It takes you so long to write a 700 word story! Said the horrified editor friend of mine. I counted sheep in my head (helps me stay calm. Another good alternative is the in-your- head-grocery list) and waited for the one question that I hate hearing ever since I gave up working full time to be a stay at home mother: So what do you do all day?
Really, what was it that I did the entire day? And what was it that the other mothers did, staying in this mysterious place called home where there really wasn’t much to do except manage a kid or two, keep them clean and well fed and keep the house looking like it wasn’t rummaged by a tornado. It didn’t require excel sheets or meetings so how tough or time consuming could it be?
If general opinion is to be believed, there isn’t much that is done all day except for the above mentioned cleaning/feeding bits, along with copious TV watching and (gasp) even visits to the salon! With eight luxurious hours stretching before her, what’s a woman to do!
Since I fall in the above category of moms with nothing much to do but still do not get the time to finish a 700 word article in 7 days, I decided to do some stock taking with other mummy pals of mine. Clearly I was a failure in time management and had it all wrong. I was sure they had it all figured out. So I decided to ask them them the question: So what is it that you do the whole day?
“Umm…you really want to know?” Asked the friend with a four month old. The edge in her voice should have warned me off but I ploughed on. “At 7 I clean the baby’s diaper. 7.15 is feeding time. 7.30 there’s a diaper change again. 8 there’s some feeding again. By 9 I grab whatever food I can see around the house as I am so hungry I could eat an entire buffet and possibly even the baby. Happy now?” I hang up, longtime friendship at stake.
The other one is better behaved but has no time to talk. “Sorry dear. My daughter’s friends are coming over and I need to make some nutritious homemade pizzas or else nobody will send their children over to our fast food consuming house again.”
The third keeps it short and to the point. “Cannot talk. Filing the husband’s tax returns. After that need to take the car for servicing. Busy day. In fact this is how all my days are. I am the secretary cum driver cum housekeeper cum babysitter.”
The fourth cuts my call. I had made the mistake of texting her my question.