Disclaimer: I suspect this is going to be an insufferably self-indulgent and introspective post.
I love writing. I get such a rush from words tumbling out and jostling for position on the screen or in my ratty notebook. There is a delicious agony in searching for the right word or the perfect one-liner. I am filled with glee when I finish a piece and it’s done, it’s definitely done and I can totally publish it. And knowing that I have readers as lovely as you is pure bliss. I think I know now what I want to be when I grow up.
And here’s the funny part: I think that my job as a stay-at-home-mum fits perfectly with this plan.
I feel a little nervous saying this – in any other profession, it’s perfectly OK to say you love working and that your job is full of fun perks, but the role of full-time Domestic Engineer is fraught with emotional landmines.
You see, we’re all a little bruised by the idea put about that we’re spoiled rich ladies who spend our days wearing pearls and watching infomercials. Or that we’re a little bit stupid and child-care (being such an unworthy pursuit) is all our poor intellects are capable of. Or that we’re so insufferably dull, we need to surround ourselves with children as a distraction.
This makes us rather defensive.
As a result, we flood social media with earnest posts about how SAHMs should be earning a CEO’s salary for all the work they do (often accompanied by a Vishnu-like diagram depicting all the roles they play); stories of husbands who try to do the work of their stay-as-home wife and fall apart after Day 1 (“I had no idea!”); and heartwarming video clips that involve evocative piano music, baby’s first steps and advertisements for a South East Asian phone company.
I feel like a traitor to the cause admitting I really like what I do – and not just for the worthy reasons like “being there for my kids” and “hearing Baby’s first words” – the lifestyle really suits me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about a proper career as a writer and I see this time at home not as a delay or a roadblock, but as a gift. Time to practice and develop my skills before I try it on for real.
In fact, I’ve been thinking about it so much, I’m going to write a whole separate blog post about it.