Monday, January 11, 2010

Ups and Downs

One day last summer I was in the library (I know, I know). I was waiting for the boy, and they have these lovely squashy chairs in the periodical section, and one thing led to another, as it does, so I was reading.

There were two women standing not too far away and chatting - the acoustics in that library are something bizarre; if you stand in certain spots and have a perfectly average conversation at a reasonable volume, it sounds like you're shouting and everyone can hear you.

They were talking about work; one of them was off to an interview that afternoon, for a part-time job. They were in perfect agreement, these two women, that it was absolutely impossible to manage your family while working more than three days a week. Impossible! Couldn't be done!

If it wasn't for the oddness of the acoustics in the library, I would have snorted.

Because seriously - some of us manage perfectly well with full-time jobs, one income, and a really stupid dog.

Except when we don't manage perfectly well.

Today I taught all six classes and did okay. One kid made a huge breakthrough; one kid took a small step; two classes wrote part of a mid-term; I looked at a book I have to review; I examined my Huge Pile of Marking and decided to put it off for another day.

I forgot a book I promised a friend. I made it under the wire to the vet's to pick up dog food (I was actually there three minutes after closing, but I know one of the vet assistants and she let me in). I managed to scrape together dinner, but I ruined a tupperware container while doing so. I hauled the new sack of dog food in and emptied out the old one and made two lunches, one of which had to be appropriate for "Trashless Tuesday".

My budget for January is managed to the last penny, so of course the boy has a toothache that needs to be looked at, and my neck is sore from my spectacular equestrian moment the other day, so we're off to the chiropractor and the dentist, respectively, later this week. The dog has an eye that looks like it's irritated and might need attention from a Very Expensive Professional soon. Junior just reminded me that he needs new trunks for his new session of swim club. He also brought home a Scholastic book form with a Lego Star Wars guide in it that he proclaims would be "very useful, mummy."

And there are days when I am in perfect agreement with that lady who just couldn't manage her life if she had to work more than 24 hours a week. (There are times when I feel like I put in that many hours in an afternoon.) There are days when I would give everything up: my treasured independence; my solitude; all the things I love about being single; just for someone who would listen to all my worries and say "I know. Me too. But it will be fine. Really."

This was one of those days.

1 comment:

Mrs. Spit said...

It will be absolutely fine. (But, frankly that would be much more appealing if I was, well, more male than I am).

Having said that, I believe women who really can't manage family and work have this very odd idea of what life used to be like. I find they make me very cross.