Bitch, please. There is not a woman in the entirety of recorded civilization who hasn’t worked, it’s just not always work that is recognized or valued. Caring for one’s children, sure not a lot of pay there. Running a home on one salary for multiple people, sure no applause for that feat. Can you imagine how many non-profits would fold without the volunteer efforts of “non-working” women?
Yeah, I work. Hard. Unfortunately, most people don’t see the effort, they just wonder why I’m so stressed out. I can’t leave my work at the office because home and office (and school) are one and the same. Trust me, I’d love to work for respectable pay, with benefits and a 401k and all that, but I can’t see how I could possibly make that work with my family situation…and if I don’t check it quickly, that often leaves me angry and frustrated and overflowing with self-loathing.
No, I don’t leave my house at 7 am five days of seven to use my skills in exchange for monetary compensation. Amuses me that this is so assumed these days when barely a generation ago it was nearly unheard of for a mother to do such a thing. Times move slowly until they sprint.
I’ve been out of the “official” full-time workforce for 15 years, which is about seven or eight years longer than I expected. At this point I’m practically unemployable by today’s standards. Anything in which I’m interested I do not have enough experience or the wrong qualifications, I’m overqualified for positions that don’t require any experience at all, and have too much experience to be affordable in positions for which I am qualified. My degrees are in music and education, which don’t always transfer well to other areas, and I don’t have the time or money or patience or interest to return to school at this time to get a degree or training in god knows what for a position doing who knows what.
I don’t sit around all day in yoga pants doing nothing. Ok, maybe in weeks past I was sitting around in yoga pants, but that’s because something I ate had not set well with my system, and instead of the bloating going to my boobs as would only be fair and just, I looked about four months pregnant. But I’m not doing nothing. I’m planning the fall homeschool lessons for a high schooler please light a candle for me I am not ready for this. I’m working on my second book. I’m writing and scheduling blog posts. I’m setting up speaking engagements. I’m organizing and cleaning and prepping and setting routines and figuring what to keep and what to drop so that I can homeschool and run a household and teach flute and continue to write and maybe, just maybe, also start up my own business. Someday my sons really will be on their own and won’t need me
hourly daily and I’d like to have something ready to take that space.
In the meantime, I’ve found a way to ensure a tiny bit of peace as I work in my open loft office:
This plus earplugs and an absolute refusal to acknowledge any interruptions is training my sons to leave me alone while it’s on the music stand near my desk. Just don’t even try, dudes.
I work. I work hard. I wish I were paid accordingly, but I’m not. But that doesn’t mean I don’t work.
So when I’m asked, yet again, if I work, my answer will be simply, “yes.” And that’s it.