Friday, August 18, 2006

Runnin' off at the mouth today folks...

Today, I start my new job. Ugh. The one thing I would love to stop hearing is any comments like, "Well, you need to do something." Or, "I'm so happy for you. Now you have something to do all day." Why is it that people (whom I won't name, but I really, really want to) nowadays can't seem to get it through their thick heads that being a "homemaker", or "housewife", is work? Here is an example of my typical day:

6 am-ish: Wake up
Start the coffee
Put mail out in the box to be picked up, and start the watering of the yard/garden, weed a little on my way in and out of the house.
Feed the cats to get them to shut up.
Clean up at least two puddles and one pile from the pets, since they can't seem to hold it all night, or wake us up.
Let the dogs out.
Start a load of laundry while keeping one eye on Mazzy the escape artist through the window. Let dogs back in.
Drink one cup of coffee while folding the laundry I pulled out of the dryer, also while dodging three dogs that seem to multiply by four when I am trying to do something.
Put clothes away, while picking up dirty clothes from the day before to start another load.
Do last night's dishes.
Pull something out of the freezer for tonight's "Daily Special Dinner" that I always seem to be able to come up with.
Go out and move the hose to water another part of the yard.
Pull a couple more weeds on the way back in.
Put dishes away.
Change the slipcovers on the couch.
vacuum and rag mop the floors.
Wipe down counters in kitchen.
Wipe down everything in the bathroom because my husband and son get toothpaste everywhere. And I mean everywhere.
Put wet clothes in the dryer, and throw the dirty slipcovers in the wash.
Turn computer on to check email.
While waiting for that to boot up, I let the dogs out again, and check on my garden where I planted pumpkins, green beans (that I can into dilly beans) strawberries, raspberries, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and corn. Also right now we are picking blackberries from the back fence, apples from our four trees, and plums from our two trees, and I'm canning all of them in some way, shape or form.
Go back inside and check my email, at the same time randomly doing other things around the house. And sometime during the day I squeeze in a trip to the gym.
I think it might be close to noon now. Maybe I should feed myself.

Anyway, you get the picture. And on certain days, you can add grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, general yard work, and errand running onto the list. I'm not complaining. My husband works upwards of 50-55 hours a week. So I do the house stuff. I actually don't mind most of the time. And I know that if I want a "day off" I can take it, without worrying that I'll be fired. But I also know that if I don't do the work, it will be there for me tomorrow.

Oh, but now I'm gonna be "working" three days a week. And still doing all the things I do every day anyway. Because unfortunately, housework and taking care of your family doesn't pay the bills. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, I think that there should be some kind of tax break for middle income families, who are not on any kind of welfare assistance, who has one parent staying at home. You know, in lieu of getting a paycheck. The government or whomever is forever yapping about family values, and the like, so why not. I know that my son is much better off with a parent at home to make sure that the homework and chores get done. And I definitely know that he is a happier kid just knowing that one of us is going to be there when he gets home from school.

But also unfortunately, life's not going to be like that. Because while the big-wigs, CEO's and the like are getting pay increases upwards of 100% a year so they can pay their nannies and private school fees; normal people like us have to have two incomes just to keep the size 15 shoes on our kid's feet while they hop the bus to public school. And for the single parents who are trying to make a living wage all by themselves? Whew! God help them.

And the fact that federal minimum wage hasn't budged in almost ten years!?! $5.15 an hour. Mmm...I hope that all the overpaid head honchos out there, think about the fact that the triple-non-fat-mocha-latte you just bought from the Starbucks dude, is equal to about an hour of time in his life. Something to think about. I also just thought about the fact that it is going to take me about 14 hours of my life to pay for one pair of my kid's shoes this year. Crap.

Ok, sorry about that, I had to get that out of the way. So now I guess I am going to leave you with this. I am grateful that I found this job. It is the amount of hours I wanted (but only cuz I had to) and very close to home. And it will help tremendously in the long run. And now a note to the government that controls wages, cost of living and the like: Now three days a week, my family will no longer be sitting down to dinner together. Not exactly the message I've been hearing lately but we tried for almost two years to make this house a better family environment for my son. And we just couldn't do it. Such is life.

*shoe calculation: minimum wage in Oregon is $7.50/hr

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