How many jobs do I have? Hmm…let’s see.
My paid work that I do from home is that I co-run not one, but two businesses with my sister in law. A spiritual healing business (psychic tarot and medium readings, reiki healing, teaching psychic development and tarot), and a publishing company (writing and publishing both our own books, as well as others’ work). That’s my paid work, and while it is most certainly real work, it’s still not seen as being real by some due to the nature of it.
Now, to my unpaid work-the work so many people unfortunately still see as being ‘not a real job’. Here we go- here’s my list of my ‘jobs’ off the top of my head (which, mind you, I do 24 hours a day):
Parent, counsellor, teacher, mediator, cook, cleaner, housekeeper, early childhood educator (I actually do have several years experience and qualifications as both an educator and centre director, so this is helpful), driver, shopper, nurse…
I’d say that currently I have 10+ jobs. There are likely some people out there still questioning this, and rolling their eyes saying something like, “yeah right, ok”. Let’s elaborate then, shall we?
Right now I have a heap of work waiting to be done, and clients waiting on a response. My laptop is open on my desk and everything is ready to go- it has been since around 9.00 this morning. There is a pile of washing that needs to be done, but I put it off this morning because I had to make sure my four month old’s bottles were made up before my client arrived for her session at 10.00am. I would have made them up earlier, but I didn’t want to be late dropping my toddler at daycare and my eldest son at school. Once I got home from the drop off, I quickly made up said bottles, did the dishes from the morning’s breakfast, and cleaned up the lounge room which looked like a bomb had hit it (no bomb- just a toddler). No sooner had I finished doing that, my client arrived.
At approximately 12.00pm I sat down to start doing some work, and bubs decided it was time for another change and feed. Teething, mixed with hunger and lack of sleep from earlier in the morning (being woken constantly by her almost two year old brother) meant that a simple bottle and nappy change took longer than expected, and so I ended up spending around an hour on the couch before she fell asleep. In between all of this, I managed to answer some phone calls, pay some bills, and keep a close ear out for noises outside to catch our dog from barking and waking her up. Oh, and I also got to go to the toilet once or twice and grab something to snack on.
Oh wow! It’s already 2.40pm and it’ll be time to go and collect my eldest from school soon. If I’m lucky, I might be able to squeeze in a bit of work before I do that, or maybe I should sit down for five minutes and read one of the many books I have sitting there that I can’t wait to get into. No, wait. The washing. Oh, and that phone call I need to make to the bank. Oops, and I forgot that we’re also out of formula so I must go to the supermarket before I pick up the boys, otherwise I’ll need to drag them all with me (not fun).
OK, so it’s now 4.30pm and I did manage to get around forty minutes of work done (sporadically however, in between re-settling bubs). To me though, that is productive, as it’s more work than I managed to get done yesterday. Bubs is having an extra long sleep, and my eldest son is hanging with friends, so I’ve been able to get a little more done than usual. Yay for me! I even got to hang out that load of washing… must be on a roll. Ah.. I spoke too soon. I can hear that familiar sound of bubs waking up. Time to go for now.
It’s now 10.00pm and I finally have a moment’s peace. But let’s rewind shall we, to earlier in the evening: It’s approximately 5.10pm and I’m standing at the stove, trying my best to concoct some sort of nutritious and tasty dinner with what we have left in the fridge because the grocery shopping needs to be done. I have my toddler screaming at my feet because he wants to ‘help’, bubs is crying because she conveniently wants her bottle, and my teenage son complaining because he is grounded, and therefore, bored. To be honest, part of me zones out at this point, and I do this to save my sanity (and from laying on the floor myself and having a tantrum). I end up picking my toddler up so he can help because it’s easier than tripping over him every five seconds, and so now, I’m cooking one-handed, all the while making sure his little helping hands aren’t getting burnt or cut.
Half an hour later, and dirtying many more dishes than I usually would have, I’m finally able to dish up our dinner. Toddler is screaming again because he wants his now; not in five minutes when it has cooled down enough that he doesn’t burn his tongue. Bubs has decided that she doesn’t want her bottle now- she just wants to play, and so I sit on the floor with my dinner, while entertaining her at the same time. My phone is ringing but I can’t answer it right now (don’t people bloody know it’s dinner time?) Needless to say, I had a cold dinner; what was left of it anyway, after toddler decided that my identical dinner was better to eat than his. That’s ok though- I kinda lost my appetite with bubs having a poo explosion anyway.
