Monday, May 26, 2008

Funk

Most days I complete a myriad of mundane chores without complaint.

Most days I stand around for many hours doing "nothing" while supervising little ones at the park, in the yard, on the school ground.

Most days I make children breakfasts, pack 4 lunches, make children lunches at home, prepare snacks, make a home cooked meal for dinner, empty and load the dishwasher twice.

Most days I take care of an 8th month old puppy who loves socks, plastic toys and playing chase.
And on most days, I appreciate the ability to do it all.

Today was not most days. I woke up this morning to a news report stating that the average take home pay (net! not gross) of two parent working homes in BC is $75,000 a year. Perhaps that's what put me in a funk. Staying home and taking care of my family is not an inexpensive endeavour. Not 'working' costs us plenty. In fact, we would be farther ahead if we were both working and bringing in the exact same amount of money that Heath does now - because we'd be in a lower tax bracket.

The daily struggle to make ends meet can get a person down. But then I got a frantic call from an aunt looking for her nephew....who had been at my house hanging out with Patrick all afternoon. And moments like this can pull a person out of their funk. I'm able to be at home to supervise my kids, and know where they are. It's hard to put a price tag on that.

This has been a difficult post to write. I've written and deleted a hundred lines. Not working right now works for our family. It's our choice, one we make and struggle with on a daily basis. Others make different choices for different reasons. I've been on the other side and know how hard it is to work and have kids. The guilt, never enough time in the day, laundry at 9 o'clock at night, packing lunches when all you want to do is go to bed. But loving your work at the same time, getting to interact with adults, lunches without children, feeling like you're making a difference in the world, accomplishing something. And that almighty paycheque every two weeks.

I was introduced to a few people this weekend, and when they asked what I did, their eyes glazed over with my answer. I wanted to yell, "I USED TO WORK!! I WAS GOOD AT WHAT I DID! I MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS WORLD. I CONTRIBUTED TO SOCIETY! I'M GOING TO GO BACK TO WORK AGAIN! HONEST!! PLEASE LIKE ME...DON'T WRITE ME OFF JUST YET." Sigh. Exit stage left.

Well, with the thought of being at home for the next little bit, I shall pull up my socks and write myself my own stinking paycheques. I shall make them on Mondays, and....heck, I think I shall get paid every Monday since I am the boss. All you working stiffs may get paid with real loonies, but I shall be paid in hugs and kisses and the honour of bandaging Keeley's scraped knees with bandaids and kisses.


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1 comment:

tentativeequinox said...

I think that's brilliant! We do have to get away from measuring our worth in terms of money. Money is a fiction, at best an abstraction, and shouldn't increase or decrease your worth as a person.

I know what you mean about the glazing over though. Maybe immediately turn the conversation around to them, because there's nothing more charming than having someone interested in listening to what it is YOU do (you as in the this other someone you're (as in you)talking to). Just a thought.