One of the best things about being a teacher is having the time off. I gladly trade what I lose in money for the time away from work. As a working mom, it is really a wonderful prize to have two months at home with my baby girl. Also, I get a lot of nice little week long breaks throughout the school year.
I have done a lot of thinking about the meaning of work in the last year. Before Ramona, I was uninterested in housework. Every night I did work for graduate school and enjoyed my television. I created huge messes. But I was working hard.
In the last year I have thought about how much I would prize having some time to wash my kitchen floor or do a load of laundry. I swear to god, for the greater part of this school year I was either teaching, pumping milk, nursing a baby, or patting a baby to sleep. I was working hard.
Now, I'm home all day with Ramona. Working hard.
I am done trying to figure out what I think work is. I envy women who have older kids that have time to keep their houses lovely. But then, a few weeks ago my cousin stopped me from giving my nephew a bottle saying, "oh you get to feed babies all the time, let me!". I think of feeding a baby as work and she thinks of it as a treat! I used to hate the idea of cleaning my house, and now I beg Brian to take Ramona so I can be alone with my broom. Irony!
That's the thing: All thinking leads to irony, really. Labeling one thing as hard and not hard is silly. Deciding that one thing is work and the other is not work is pointless.
So, I'm at home with Ramona right now. I am working hard at every job that falls into my lap. This is fine. But in general, I'm doing a lot less thinking. A lot less judging. A lot more working.