Friday, September 17, 2010

What Are You Going to Do All Day?

If I had a nickel for everyone who has asked me that question in the last couple of months, I think I could pay the bill for Michael's graduate school. Hand on heart.

At first, when the question was put to me, I tended to legitimately answer. It went something like this:Well, I plan on being in the school volunteering at least one day a week, and that doesn't include field trips. And I've still got a household to run. And I have a job to do at church that will require me to attend weekly meetings. And I've joined a new book club that meets during the day. And I have a substantial job with the PTA. And I have to take my kids to the doctor, still (two starting orthodontia).And I'm going to go to the temple more. And visit my grandma. And...

By this time I was stammering and the person who asked the question was looking at me like she didn't care that much.

Then, I moved on to my next phase: The Smart Alec Phase. It went something like this: Oh, you know, with all my kids in school, what else is there to do but eat bon-bons all day?

I'm not proud of that phase.

Next, I entered the defensive phase. Well, I still have six people's laundry to do. I still have six people's meals to plan, shop for and prepare. I still have the same number of toilets to scrub, sets of stairs to vacuum. And I thought, Why do I have to justify my time to you? Do I ask you for a daily itinerary of your tasks completed?

You get the idea. Thankfully, that phase didn't last long because I realized that people didn't know how very many times I had been asked that exact question. And that they ask it for different reasons.

I think that young mothers ask it because they want to hear that I get to go to the bathroom all by myself when the urge hits. I think they want to know that this day can and will happen for them. And to them I say, I have gone on long walks alone and come home to curl on the couch with a good book!

I think some people are curious because they cannot imagine how I can't be anything but bored in this, my new station in life. They simply do not know how much work it takes keep a household running and to be the kind of mother and person I want to be. I am glad that I have the time to do all the service, volunteering, and trips to doctors without it being a conflict with another career. My family is my primary occupation and that hasn't changed because my kids are all out of the house for 5 hours a day. Believe me, those are the fastest 5 hours of the day!

And when I have some extra down time for a little luxury like a lunch date with my Michael, all the better. I don't feel bad at all--I work pretty hard for a kept woman!

11 comments:

Jen said...

I love the last bit "for a kept woman"...Awesome!

Christie said...

AMEN!!!

Amber said...

Quit bragging. It's disrespectful.

JeffnJenna said...

You could have written this as a non-fiction story in first person for the character of ME (that is, I'm getting a few hours "free" with Tate now in preschool). I loved it. ENJOY!!! And brag all you want, you deserve it! (Amber, your comment made me laugh) : ).

Meg said...

Great post! I had someone ask me what I did all day and I still have a 2.5 yo at home all day. She doesn't have any kids yet.

Jenni said...

Great post! I liked your snarky answer phase! You tell 'em!:)

felicity & nathaniel said...

William's first week in kindergarten Nathaniel asked me "so, what did you do today while William was at school." UM. Watching the OTHER TWO children we have.
Enjoy your "free" time. You earned, and continue to earn it.

Julia A said...

You and Corrinne and Kellie will have to sit around and eat bonbons together, since none of you have anything to do all day long ;) Have fun! Around all the work stuff, of course! And I think you should go back to the Smart Alec phase, that works very well :D

Deb said...

oh, i'm going to add "lunch with hubby" to my list of things to do when all the kids are in school.... that's why i ask those kinds of questions, hope for the future and the crafting of the list of potential child-free activities. :)

Tracy said...

"Lunch" with hubby -- yeah I love "lunch" too :)

Cami said...

Once upon a time, both my kids were in school at the same time, and I was not yet pregnant with my munchkin. Those were the days. Oh wait, I still had a million things to do. I tell you, people just DON'T know how hard it is to be a full-time mom--even with the kids gone.

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill