The Ultimate Housewife

Just a housewife. Pickin’ up; the floor littered with Legos, Blocks, dirty clothes, every time I think I have it all picked up I walk by another dirty dish to bring to the sink and wash or bend down to pick up a piece of trash on the floor, blood rushing to my face, realizing my hamstrings are tight and I need to stretch.  Putting it away, throwing it away, giving it away. Taking it. (Me: A Whore. It all comes down to fucking. Wet and Big. Vulgarity.) Time to vacuum. Vacuous. Space.  My two year old son keeps saying something that sounds like fuck but I’m convincing myself it’s truck. And on the deck last night my daughter said, “People die” as she looked to the sky. I said, “are there people in the sky?” She said yes.  Indulging myself I asked, “Is my mom in the sky?” She said, “Yes”. It’s Naptime now. Hummus, corn chips, cherry tomatoes, and ginger tea for lunch. Air hot, humid today. Time to take off my bra for the rest of the day. This morning after I dropped the babies off at Early Start, I walked Billy on the trail behind the school, green hills with patches of purple, dark shadows under the oak tree, the warm air tempting me to take off all my clothes and walk naked on the dirt trail. I used to hike topless in the nineties, protesting the fact that men can take off their shirts almost anywhere and it would be accepted, but not me, I’m not supposed to show too much cleavage, I’m supposed to keep my breasts covered with bras and tops, not too tight or I look slutty, not too loose or I look frumpy. The outlines or raised surface of my nipples to be masked, hidden. I was always self-conscious of my boobs. I finally don’t care anymore. There is a man cutting trees in the neighborhood, his power tool is so loud, I need to close all the windows before I go crazy. That is so much better.  As I just made my way through the house, closing windows and doors, I picked up a piece of stuffing from pink bear, looked at surfaces that needed cleaning, wondered if I should stop writing and start dusting or stop writing and go paint something before the babies wake up. I have some decisions and considerations to make. Now and beyond. I am flying solo right now, no part time babysitter or nanny. I’ve had someone three days a week since Jack and Fiona were Eight months old. Between those three days and naptimes I’ve been keeping my head above water and have been able to write and paint. I’ve considered being an artist my job, justifying the expense of the part time nanny, plus being able to take breaks to keep my own sanity. But I make no money being an artist, I only spend money. My husband always used to say “Art is a hobby”, I would get so mad. But maybe he’s right. Maybe I should become something else. Maybe I should focus on raising Jack and Fiona and do art on the side. Be the ultimate housewife. It never dawned on me until after the last democratic presidential debate that I’m not accruing any social security benefits. (thanks Hilary for reminding me) I never thought about it too hard because I’ve always worked. Until now. I still work but it’s all under the table. No one knows what I do but my husband. Am I a kept woman? Am I a whore? Am I both of those things? Am I a ghost? Division of labor. Traditional vs. Non- Traditional. It’s fluid and multi-dimensional. I like cleaning, being a housewife, a mom. Raising Jack and Fiona. But I always feel like there’s more I could do. I feel like I should bring home a paycheck somehow. But how? I’m going to be a stay at home mom until Jack and Fiona go to Elementary School. That’s always been the plan. So the question is should I save money on the nanny until then? Or will I be giving up too much painting time? Time to myself? Free Time? Will I go CRAZY? Or am I already crazy? Maybe no one would ever hire me again? Maybe I would never want to work for anyone again. Well it’s almost that time. Jack and Fiona will wake up soon. I need to finish cleaning before they get upstairs, because they will be ready to make another big mess, and then the mess will multiple and take forever to clean!

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