I did say, and did mean, that accomplishing a lot on the home front makes me feel In Control – and I stand by all that. But just in case it isn’t excruciatingly obvious to everyone, word to the wise: this isn’t the kind of work you do for the glory and recognition of it all. Caitlin Flanagan, who otherwise annoys the shit out of me in all things, amused me with her rantings on this topic, and I do agree that domestic work is sadly underrated. But the reality of the situation is that domestic work is the quintessential definition of invisible, thankless work. That’s not to say that I reap copious amounts of praise or even just generalized feedback at the old day job or whatever, but still…there is a beginning and end to most tasks, eventually someone higher up on the food chain than me reviews it, and sometimes if I’m really lucky I get a “thank you” or even a “that was an excellent draft, nice work.” Legal work also has the advantage of being at least somewhat preservable, unlike, say, the cleanliness of a mirror hanging in your front hallway that sports 234945349 toddler-sized fingerprints approximately 10 seconds after you’ve Windexed it. It would be like writing a memo every night only to have it deleted the next day…forever.

Because J stayed home with our first two for two years, I think he has a greater appreciation than most people for what actually goes into running a house and keeping small children from mortally wounding themselves. If I ever needed someone to sympathize with the Sisyphean task of loading and unloading a dishwasher, or to empathize with how having to sweep the kitchen floor one more time is going to do me in, it would be him (he?). On that level, he gets it…and yet, even he can’t feign any enthusiasm for it all. KWIM? And sometimes you just want someone to get really excited about the Great Pantry Overhaul of 2012, especially when this stuff becomes your life. But how can you really ask that of your husband, or anyone? It’s impossible.

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