It's been more than a year since I sat at an office desk. Oh the pay check, the plotting, the cursing, the gossiping, the work too whenever I got time for it. The last 12 months have been a whirl of intense diaper examinations, endless nursing, laundry and YouTube crash courses in Incy Wincy Spider and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Startlingly boring stuff, often. So, is the sacrifice of a job and social life worth it? Desperate to convince myself that indeed it is, I compiled this list to remind myself of the advantages of being a lazy housewife (I know the word homemaker is more politically correct but it sounds too hardworking) and stay-at-home mother.
Cleaning poop is better than eating it: Success at work is often contingent on how eagerly one can lap up the boss's frothy diarrhoea straight from the source. Office politics stink way more than any number of dirty diapers. I feel my life is cleaner now than it has ever been before.
Housework is bad for your baby: If being a housewife meant scrubbing floors and wiping stuff I'd be back at work before you could say Lysol. Happily, domestic drudgery is no longer necessary. All the latest studies say that a spotless home can keep your baby from developing a robust immune system. I make that crud on the floor work. If you do not have crud on the floor you are not parenting as well as I am. I am now planning to get some type of unwashed mongrel to add to the healthfulness of my immunity-building abode.
Dirty laundry means dirty laundry: And there are unholy piles of it, nothing metaphorical about it - but all you need is a washing machine, not a PR campaign or social media clean-up operation. No one can drag your name through the mud, partly because you aren't really meeting anybody to do nefarious things with. And since you're no longer part of professional power struggles, no one cares enough to gossip or dig up incriminating things about you.
Spreadsheets isn't a single word: It's two words on my calendar, done every second Tuesday. Could never quite figure out those nasty Excel sheets anyway. Spreading out the cotton ones is so much easier. I mean getting the domestic help to spread them out, of course.
Baby talk is more meaningful than small talk: A heartfelt goo-goo sometimes makes more sense than the meaningless noise that small talk often is. This really hit home a while when someone asked me how my husband was. I paused - at that point of time he was grappling with an interesting dilemma and I was wondering if I should mention it. I started to, but seeing my hesitation, my guest stopped me, 'Oh don't bother, I am just making conversation.' Now, in a way this was nice. She gave me an out and I appreciate it. But at the same time I felt a rush of irritation - what is the point of 'conversation' if it is purely dramaturgical in nature? Small talk is a way of filling in silence and a polite way to make listening unnecessary. It is a fundamentally dishonest mode of interaction. I do not have to engage in it as often any longer. When a baby coos and gurgles, he or she is communicating love and a sense of connection. Or has seen something shiny. Whatever. My baby never talks about the weather. Yet, anyway.
A version of this blog appeared on Half Baked and Ready to Serve.