and the stomachs back to full, getting the beds back to made, getting the dishes back to clean. Getting E up and out and then home and back in bed. The awake time is seemingly longer that naps have disappeared, E is now waking earlier due to noise so is tired and gets naughty and is sometimes hard to settle at night, all of which I deal with.
There are days when a lot of effort is made with absolutely no result, E will be poorly so its on the phone to the doctors, trips to the doctors to be told nothing is wrong and then E being up all night being poorly. These days nothing really does get done, but I am not just lying on the sofa drinking tea and eating biscuits.
My husband has a lot of work functions which I knows he enjoys, a child free night, eating nice food and drinking fine port – what isn’t there to enjoy. Occasionally I have something on my calendar that might register with my husband as an actual event, and I milk it. Sometimes I get told I cannot go as his work function is more important and other times there will be comments that I go out more than him, a three monthly social even isn’t classed as frequent.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not moaning about being a stay at home mum and I appreciate everything my husband does, going to work and providing for the family, but I also work but with no wage and I sometimes think with a lot more stress. Some days I wish I could swap places so I can go out to work and have some adult company. There are other days when being a stay at home mum is the best thing in the world – I just wish that occasionally it would be acknowledged what I actually do.