How did this turn into a rant about Homemaking?

So I haven't been doing much writing, even after vowing to make an hour a day in time for it. I'm not exactly sure why, but I seem to be constantly running around like a chicken with my head cut off lately. Maybe I just don't have enough time in my day. First of all, my youngest, who is 10 months old, thinks that he can wake up a minimum of twice a night to nurse. Last night it was four times! That means I have a hard time getting up in the morning, so I tend to oversleep. Which cuts into my time.

Then I have the basics of being a mom of three messy boys and a husband. There's approximately four loads of laundry a day. The middle boy STILL isn't potty trained properly and pees a minimum of two pairs of pants and his bed every other day. Then they have to have baths, get fed breakfast, the oldest has to have a lunch packed and get out the door on time for school. Then I have to straighten the house and get my self ready for the day.

I'd like to wake up at 7 am every day so I can get my exercise video in, but usually wakeup time is between 8 and 9. By the time I clean, do laundry, feed, wash, dress, just the basics - it's time to make lunch. then there's lunchtime, clean up the baby and get him down for a nap, straighten the house AGAIN. Then I can usually have between one and three to myself for something. But in the afternoon, after being frazzled all morning, I usually just write code. It's a little more brainless and requires less of my emotions.

So then it's time to try to clean something. I really don't get that much dusting or sweeping done, but i try to do a little something every day. At four the oldest comes home and it's time for yelling at him while he does his chores. I've never seen a more airheaded child, needs constant yelling to keep him on task, which gives me a headache. Anyway, he does chores, I yell and make supper. Then we do any homework. Then it's suppertime. More yelling at the oldest to finish chores while keeping the middle one calmed down, and the baby is usually in I want to be held mode. And my husband, busy from a day of work, likes to watch TV.

Then 7:00 rolls around, the kids get to watch their one hour of tv a day, usually cartoons, while I get the baby ready for bed. Then it's time for the boys to go to bed. The baby stays up for a while, and if I want to spend time with my husband at all I have to go watch TV with him. Often I don't, because I don't like broadcast tv that much, and I'm not the kind for a movie every night. So instead I sit down at the computer, and find my brain is fried.

And then I have to occasionally listen to sniping by friends, neighbors, strangers about how my house is messy. I'm a homemaker, how come I can't keep it clean? It's not like I sit around and watch soaps and eat chocolate. Quite frankly, childcare of any form seems to be a really thankless task. It doesn't matter that my children do well in school, and except for the middle one's potty rebellion, are some of the best behaved I've ever seen (and believe me it's not their personalities and it's not wishful thinking of a parent, I ALWAYS get comments on it, at weddings we go to, funerals, church, restaurants...). I still get "the look" from people when they ask where I work. To replace a homemaker, you'd need a laundry service, child-care, a housecleaner, a chef, and an errand runner at the very least. And yet to give those same people respect for their work seems to be beyond people's abilities. Especially men. I have a challenge for any father out there. Stay at home one day with your kids. And don't sit on your ass. Do the work your wife does every day, have her give you a list. Wash that laundry, straighten the house, play with the kids, cook, go shopping, run errands, help with homework. And then live with your wife coming home, ignoring you and watching TV for the rest of the night. You put the kids to bed, deal with diapers and accidents. And at the end of the day, think about the fact that homemakers don't work 9 to 5, or even 7 to 6. They work all night, all day. And if they get an hour or two in the afternoon when they'd rather do something else instead of clean, don't bitch about it.

And before I get any "but you don't know the pressures of a job". Well let me tell you, I support myself and two children for over two years after my divorce. I understand exactly what kind of pressures a person faces at work. And I can tell you right now that it's easier than staying at home. And it's easier than working AND doing all the housework when you're dead on your feet at the end of the day. A little respect is called for in this country, homemaking IS a job, and although some are better than others (some people just shouldn't be parents, but that's a rant for another day) , a nasty comment or look is not called for, not appreciated, and the next person who does it to me, related or not, will probably find themselves holding their ears while I go off in person.


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