Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Had to Say No

Yesterday, I was in the office of my child's school checking in to volunteer to help with those in my son's class with limited reading skills (doesn't include my son, he can read well.) The office staff asked me if I wanted to be in charge of the Odyssey of the Mind team. No, I don't. I'm sorry. I already work 40 hours a week from home, serve as vice-president of two organizations, volunteer one hour a week to help with reading, go to Cub Scout meetings, soccer games and would like two minutes for myself.

Yet, I felt guilty. Immediately, I began asking them what it would entail, which students would be involved (one or two afternoons a week, with more frequency as competitions happened and probably the older students, of which my son isn't) and isn't there someone else they can get? Finally, I left it at "The PTO president and I will brainstorm some parents who can do this."

As I talked to my husband about this, I realized that I have never had a time since I was 18 that I wasn't either going to school or working or both. No time. My husband's business isn't quite enough to provide for us (and mirroring the health care issues out there today, since he's self-employed, we would have no insurance without my job) so I've always worked. I guess there have been a month here or there when I was between jobs, but then I was actively looking, panicking about my next paycheck.

I never even had relaxed summers at home between semesters in college. I would find temporary employment, go to summer school, or be indentured to my mother for three months. Many days, I truly envy the women in my area who don't work. I know they have a house to keep (so do I) and children to take care of (so do I) and maybe they are also involved in some volunteer effort (so am I) but they have some time. I see them out having coffee with a friend. Or going to a movie during the day with a friend. Or just shopping leisurely at WalMart as I run through there like a tornado picking up what I need so I can get back to whatever project I abandoned to make the trip.

I am happy with my life, for the most part. But some days, I want to be a kept woman. I want to be a woman of leisure who could spend all day making a scrapbook if I wanted, leaving only enough time to make dinner. Cleaning up this hellhole might not be the nightmare it feels now if the task wasn't shoehorned in between database management and spreadsheets and PowerPoint info something-or-others.

I guess I particularly get jealous when I hear a woman complain that she's a little bored or gush about how much she loves taking her kids to playgroup so she can get out of the house. I would love to stay in my house if it was just to keep it, instead of stuck in my house doing work, waiting for my boss to call and give me another project.

No comments:

Post a Comment