The children seem to be under the impression that as a SAHM I drink tea and watch tv all day. When they get home they ask chirpily if I’ve had a good day but never fail to qualify it with “What have you been doing?” The question sometimes seems like an accusation. I’m not sure if that is due to me being over sensitive or because they really believe that I’m busy doing nothing all day.
This week I have been knocked for six by my continuing cold. Some days I have not even been able to get out of bed. I have been alternatively sweating, shivering and sleeping. At some stages I have been quite delirious and not been able to hold a coherent conversation (no change there, some might say). Strangely though, my complete inactivity this week has lead to a sudden appreciation of what I actually do throughout the day. It would seem that they only notice what you do around the house when you don’t actually do it!
Busy doing nothing
Now that I have actually spent a week busy doing nothing the kids can actually see what my normal ‘nothing’ consists of:
- hoovering, dusting and cleaning. Every darn day.
- cooking healthy meals (often with alternatives for differing diets and work schedules)
- picking up random socks, tablets, chargers, clothing, pens that are scattered around the house (while muttering curses under my breath)
- replacing toilet rolls. Why are the incapable of putting empty loo rolls in the bin?
- Washing and ironing. Any thing less than 2 loads a day is a light day in this house
- Putting the clothes away. It would seem that it’s only when I mess up and put things in the wrong drawer that they realise that their clean clothes don’t magically appear by themselves
- Arranging calendars, appointments and filling in forms. I am essentially a P.A
- Ensuring stuff is ready for school. Homework is done, letters signed and returned, pe kits ready etc
- Project managing the ongoing renovations
Of course this list isn’t exhaustive and doesn’t mean that I think that working out of the home moms don’t do the same things. However, it is soul destroying that you spend so long each day doing things for others and they never notice. We made the choice that I would stay at home for many reasons and I don’t regret it. However, I still get frustrated by the total lack of awareness of how much I do. Today I spent an hour washing and cleaning a whole army of Happyland toys. No one will ever know it happened.
If you take anything from this post it would be to go on strike for a week if you are feeling underappreciated. So many things happen around the house that nobody notices, until you don’t do it. Rest assured they will soon notice the lack of clean clothes, clean dishes and freshly cooked meals as soon as they don’t happen!