Category Archives: social views

A Word from the Trenches

The play is the thing. It isn’t. Playing the part is the thing.

It has been a long week. I know that these posts are supposed to be happy. I know that these art blogs are places for remembering the good. But, quoting the wise: You take the good, you take the bad and then you have the facts of life.

Marriage, it seems, is a losing proposition for a number of girlfriends I know. I have been fighting the good fight for a while. It is frustrating. We all hear over and over that marriage is hard work. Unfortunately, everything is hard work and at some point I get tired of hard work.

I work hard doing housework. I work hard fitting all of the pieces of every one’s everything as THE MOM. I work hard at work. I want to talk about working hard at work. So many of us go about our daily routines, fulfilling our duties and it is not a pleasure.

It does not mean it is a burden to work. However, there are burdens at work. I have been thinking a lot about how to explain this in a non-confrontational way. In the great world of social networking we are privy to the information our friends and acquaintances share.

Somewhere in all of this I have realized that my SAHM friends complain about lack of time, overwhelming tasks, and the chores of the house. It struck me yesterday why I bristle from time to time about this: I and many others in my situation do not share all of our work days.

Imagine if I shared the papers I grade and the administration I deal with; I  could go on and on and on. I realize that all of this is uninteresting to everyone. Work stays at work. Perhaps if I explained that we are not living exciting lives of mystery and the world is not clambering for my story it would make more sense.

It is not meant to diminish anyone or anything. It is just a point. I feel that SAHM’s sometimes think that ‘we’ don’t respect them and just for clarification at least 7 different women come to mind.  I think that a better statement would be: I know the working world doesn’t really pay the working mother much mind and maybe we have come to understand that expecting this is unrealistic. In fact, we can jeopardize our means of income by talking about it.

So, I say, not out of frustration or envy, working is work and we do all of the rest of the work too. Perhaps your insights into your days fall on tin ears and this hurts. I would ask that ‘you,’ the many ‘you’s’ in my life sprinkle grains of salt on the reactions you get. Try to remember you are probably not very interested in a lot of my day too.

                                                             

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Poetry III

If I had known when I said hello,
your departure would sting like slush puddle boots.
A shock of frost frozen feet,
followed by ice melting chill,
finally leaving wet wondering,
and a clinging constant comfortless callous,
I would have been quiet.

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To Be A Princess Among Women

I make mistakes. I have recently offended a few good friends. I am working towards making amends, towards being slightly more regal, like the girls above. But it is girls that are at the stir of this commotion.

There is a rift here, in suburbia, middle America, where I live right now, about working and mothering. I know that in theory we all make choices and support one and another; I also know that we all judge each other (at least a little). The conversation itself seems to be taboo. I know that there are books on the subject and I have read some of them, but “the conversation” is always about SAHM’s and Career Women.

This division has nothing to do with my life. I can not be a SAHM and I toil in trades that have no “dry cleaning bills” and “work suits” to discount from the family budget to justify my place in the home. I work at a job, not fancy, just a pay the bills job, and frankly, I get to stay home part of the year. I vastly prefer being home, but: pay the bills is a major player in my “choice.”

I just would like to add a third voice.  How about: I don’t really enjoy working, but, I have to and I have to put time and effort into it to support my kids. Please let’s just talk about it. I (of course) swing into all of the positions depending on mood and atmosphere, but, it creates a lot of energy and, sometimes, drama.

{psst. I am not happy with the choices}

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