As I have mentioned before I have lived my life very anti-routine. It has always been part of who I am and even though it may seem chaotic to others it has never felt that way to me. Everything that needs to be done is done it just isn't done to a timetable; Monday - bedding, Tuesday - floors, Wednesday - washing, I mean seriously I cannot comprehend living like that.
I have short, very short, periods where I give it a try and at the time I believe I have come across a wonderful system that I will be able to follow. A week later it feels as if not only am I catering to a high maintenance family I am now nagging myself - get this done, get that done, you forgot to do this. Needless to say the new system finds itself discarded. Who wants any additional nagging in their life? Besides I can't maintain the discipline because other things come up.
I admit the other things may be a beautiful sunny day, a trip to the shops to go birthday shopping, or just a matter of going out to lunch with a friend or my kids. What am I supposed to say, "Oh no, sorry, I can't come out to lunch today it is bathroom and ironing day. How about on the weekend?" Not likely.
The biggest advantage of my life is the freedom I have and I am not going to take it away from myself. What I need to try and understand is why I feel the need to imprison myself every now and then. I am guessing that I want to feel productive but I don't know why that is so ingrained in my head.
As soon as I relax and accept that I live a blessed life everything falls into place. My housework is kept up to date, I have time for the people I care about and I am happy. This should always be enough but unfortunately it isn't. For some reason I fall into the trap of needing to justify my life to others. Why I seem to feel that being happy and having a happy family isn't justification enough I am not sure.
I used to believe stay-at-home Mum's who claim to have no time for themselves, who are always flat out, and who argue that their life is busier than a working mother, but, how can that be? In many instances a working mother still has to wash, iron, cook and clean, as well as care for sick children, but she also has to work. I have been both and I will not deny that my life is much easier now. It is true that often I don't have much spare time but that is of my own making. I used to perpetrate the very same no-spare-time-myth, but I can no longer do that, nor do I want to.
I don't sit around all day watching day time television while drinking coffee and eating biscuits but that is only because those things don't appeal to me. I will sit outside in the sun reading a book drinking a coffee though.
What a wonderful world it would be if people looked at individuals instead of stereotypes. Nobody can ever truly understand anothers life unless they can live it, which of course is impossible, so how about we judge less, especially ourselves, and just find the joy in our own unique situations. Every housewife is not an under-educated sloth and every working mother is not a career driven workaholic with no time for her children.
I admire career women but I no longer have any desire to be one and slowly but surely I am discovering that doesn't make me any less a person. If my situation was to change and we needed the additional income I would happily go back to work but until that day comes I will stick with looking after my family during the day and evening and sitting up until the early hours of the morning to pursue my passion for the written word. That is my choice, wife and mum by day, writer by night.
It should never be an issue of who is better, a stay-at-home Mum or a working Mum, and, as to who has it tougher, who knows, and really, who cares? The question should be - why does the competition for better or worse, harder or easier exist in the first place? Who started it and how do we stop it?
I can't even come close to answering those questions although I have some theories. I may be very, very wrong but I believe for whatever reason both parties feel the need to justify their existence based on a bizarre sense of guilt, but who am I to say. I can't speak for other people, I just know that when I worked I felt guilty because I wasn't available for my kids as much and now that I don't work I occassionally feel guilty because I am not contributing financially. Just a thought.
Enough thoughts. As I look out my window at a cloudless sky I realise that I should be taking advantage of the life I have, so having done all my washing and cleaning for the day I am going to head outside with my book and coffee and enjoy the sunshine. I may or may not have it easier but I do know that right now I definitely feel I have it better.
So from what I can understand it comes down to this,
Live the life you have
and find as much enjoyment in it as you can.