Sunday, September 30, 2007

Working Squared

We fall asleep with a pile of laundry between us. A testament to the day's unfinished business. Most nights a six year old boy clambers over the pile, sometimes using it as his blanket and I wake up to find boy drool on my pillow and my son using my good work pants - the ones that don't cut me off in the middle and hang nice with their pleat - as his binkie.

My husband, Major Man, is softly snoring on the other side of the mountain of laundry. I can reach him with my fingers and sometimes fall asleep with my hand on his arm. I say snoring softly because we recently discovered those nose, uh, thingies that open the nasal passages.

So my hand can rest on his arm, instead of my toe or finger poking him in the side to Roll Over Already You Great Snoring Oaf.

I've been working a lot lately. My new-again job is in sales and my hours (which recently changed) are 7am - 3pm. Three days a week my husband stays home to take M to school and watch E for the rest of the day, until I return. Two afternoons a week, the sweet neighbour lady watches E until my return.

Upon my return I have a few minutes to download my email and check for emergencies in my inbox.

I know I've babbled about this before... so lets move on.

In theory, it looked like I'd have plenty of time to write in the afternoons. But instead my time feels strained, condensed and overflowing all at the same time. I feel that so many tasks are being left undone (the laundry being one of them) and so many balls are being dropped (a query? what is that?) that I feel suddenly like I'm only half a mom and half a writer...

Sure, I can almost read your comments already: just let the laundry go, don't worry about having a clean house, make more macaroni...

But I love my house in order; I just don't do it very well. I need to have clean work clothes; I just can't wash clothes worth a damn. I like feeding my kids healthy food; I just don't have the time to shop for it.

I'm re-reading To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife by Caitlin Flanagan. I quit reading it last time right around the same chapter I'm on now. The chapter where she starts talking about a nanny.

First of all, it would cost me about $2000 a month for a nanny... and then there would be the guilt. Oh, oh, oh the guilt of having someone else rock my babies to sleep. Someone else hugging their bumps better.

But then.... someone else doing the laundry. Someone else reminding me to pick up diapers before I reach in the bag and pull out the last one because Major Man apparently thinks that the Diaper Fairy brings them...

This time I kind of get it. Last time I was disgusted that Flanagan would think about hiring a nanny... I was bothered by her admissions that she was ok with someone else doing all the child raising. But reading it now, I see she wasn't ok with it at all.. she is ok with it now, which is easy to be when you've done something.

She just realized that something had to give. She wasn't going to do It All. She wasn't going to buy into the story that I have, that I can bake my own bread, work full time, write the rest of the time, be a good mom, have the laundry done, the shopping squared away and still get to Beavers and swimming and .... and .....

So I've been re-jigging the priorities. I may write a bit less, I no longer feel the burning desire to write anything and everything that gets offered to me.


Anne said...

I am where you are! And it is No Fun. Some days I just say, "I've got too many jobs. No one could do all this." And other days I am more upbeat. I'm sorry for you -- and me.

Do you know FlyLady? She's really helpful and FREE! I can't say I'm a success story, but she's helped me out a lot.

Good luck -- and hang in there.

Trish said...

I've given up trying to stay organized, and blame it on having to work and also get everything done at home. Oh, and being a single mother. I have a list of excuses, LOL.