Monday, October 31, 2005

Mamas unite!

I've been sitting on this empty blog for a couple of weeks now, trying to decide what the first post should be about. Seems momentous somehow, like I should provide some sort of introduction or prologue or some such. Husband says you're supposed to try for a tone, a voice. Historically, however, I'm a journal-writer and not a writer for public consumption so this seems hard. You don't have to sell yourself in a journal. It can be as awful, messy, and grievously self-centered as you want and there's no audience to concern yourself with. (Except, of course, for your adult children who will stumble on the tattered notebooks in a trunk in the attic one day and be horrified to read of your sex life and pettiness and daily annoyance with THEM. But then they'll realize how great a writer you were! What artifacts of culture these journals are! And they'll be published to much posthumous acclaim! But my fantasies distract me from the matter at hand.)

Which is supposed to be a post which will contain such clear TONE that if people stumble upon it they'll know instantly that this is a blog they'll want to keep up with (or not). Hmmm. Maybe I'll skip trying for tone just now and instead describe what prompted me to finally begin this today. There's a blog out there that I've been keeping up with lately. I won't link to it here because I actually know one of the bloggers. She's the wife of one of the Husband's closest college friends and it's very possible that we will see these people again. She's a journalist, is quite a good writer, in fact, and the blog is generally entertaining and a good way to pass the baby's naptime. I'm beginning to catch on, though, that this blog is preoccupied with dissing the stay-at-home mom. My sense is that it's because making the choice to stay at home with the kids rather than pursuing one's career indicates that you're one of those controlling, smothering types with no other ideas about what to do with your life. So this is where the women's movement has finally dumped us off, huh? I've got to go after SOME paying job in order not to be too smothering, too unhealthily concerned for my children's welfare?

Jeez, y'all, can't we can the bitchy judgments of what women have to do to make it work these days?! Don't find staying at home with your kids personally fulfilling? Don't worry, I understand exactly why you wouldn't. I applaud anyone's choice to pursue a career that they find gratifying and personally fulfilling. But listen, quality daycare is expensive, and so are private nannies. Before having this second baby, I was managing a bakery. I would say that it was locally famous and seemed to impress people when I answered the "What do you do?" question. But it was nevertheless pretty thankless work which didn't pay well and required a wretched schedule to boot. Some of us choose to stay at home because our jobs suck and it just doesn't make sense to work only to pay for daycare.

But really, aside from that, what the hell is wrong with liking hanging out with your kids, with not being so tired from work that you yell at the 7-year old for the smallest provocation, with cooking something for your family so that at the end of the day you can all convene around the dinner table to eat and re-connect? It's temporary for me, so I confess that I probably appreciate my situation more than I might otherwise. But I'm in no hurry to re-enter the rat race, ladies. Bring on the so-called domestic drudgery and the early morning wakings by a teething baby. I'll take that over getting up at 3:30 to bake you working bitches your low-fat muffins and scones any day!