I can’t recall who started it. It was trending not just in my twitter feed and on facebook. It was in my house, too. Em didn’t want to go back to school after her long break. MQD was not particularly interested in going back to work. It seemed like no one wanted to “go back.”
I have adopted a silence when people start hemming and hawing on Sunday in the late afternoon about “going back to work.” When you stay home you don’t have much to add to that conversation. Either you crack a joke at your own expense quickly or you start pointing out that you don’t get days off at all.
I usually just fall quiet. I am not trying to get pelted with bon bons from the stay at home mom crowd for saying this out loud. But staying home with my kids is so far the best job I have ever had. I make my own hours. I love the people that I work for. And I wear whatever I want. The same things that make it awful are the things that make it wonderful. I spend all my time with my co-workers. All of it.
This particular Monday I had a tougher time falling back in to the swing of things. My house is clean. My refrigerator is full of left overs. My laundry is done. A long weekend with family and I had plenty of extra hands on deck. Christmas is more than a month away. I am not ready to start that. So, what exactly am I to do?
Lucy and I had a lazy morning. We stayed in our pajamas. We did some yoga. We chatted with a friend when she stopped by with our eggs. Late morning became afternoon and before I knew it Emily’s bus was going to be home and we weren’t even dressed. For all intents and purposes I did not “go to work” today. Sure, I kept the kiddo alive and happy all day. And on a good day that is enough for me. She is my “primary job.” But on the days when I sit back and watch her and I disengage and I wonder if “this” is “enough” – it makes my heart hurt.
Sitting on the floor in our bedroom by the window I could feel the lonely settling down in to my bones. I was trying to be light hearted when I called him. “Every one is back to work and school and I am just here. It’s so quiet. It’s like I don’t know what to do.”
He was joking. “You should clean something.”
I wanted to hang up. I wanted to not cry. I wanted to not make mountains out of molehills and rail against the Universe that cleaning things is a waste of time when it will all be a mess again tomorrow. He was kidding.
But damn that man of mine. Even his jokes can see through me. Surely he could hear the blue. I don’t wear it well.
Not even ten minutes had passed before I ripped the covers off of the couch and put them in the washing machine. He might have been joking, but I feel pretty fantastic. Sometimes I do need to feel like I “did” something. And by sometimes I mean all of the time. The washing machine will be done in four minutes. In a little over an hour I will pull clean cushion covers out of my dryer and wrestle them back on to the couch. And I will feel like I conquered the world. Or at the very least I will feel like I beat back the blue for yet another day.
But it is not just because I cleaned something. I can’t have you or MQD thinking my life is really that simple.
I also put on lipstick. And in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due I must thank my mother (presumably) for losing a lipstick in my couch. Because apparently it takes more than just a shower and a completed chore to make my heart sing. It takes lipstick, y’all.