I know that as a competent, educated and successful woman, I should be able to do it all. If I cannot do it all, I should prioritize, and choose those things I would let go. Set them free, as it were, to drift off into the sunset of my consciously reduced expectations. But the reality is that I both want to do it all, and feel intensely resentful about not wanting to do it all, all at the same time. (Welcome to being a woman.) (Why, yes, I might overthink it a bit, why do you ask?)
I’m feeling that conflict pretty intensely right now as I’ve just gone back to work part-time. Things that my family feels they should be able to take for granted, like clean clothes or, I don’t know, dinner? Those things are currently not happening in a consistent or reliable fashion.
In a moment of sheer fantasy, I decided to make a list of the services I would happily pay someone else to do for me so I could spend more time reading books to the boys, or helping them craft original art projects, or frolic in local nature parks. Or send them outside so I can watch movie trailers online. Or read People Magazine. You know, the basics.
Obviously this is all fantasy, cause once again I’ve taken my expensive degrees and put them to use in the highly paid, glamorous world of nonprofits. Wait, that should read highly rewarding, not really glamorous world of nonprofits. Either way, I can’t afford to pay for any of this, but it’s fun to dream. Plus, if I’m dreaming I can put off going and actually folding the clean clothes. Ugh. Let’s make that first on the list:
Top Five Things I’d Pay For If I Could Afford It
5. Folding and Putting Away the Laundry – seriously. I do manage to get it all washed and dried. But then it kind of gets stuck in the hallway in buckets of clean laundry. I’m afraid my boys are going to lose the use of words like closet, drawer or hangar. Then it just lingers there in the hall, socks taunting me as I walk by, wrinkled shirts calling out to me my inadequacies as a laundress.
4. A Personal Trainer – this person would just show up at my house and make me work out. I know I could get totally buff if I had someone make me work out 5 times a week. And they would be really funny, so I wouldn’t hate them. Plus all the laughing would give me killer abs.
3. Washing Gross Pots and Pans – Full disclosure, I don’t do this now. I make my sweet hubby do it, and he does, with nary a complaint or whimper. Much. But I figure it I get all this free fantasy stuff, I might as well let him in on it a bit.
2. Making Big, Fabulous Salads and Cutting Up Fruit – I know, this is pitiful. But when I go out and have a salad, veggie or fruit, I remember I really like eating salads. I just don’t like making them. All the chopping, and the peeling, and the …. oh, I don’t know. Like I said, I know this one is pitiful. But if I had a fridge stocked with yummy salads that I could visit between sessions with my amusing personal trainer? I KNOW I’d be a skinny, skinny girl.
1. Grocery shopping – I. HATE. GROCERY. SHOPPING. Especially with children. Lord have mercy, don’t make me grocery shop with the children. One child? Totally doable. Two or three children? A chaotic melee of punching, racing around the cart, riding on the cart, and then more punching. Did I mention I have boys?
(PS, I am fully aware that these are spoiled, whiny fantasies that reveal my First World-centric nonproblems – plenty of clothes to wear, food to eat, a kitchen to cook in. I do get it, and I try to be properly grateful. Sometimes I use humor to help kick myself in my whiny hiney.)
Ahhhh, dreams, they keep our hope alive. I think I’ll go downstairs where the laundry can’t see me, and watch a little TV. What the socks don’t know can’t hurt me.