I'd like to challenge Hillary Rosen to a week taking care of two toddlers, a household, and a husband. I'd be willing to bet she folds in twenty-four hours.
Let's see. On a good day, my pixie wakes up at 5:30, demanding an early-morning nurse, and goes back down in half an hour or so. On a good day, the imp sleeps 'till 8:00. On a good day, I can go back to bed for a while, and wake up feeling refreshed.
On a bad day, the pixie doesn't go back down, and wakes her brother up. And then I'm trying to keep two sleepy, cranky kids from fighting long enough to get solid food down both kids, and long enough to get the pixie to be willing to go down for a nap.
On a good day, the kids will watch morning children's programming on PBS, and give me time to drink my coffee, and surf the news sites and blogs 'till about 10:00. On a bad one, they're alternately fighting over toys and hanging off of my elbows.
On a good day, I get my coffee drank, and go on into the kitchen to put up dishes, and start trying to figure out what to feed all of us for the day. On a bad one, I slip past the kids, they notice, and scream at the kitchen gate until I give up and sit back down--at which point, they go back to fighting with each other, completely ignoring me unless I try to start picking up and putting away.
On a good day, they let me know without tantrums that they're ready for lunch, and wolf down whatever I put in front of them, while making minimal mess.
Needless to say, good days at mealtimes are few and far between. Usually, they hate sitting down to eat, and whine and fuss the entire time they pick at their food--lunch usually takes about an hour for the imp to eat half a dozen pizza rolls (or equivalent amount of other food). The pixie sometimes isn't any better.
After lunch, I fight with them to get them both down. The pixie nurses and goes right down, but the imp goes through "Pee pee? Read? Sing? Rock? Mama kiss? Daddy kiss?" Putting the imp down takes half of the pixie's naptime. I rarely have the energy to do much beyond stare at the ceiling while the kids are sleeping (and I can't manage to fall asleep, myself).
After their nap, the pixie begs to watch The Muppet Show. And the imp keeps sleeping, which limits how much housework I can get done. On a good day, the imp wakes up happy, and wants to play with his baby sister in his room. On a bad day, he wakes up crankier than he was when he went down for a nap.
Bedtime rituals start with supper--that takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, usually with them farting around, and I take advantage of that time to get the day's accumulated dishes and kitchen mess cleaned up. Then, the imp sits on the potty chair ("Mama! Pee pee come out penis! Toop come out hole in butt!"), then they get their bath. Then they watch The Lion King--the pixie likes the first three or four songs--the pixie nurses down, then I rock the imp for a few minutes. Often, he'll wait until I'm just about to put him under the covers to ask to go to the bathroom again. Then he reminds me that, since he went, he gets candy. Then he wants to brush his teeth. Then he wants me to rock and sing some more. Then he asks for "Daddy kiss?" (Often, Daddy's at work, so I promise I'll send Daddy in to cover him back up before Daddy goes to bed.) Bedtime rituals take between four and five hours.
After the kids go to bed, I finish whatever housework tasks I can quietly enough to not wake the pixie.
The FlyLady stuff works so well because fifteen minutes is usually all I can sneak into the housework at a time.
Even without my classes, both the ones I teach, and the ones for which I'm a teacher's assistant, my days are too full for a job outside the home. Actually, I think a job outside the home would be far less exhausting, sometimes.
"Never worked a day in her life," my ass. More like "betrayed the feminist ideal by choosing a traditional role that didn't come with a paycheck."
7 minutes ago