The job of a stay-at-home-mom varies from day to day. Sometimes it varies from moment to moment. One of the unwritten rules of stay-at-home-motherhood is being available for maintenance and delivery calls. These could be anything from getting furniture delivered or waiting on a plumber to fix the leak in your shower. I am home for 90% of such calls and I don’t enjoy it one bit. I don’t enjoy the ‘window’ of time they give you. The ‘window’ is more like a huge, gaping chasm of time that can take up your whole day. This ‘window’ is always so mind-numbingly vague like ‘will be there anywhere from 8 to noon’ that you wish you could plumb your own way through a leaky shower. Honestly, I would like to call these scheduling people, who for some odd reason seem completely out of the loop, and tell them my ‘window’ is from 8 until 8:15. If anyone shows up past this window, they actually have to pay ME a penalty of three thousand dollars. I know what your thinking. My niche may not be motherhood, it might be in big government.
The other aspect I completely dislike about these types of calls is that there are strangers in my home (and they are mostly men) for undetermined amounts of time. They could be here twenty minutes or twenty years. You have no idea except that whatever it is, it feels like eternity.
Then you have to deal with the moods and personalities (some that are clearly disordered) of these strange people as well. It’s usually a 50/50 deal with half being kind and the other half being quite condescending (this would garner a ten thousand dollar unnecessary-rudeness tax). And rarely, there is the genuinely nice person who will talk to me like an equal (because for some reason, the stay-at-home-mom label doesn’t seem to have much substance in most of these scenarios).
So, to get right down to it, I had to wait for the plumber today. He and his partner were going to show up ‘around lunchtime’. Is lunchtime early? Is it late? Is it before or after one? Ooooh, the suspense was killing me. Turned out it was around 12:07, which I thought was pretty decent so no penalty tax yet. The two men were courteous and both attempted to engage me in idle chit-chat. It seemed that I was not going to have to charge any sort of tax or penalty until…. one of the men asked me if I would be home later in case there was a question about billing.
“Sure,” I said.
“You don’t work, right? You’re home all day all the time?” he asked.
I was like taking a knife in the gut.
I. Don’t. Work.
I don’t think he was being intentionally rude but it bothered me anyway. That is the worst possible thing you can say to a woman who stays at home to raise her children. I’d write more about this incredible injustice but I can’t.
I have too much work to do.