Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SAHM's and Cleaning Ladies. A Rant.

I really wish I had the skills to save screen shots of people saying stupid, ignorant things. Because if I did, you would be able to read this and it would be awesome. But since, alas, I do not, I shall go on to explain to you what it says. After all, I only wasted part of Carter's nap time trying to PrntScrn, save, stretch and doodle. 

That, dear Loyals, is a shoddy screen shot of my Facebook wall. Yesterday, I put out a call for help. Something that I very rarely, if ever, do. So when I do? It's kind of a big deal. I'm not above help, I just like to think that I'm capable (and crazy enough) to do everything, all the time, by myself. And well, Loyals, that isn't the case. I know, welcome to reality, AP. 

You see, Loyals, I've been in the market for a cleaning lady. Just a little extra help around the house once (preferably twice, but we won't go there) per month so that when I do spend some time cleaning the house each day, I won't get ridiculously upset and angry six minutes later when Carter has absolutely destroyed it again. 

This cleaning lady? Believe me, she comes with a handful of sacrifices, as does pretty much everything these days. The money that I earn taking pictures? Well, it's pretty much going to finance some extra help around the M household. But you don't really need to hear that, much less care about it. 

So, there I am. Putting out the call for help on Facebook. Asking local friends and family if they have any experience with a wonderful cleaning service that they would love to pass along. Seems easy enough, right?

Immediately, a high school acquaintance writes, "you're home all day, do it then and save the money!" Followed by what I like to call a "judgey smiley."

OK. I get it. And we all know she's not the first one to assume that just because I'm home all day, I should have an immaculately clean house, immaculately groomed toddler and dinner on the table each night promptly at 5. Which, for the record, wouldn't even fly in our house considering The Husband doesn't get home until at least 7 each night. 

But, I brush it off and in response write, "If it was that easy, I wouldn't need a cleaning lady! Toddlers and trying to clean a house do not mix well together!" Meanwhile, friends and family are commenting left and right, sharing the names and numbers of their cleaning ladies. And their friend's cleaning ladies and their friend's friend's sister's cousin's cleaning service. And I'm so grateful. 

Until what I can only assume is ignorance prompting said offender to respond again. Wait, isn't this conversation over? Oh, no Loyals. No, it's not. 

She writes, "lol i have a 10 year old and a 7 year old and 2 dogs (1 very hairy), after working an 8 hour day and taking care of kids and dogs i still have to clean at the end of the day, haha."

Okay. First of all, I would like to address that adding "lol" or "haha" to whatever you're about to say, doesn't automatically make it funny or less sting-y. That's basically like starting your sentence off with, "I don't mean to be rude but.." Because we both damn well know, you're about to say something ridiculously rude. 

For those of you who don't really know me, I try and live my life both respectfully and gracefully. I save the snark and the sass for the blog as where I feel it's most appropriately suited for that. Not to mention that I just don't have the time to be all snarky and sassy in real life. It takes too much energy. 

I thought long and hard about responding to that high school acquaintance. Part of me wanted to just let it all go and forget she ever said anything. But then an even bigger part of me is just so sick and tired of people assuming that as a SAHM I have nothing but time on my hands. So I wrote back. And I talked all about how although I do not work outside of the home, I'm busy just about every second of every day. 

When I'm not playing with Carter, teaching him letters, numbers, manners, animals, raising him to be a polite, caring and compassionate little gentleman, learning with him, loving all over him and downright Mothering him, I'm writing. I'm editing. I'm responding to emails. I'm writing some more and editing some more. There's mom-dates and play groups and story time. 

There's laundry. Even if it's on it's fourth cycle in the dryer, it still needs tending to. And on the rare occasion that my child naps? I'll prep dinner or mop the floor. Sometimes I mop multiple times per day, depending how much of a mess he makes.

When he's awake and eating lunch in his high chair? I'll vacuum. Because for those 11 minutes? He's contained in one place, on hold from running around the house like the Crazy Toddler Wildebeest that he is.

We go to the park. Every day. We run around like crazy people. We swing on the swings. We pick flowers. 

I am busy. We are busy. Every day.

Newsflash, but I am not sitting around all day watching Real Housewives and eating ice cream. As a matter of fact, Carter doesn't even like the Housewives. 

So when I ask for a little bit of extra help? It's because I need it. It's not so that I can sit on my ass and watch TV or paint my nails. It's so that I can be a better mother to Carter and a better wife to The Husband. 

I know. Perhaps she was having a bad day. As I'm sure there are a myriad of outliers that could account for one feeling the need to respond in the fashion. 

But as a proud SAHM, it needed to be said. And by no means is what I do all day meant to discount the work of any other Mother. We all work. Mothering in itself is a job. Some of us continue to work outside of the home, some of us from inside of the home. I freelance write and I'm a children's and family photographer. I also spend an undisclosed number of ours per week blogging. That, Loyals, is a job in itself. One that I absolutely love doing.  

Please don't assume because I'm home all day that I have countless free hours at my disposal. If it were true? I'd fill those hours with manicures and pedicures and personal trainers. Oh heck, and maybe even an episode of Real Housewives or two.

Happy Wednesday, Loyals. Thanks so much to those of who who've reached out, emailed and Facebooked me, wondering where I've been and if I'm alright. I am. It's just another case of Life Getting The Best Of Me. I'm up to my eyeballs in editing incredible family sessions with little joys. and am so thankful that this little passion of mine has taken off like it has. So, so thankful. 

As always, thanks for reading! I'll be back soon!