01 October 2008

Job description

I'd appreciate being provided with one. What exactly am I supposed to be doing during these endless hours in my house?

1. Feed everyone.

Food prep and nursing take up several hours and cannot be put off for even one meal. I also get the impression that since I'm here I'm responsible for seeing to it that everyone eats sort of healthy things. Gardening and canning also fall into this category, so that's a lot of time in the summer. This is the only clear task on my list.

2. Make house livable.

The standards here are ambiguous. We're pretty much clear of outright filth, but I'm not exactly thrilled when someone drives up unannounced. Am I a bad interior minister if the bathroom sink looks gross? Or am I squandering my time and cleaning supplies on a vain pursuit if I go in there and spray it down after every toilet, food, or chalk event? I don't trust anyone who says not to worry what the house looks like, and I don't trust anyone who says my house should be clean. Also, decorating: merely pointless, or potentially criminal?

3. Rear children.

This is completely unhelpful language. What is the precise ratio of "actively engaged with mom" time to "supervised but self-entertaining" time that I should be engineering? If I spend an hour cleaning the kitchen after breakfast, and I go into the playroom and they're all getting along fine, am I permitted to take the baby upstairs and pack up the summer clothes? How many and what kind of activities should I be planning, or is that buying into the day care model rather than waiting for organic learning experiences to present themselves in our lives? Does it matter that I never read board books any more, even though we still have a toddler and a baby? How often can I just clean up the mess myself so it will actually get clean?

4. Am I missing something?

And could you tell me about the compensation package?


Susan said...

Compensation package? ROFLOL!!!

Although I must admit, back long long ago, when we bought life insurance policies, mine was 50% bigger than my husband's. Granted, there'd be Social Security if he died, so that makes up for part of the difference. But when we figured the kind of costs he'd incur if I died, we figured we'd need enough for 3-4 full-time people to replace what I do. So you get nothin' in $$, but if you farmed out your work to maids, cooks, school teachers, day care providers, laundresses, nurses, nutritionists, etc, then they'd get plenty o' compensation.

Joy said...

4. Do it all without grumbling or complaining. (But blogging is considered confiding.)

As for your compensation package... Great is your reward in heaven!

Pam said...

Um, see my comment on the last post? Lest I verbally vomit on you again in these comments, that is. Got to get a blog.. IthinkIcan, IthinkIcan...

Joy said...

I wonder how often men fake incompetence just to get out of laundry, dishes, diaper-changing, grocery shopping, party planning, potty training, clothing girls and doing their hair, and basic housekeeping like dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing a toilet. My man means well and is always "helping" (more work for me).

Gauntlets said...

LOL! I don't think they're faking. I think they're keeping the faith, homegirl.

Pam said...

Speaking only of my own husband, the longer we've been at this, the more truly helpful he has become. He is learning how to really listen to my reasoning behind why things should be done a certain (aka MY) way. I have learned to thank him profusely for any effort to help, bite my tongue when I'd like to offer him "advice" on how to do it "better" next time, and back off and let it be when it really is okay if the laundry isn't hung the way I like it done, or the loads of laundry are mixed a way I would never do it, or the dishes are stacked in the rack so high I am afraid to breathe by them, lest they come crashing down!

Rebekah said...

Hey! What's wrong with stacking dishes into the mesosphere? :D

MooreMama said...

There's a compensation package? job description? this may be my way to stay home after all! After searching for suitable daycare, I have learned that I only have to figure out a way to do without half my income and insurance... do They offer health insurance?

And husbands "helping" - HA! It stresses me out more to have the towels folded with the edges out and the undershirts in the sock drawer than it does for me to just fold them myself... I do not, however, have the same hangups as to how the dishwasher is loaded. Can someone please tell the MooreDaddy?

Pam said...

Oh, I was talking about the old-fashioned dishrack...we usually torture our children by making them wash the dishes by hand. And my husband will often give them a break and do it himself.

Me? I don't really wash dishes much anymore, except to finish up the pots and pans everyone else leaves behind "to soak." :) Which by the way I try to do in love, of course.