Friday in the life…

…of a working mother.

Our accountant has a way of keeping up a running commentary of inane statements that mildly annoy me. When he said to Gabe, “Let’s see. You work, and she doesn’t work…” I couldn’t just sit there and smile beatifically.

“Wait a minute,” I qualified. “I work; I work hard. I just don’t get a paycheck.” He looked at me blankly, (she speaks?) then moved on and so did I, having set the record straight.

Friday is supposed to be a long exhale, right? I love wrapping up the school week, stowing the books, clearing away clutter, getting ready for rest. On the weekends that Gabe goes to work, I am often tempted not to make any special effort. There’s a little insidious neediness that lurks and says, “You deserve a break. Let the children forage, the rubble pile high, and the laundry accumulate until another day.” But I dislike how I feel when I am lazy and don’t maintain the house or invest in the children. It’s a subtle message that they aren’t really worth the bother. On a practical note, my children can eat their way through shocking amounts of snacky foods and then they are still hungry, so it’s not worth the indulgence of not cooking, not like it used to be when we could live on yogurt and toast.

To combat the blah feeling of wishing to just quit, be done working already, I did something different this afternoon. When our school was finished, we shelved it all away, then I gave myself an hour to read. I dozed off in the chair, but the idea was nice. Then I spent an hour clearing out some of the corners that just pile up stuff. It’s my pet peeve and it makes no sense to curate the clutter until we decide it is time to put things away. I repeat myself so often to the children, “Just 20 more seconds gets the laundry into the drawer. Don’t stack it on top of your dresser!” Sometimes my spaces become just as disastrous as theirs do. I don’t know why it happens… That little pile of hairbands and the brush outside the bathroom door, the empty jars at the top of the steps, the pile of socks that didn’t have mates, the library books on end tables, the shoes stacked beside the door… gah! We cleared them all away. I have started getting rid of things that don’t have anywhere to belong. I put some books into the attic today and found a round hatbox for the embroidery projects to be stowed in. That made me feel much better, and I took another hour to relax. The accountant would have felt vindicated with his assessment if he had looked in just then.

We ate leftover chicken and rice for supper, then I went to the basement to play with my clay. One mug, one bowl, and three mash-ups later, I washed up, directed the children on a final clean sweep, and here we are, ready for the weekend.

Long exhale…

…and a little gratuitous pep talk that I need myself to hear.


3 thoughts on “Friday in the life…

  1. You speak so frankly: “It’s a subtle message that they aren’t really worth the bother.”
    Thank you for writing, for putting it so well into concrete language.

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