Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Leisure Schmeisure

In the past two months, more than one person has commented, "So what do you do all day, now that you're a woman of leisure?" Others have asked, "Don't you get lonely?" and "Aren't you starved for adult conversation?" One fellow mother, who shall remain nameless...joked that my diary of lists would soon read, "Feed, change, nap, feed, change, clean" and so on.

It seems there is a large following of fellow humans that either a) don't know me very well or b) have a very sad perception of stay-home-motherhood.
First of all, I'm working from home. And I don't just mean housework (which is enough in and of itself to keep anyone occupied)...I mean I'm doing design and administration work from my living room.
Second of all, even without paid employment, I'm not one to twiddle my thumbs. I still lack hours in the day to do all the things I want to do.

A one-off, play-by-play of last Wednesday for me, the "Woman of Leisure":
  • Wake and adore Baby E. Give her smooches. Exchange looks of pride with the husband. Adore Baby E some more.
  • Make semolina. Eat it.
  • Defend my addition of butter to my semolina.
  • Call the local Telecom store to let them know that a large quantity of phone numbers are missing from my new mobile phone.
  • Call the bank. Set up a new retirement account. Create automatic payments online that make our finances look like a work of art...filtering incoming monies off into a number of savings accounts...including one for Baby E.
  • Read from Google Reader while nursing.
  • Edit the budget spreadsheet to create financial projections. Laugh maniacally more than once. Drum fingers together. Continue calculating.
  • Load the car with everything and everyone needed for the day. Check cheatsie night-before man doesn't have his trash out yet. Breathe relief like laughing gas.
  • Drop off a bag of clothing to donate to the Sallies.
  • Run into an old friend inside the Sallies and talk about the end of the world.
  • Go to the local Telecom store and talk to Baby E in spesh-speak while phone numbers are re-loaded onto my phone.
  • Go to the Imagine Photographics (the company Haki and I both work for) office to discuss creating a client database with Super-Sue.
  • Pick up a cardboard cylinder, left-over from a roll of canvas, before heading away.
  • Head around the corner to visit one of the saintly members of the branch and report on the 45 Lost Sheep name-sheets I have been working on. Delight in his praise for Baby E's beauty.
  • Stop at the house to check the mail. Open a parcel from Vistaprint (crack I tell you, crack). Clap merrily upon viewing the car door magnets advertising Imagine Photographics.
  • Drive into Dunedin. Sing to Baby E...wonder if observers think I sing to myself, given that the rear windows are tinted. Shake my head. Keep singing.
  • Park. Place the parking card above the steering wheel, in front of the odometer. Pick up three groceries requested by the husband, some additional mechanical pencils for making lists in the diary, super-glue, and biersticks to gnaw on whilst wheeling Baby E in the buggy for a walk to buy earring posts for Project: Clip-off. Only the biersticks are for the gnawing. Don't read that wrong. I'm not a glue junkie. Chat to Baby E about the benefits of mechanical pencils in four-packs without grips. Grips are unnecessary. Proffer my receipt and parking card to receive free parking for both errands. Glory in it.
  • Drop the cardboard cylinder off to the mother-in-law's house so that she may carry an enlarged picture of Baby E to Sharina (Haki's sister) in Australia safely. Also drop off a bag of baby clothing for a young lady she knows who is expecting a girl, the Liken DVD borrowed for the Primary activity, and her travel itinerary she asked me to print for her. Send the MIL messages to see if a meet-up might happen sometime during the day.
  • Send a message to see if iced chocolates might be had with a former colleague, Steph. Meet for iced chocolates. Relish in the joy of knowing I am no longer employed by the school she is slaving at. Smile as Steph spesh-speaks to Baby E. Beam when she says, "This baby will never need toys, she just needs people!" Explain my philosophy on few toys, more activities.
  • Pull into the storage unit to stack a box of the clothes Baby E has outgrown away until the next (I'm optimistic). This box contains bags labelled with sizes and clothes sorted into their respective bags.
  • Tee up a visit with a former colleague, Belinda, who recently had a baby.
  • Stop in at Ana's to collect Zig - Baby E's bug mobile creature, which is usually suspended from the handle of her car capsule - who found his way into the clutches of one of her children during the last visit. Decline staying for an iced chocolate for the 16th time.
  • Head to Belinda's house. Swap babies for 4 minutes. Marvel at how much Baby E has grown by comparing her to the 4-week old babe I'm cradling. Reclaim Baby E. Smell her.
  • After sending the MIL messages all day with no reply...learn her phone was off the network, and now is back on. Turn around from heading home to go visit her.
  • Deliver the car door magnets to Darcy, who will be using them to transform his family car into a service vehicle to get better parks around the university.
  • Read Baby E Sunday Chutney. A book about a girl who is "different" here "wonderful, quirky and odd".
  • Start a wish list of books to own for Baby E, starting with Sunday Chutney. Save the list as a task in Outlook.
  • Prepare the rubbish and recycling for the next day. Try not to get too excited. Put out the recycling.
  • Pack Haki's lunch for the morrow.
  • Read the scriptures alone and with Haki. Talk in bed.
  • Listen to Haki snore.
  • Plan website changes in my mind.
That's me...the Lady of Leisure, signing out.

P.S. My sister just shared this with me - a hilarious newspaper clipping about stay-at-home mothers doing "nothing" all day.

The image, at top, is James C. Christensen's "The Responsible Woman" - which remains his property completely. I love this artwork!
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