Friday, December 07, 2012

On Being a Wastrel Housewife

I find myself in the not totally unenviable position of being a stay-at-home-mom who no longer has children at home during school hours, nor an onerous school pick-up / drop-off commute to deal with (my days of driving 3+ hours a day are thankfully over). So, this means that during the day I'm not always as busy as I used to be—which would be great news if I didn't have a financial responsibility to my family that compels me to want to get a job and start bringing home some bacon. So, just go get a job, right? Well... the situation is more complicated that that and more anxiety-producing (which for me, sadly, means going into a paralyzing across-the-board procrastination mode) because despite having that extra time during the day—I still have way too many family-related responsibilities on my plate to make a full-time job feasible.

I know, cry you a f*cking river, right?

So anyway, back to my bitching... on the days when I don't have something important to get done or, more likely, am avoiding some bothersome chore, I've taken to loafing around the house. Sure, I get some laundry done, maybe cook a little something for dinner, but nothing too strenuous and definitely not anything that requires my leaving the house.

So this morning (fine, it may have been more like noon, and, yes, I was still in sweatpants), I go to twitter for my daily kvetch to tweet:
"I am more than happy to live the life of a shut-in today, but a few vital errands are barring my ability to be a total wastrel today." 

Now, I was going to use the word "wastoid," (and now see that I should've cut that last "today") but that had too much of a stoner feel to it. Since I live in neither Washington nor Colorado, I opted for the more old-school term "wastrel." Being the good little English student that I pride myself to be, I did a quick check on my cel phone dictionary to make sure I had spelled it correctly. The eye-opener when I looked it up, though, was the definition—I thought the word wastrel just meant "good-for-nothing layabout", but my phone offered up a definition with a brilliant twist:
Wastrel - "someone who dissipates resources self-indulgently"
I actually laughed out loud for an (almost uncomfortably) long time because, as I sit here on the couch, watching old episodes of "The B---- in Apt. 23" on Hulu, while ordering stuff on the internet and eating peanut-butter-filled salty pretzels and drinking grape Propel—that couldn't describe my day any more perfectly. 

.....

Now will somebody hire me, please? (Oh, and pay me enough to hire someone else to pick up the kids from school, usher them through the hours of soul-crushing homework time and then prep dinner Monday through Thursday?) Thanks!

15 comments:

  1. I actually have some adequate empathy for your situation. My lovely is going through almos tthe exact same thing. It drives her a little nuts... you?

    Wastrel sounds too masculine, by the way, which I suppose makes sense. There should be a wastrina or wastrella or wastafina or something.

    Cheers,

    Casey

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    1. Casey: It's been making me nuts for the last two years! My time writing for Babble (in 2011), however, convinced me (perhaps it would be more accurate to say that *my family* became convinced) that I do not have enough free time to have a real job. I keep thinking things will ease up, but every time I edge closer to wanting a full-time job, I get reeled back into the reality of everything else I do to keep the house & kids running. Yes, tell her she is not alone.

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    2. I definitely will. Happy Holidays!

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  2. You are so funny! I know how you feel OMG! You know I have as many kids as you , plus the 23 year old. SO you know I commiserate when I say....YOU DESERVE TO BE A WASTRINA! Go back and think about the times when we, oops I mean you, were putting on three sets of socks, and three sets of shoes, and the teeth brushing, and hair brushing, and homework, and cooking, and all the traveling in the car..in the boat.. in the planes should I continue...?

    Wastrella away baby!! You worked for it!!! I'm Wastrelling every chance I can.
    (when I'm not on the, "used to be white couch" of course! Haaa Haaa!
    Muaw!!!

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  3. I think you are being really hard on yourself. It isn't really feasible to be working full-time with the needs of your family pulling at you -- one parent always needs to be available for sick kids, school events, after-school activities, etc. I can only work because I get to leave at 3 PM (but even that is not ideal - the house is a total disaster because I am too tired to do anything after my students, my kids, and nighttime routines that don't end until 8 PM).

    Instead of a full-time job, what about something much more manageable, like teaching a social media workshop or a writing class or an intro to blogging seminar? Our local community college, chamber of commerce, senior center, and art center offer those kinds of courses and area always looking for instructors.

    xo M.

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    1. Mandonita! That's brilliant! LEARNING ANNEX that blog babe!!

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    2. Mandy, you are brilliant! I'm going to look into it and see what I can come up with. Thank you!

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  4. I can hear you laughing. This is perfect. xoxo

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  5. I'm currently looking for work, difference is I'm an empty nester it's been hard...my hubby comes home everyday and says...what did you do today! WTF do you think!

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    1. Oh, yes, there is a bit of that, too, isn't there? *seethe*

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  6. This is why most dual income families I know have nannies (and even a few single-income families)!

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  8. But do you look cute loafing around the house? Because that takes effort. I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE.

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Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.