Posted by: canthold | January 13, 2010

Off Work

I started working full time around the end of August. Coincidently, that’s the time I also stopped writing. I’ve been overwhelmed with the changes in my life, as well as the changes my family is going through.

In a way, working feels incredibly selfish. Of all of us here, I think I’m getting the most out of my new life, so to speak, and it’s affected me positively.

Except for the housework.

I’d run screaming down the hallway right now if I had the energy to run. And if the act of running down my hallway wouldn’t produce a broken leg in the process. Our hallway is a path of stuff. Some of it is Christmas stuff that never went up and so that means I’m almost done putting it away. Some of the stuff is from our trip to Tahoe over Christmas that never got unpacked. Some of it is laundry and some of it is my way of cleaning the upstairs, by throwing it downstairs.

I always thought I’d insist – in fact wouldn’t even consider doing without – a housekeeper if I ever worked full time. It was a non-negotiable that I was resolutely firm about.

Given that I started back to work abruptly, (who’d have thought I would get a job in this economy doing something I had never done before?) I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I would be. In that old Catch-22, I couldn’t really line up proper babysitting until I had the job and couldn’t have the job without babysitting lined up.

Everything that I have done/ have been doing has been met with resistance, too. The kids don’t like some of the options which make other options even more difficult. I’ve been having communication issues with everyone and sadly, the onus of the solution has fallen squarely on my shoulders.

Meanwhile, I’m not making piles of money hand over fist. I’m barely covering the babysitter (though the “daycare” is SO MUCH more affordable, though my kids – one of them at least – makes a HUGE stink so as not to make that an operable solution.) And in the middle of all this coordination, exhaustion, and assimilation into the working world, I’m left with the bulk of the household chores. Still.

I say that, but even as I get blamed, nagged, and held responsible for them, I’m not exactly doing them. I get reminded that I haven’t loaded or unloaded the dishwasher in THREE CYCLES! I’m such a slouch! But this is after eight-years of doing every single cycle. I should expect no less. And I’m suffering for it, too. I miss my clean house. I miss that when I used to put stuff away I knew where to find it. My babysitter puts things away never to be seen again. (Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth!) Yet hiring a housekeeper is a frivolous expense for my lazy self, according to my husband.

It’s just that today, on my day off, I’ve napped, gotten a haircut and had two cups of coffee and haven’t yet lifted a single finger to provide the emergency relief necessary to provide recovery to our disaster of a home. Sure, I can complain about the housework, but I’m not doing any of it. The problem is that I feel guilty and will eventually get to it.

When I find the energy, that is. At the bottom of my second cup of coffee. Or maybe my third.

If only I found a Genie in a bottle on a desert island when my space capsule returned to the atmosphere. Or if only I had married a Felix Unger who is programmed not to walk by a mess without interfering. Or if only, I’d married Samantha’s brother (did she have one) who could have been my little house husband. I would never make him promise to stop using magic. I swear!

Or if only I were organized enough to conduct the search for a more affordable babysitting option that includes housework. I might feel like today is actually a day off. Even from the guilt.

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