Right, into the bathroom we go, and it goes something like this:
“You need to keep the water in the bath…No, Gracie doesn’t want to drink the enormous bucket of water you just threw in her face… Get off her, you’re too heavy…that’s not funny- now Mummy’s saturated!”
I lift bubs out of the bath before she gets smothered by her brother,then call out to teenager: “Brendon can you stand here for a sec while I grab towels? Make sure your brother doesn’t drown.” I’m now even more saturated and have dropped water from one end of the house to the other, and so when I hear toddler screaming, I’m soon told by teenager that he wanted to get out and he of course ran for his life, slipping on the water and whacking his head on the hallway wall. Is it bed time yet?
Ok so it’s only 6.15 and it feels like 9.00, but bed time is at least in sight, PJs are on, and it’s time for our 208th viewing of Frozen. Thank God for Frozen. I manage to get the dishes done while teenager continues to try and bribe me into lifting his grounding early. He follows me, complaining how bored he is while I clean up the food from the floor, wondering if toddler actually got any in his mouth. I have to stop cleaning up because toddler has decided it’s fun to push his sister with so much force in the bouncer that she might get brain damage. Frozen is on, remember? C’mon!
My phone rings again and it’s my teenagers Dad, so I answer it and end up having a forty minute discussion about his behaviour (by the way, this is fun to do with a toddler and baby wanting my undivided attention). So, the cleaning up has to wait til later.
7.30 and toddler is ready for bed. Usually he would toddle off to bed happily with Daddy at this point, but he is on night shift this week, so it’s all me. So here I am, sitting in our bed (not his, of course) with bubs in my arms having a bottle, and toddler laying next to me having his. I won’t go into details, but trying to get a baby and a toddler to sleep at the same time, without them waking each other up, isn’t fun. It’s even less fun when toddler keeps deciding he wants to get up, or ‘help’ me get bubs to sleep. It’s around 8.30 by the time toddler falls asleep (which I’m pretty happy with, considering), so I sneak out like a ninja with bubs in my arms, praying to God she stays quiet just got a few seconds until I can leave the room. She does… Success!
So, back to where I am now at 10.00pm. After several attempts at getting bubs to sleep in between either the dog or her oldest brother waking her up from being noisy, she finally went to sleep around thirty minutes ago. I’ve spent that last half an hour cleaning up (again) and I even contemplated doing some work, but I don’t want to risk making any noise in case she wakes up- plus, I can’t concentrate because I’m thinking about all the stuff I need to get done tomorrow. I make a quick list so I don’t forget any of it, and get my PJs on and sit down.
I take a few moments to wonder just how I managed to get through the day with my sanity still in tact. I thank the universe for giving me such amazing children and a patient heart and mind. After a few deep breaths, I get that book out that I’ve been dying to keep reading, but then put it down again just as quickly. Nope, I’m too tired, and bubs will be awake in a couple of hours for a feed. Nigh-nighs time for me!
This was an average day for me, aside from hubby being on night shift (usually he’s home to help out during dinner, bath and bed time) but it doesn’t make it any less crazy! There are other things I haven’t mentioned here, such as when the kids are sick, if my teenager has a meltdown, or trying to keep appointments; not to mention those days where I actually do get some work done!
I dare anyone to tell me that “all I am is a Stay at home Mum” or that I don’t have a real job. While my jobs (plural) bring me oh so much joy and I wouldn’t change them for the world, I work bloody hard every day and night, with rarely any opportunity for any resemblance of a break. So, next time you hear anyone mumble similar words, perhaps ask them if they’ve experienced it for themselves. Until anyone has had firsthand experience of being a stay at home parent, they have no idea what it’s really like. In my opinion, anyone who thinks parenting full time is a ‘breeze’ or that it’s ‘not real work’ needs a healthy dose of STFU (look it up if you don’t know what I’m getting at). And, for those of us full time parents who also work from home, I don’t know about you, but these judgemental, ignorant fools can kiss my arse! We work harder and much longer hours then anyone else, and our main job is unpaid. Enough said.