Monday afternoon I took the children swimming. Since the rules require at least two adults at the pool, we invited friends. The weather was perfect for the pool - ninety degrees and high-summer sunny. Kathleen and Sophia can swim and Edwin has a swim vest. I only had Joseph to manhandle while chatting with friends.
So all Monday afternoon I sunned myself by the pool while hanging out with good friends.
Brandon spent Monday afternoon in the embassy taking care of problems he didn't create, answering emails, and going to meetings so boring he might have possibly fallen asleep in them. He spent Monday morning doing the same thing, with a short break for lunch. Then he fought crazy Baku traffic to get home, where he answered several more emails that had popped up on his Blackberry while driving home.
Before I went swimming in the afternoon, I taught the children school for three hours, ate lunch and took a nap.
I am here to publicly admit that stay-at-home moms (at least the ones like me that have household help. I can't speak for everyone else) have a pretty good deal. In fact we have a great deal.
We hear lots of moms talking about how Being A Mother is the Best Job in the World. You get to take care of your precious children and wipe away their tears and little kisses at the end of a long day and chubby arms around your neck while you bask in their love and feel all of those wonderful feelings that come from sacrificing your life for Something Good. All of that precious moments stuff.
I happen to agree with that (yes, Mom, really).
But that's not what I'm here to talk about today.
I'm here to admit that everything else, even in balance with wiping bums, cleaning up messes, breaking up fights, the endless round of feeding, fingers reaching under the door while you're using the bathroom, reading the same book twenty times in a row, and having little down time is pretty dang good too.
What other job pays you to go the pool for three hours to hang out with your friends? When's the last time you took a nap at your job? If your boss is giving you trouble, can you send them to their room? On those days where you just can't take life, it's not like you can put your clients in front of the TV and read a book and eat chocolate for a few hours. And it's not like you can turn in pancakes if you don't feel like doing a project. Or order out for it if times are really desperate.
Yes, it gets harried some times and I wouldn't mind changing places with Brandon for some parts of my day, but not most of them. I have to do lunch, but after that it's nap time. Followed by a walk. If my day is particularly hard, I have to go grocery shopping - with money somebody else made.
I'm not saying that being a stay-at-home mom isn't hard (especially if you have to clean your own toilets). If I did, I would feel guilty about all of the praise heaped on me for Mother's Day. But last time I checked, going to a regular job isn't that much fun either - otherwise nobody would be looking forward to retirement.
One day my children will grow up and leave me and I will be out of a job. I'm not sure what I'll find to justify my continued parasitism, but I'm pretty sure it won't involve long afternoons at the pool. Or walks. Or play dates. Or maybe even (gulp) naps.
So I'd better enjoy the benefits when I can. See you at the pool!