I’ve been a stay-at-home Mom for about 11 years now – as I stopped working, my sister went back to work. But apparently she’s forgotten that SAHM’s work as hard as women working outside the home …

Yesterday I was on the phone with my mother listening to her rosy-colored glasses idea of how Dad’s ‘improving’ (he’s getting worse, not better) and got an email from my husband telling me to get on Yahoo Messenger because he needed to talk to me. Now I’m pretty good at multi-tasking, so I log onto the IM and, while talking to Mum, have the following conversations:

Gizmo Guy: The muffler blew up on the Honda today. Phone the mechanics’ and ask if you can take the car in this afternoon.

Me: I’m on the phone with Mum.

GG: See if they can take it at about 3:30 – I think I can get out early today. Oh, and tell them it’s been all over the road since I had the winter tires put on.

Me: Okay, I’ll phone when I’m done with Mum.

Mum: “So what’s the weather like down there?” Translation: I want you to drive me to the hospital today even though I know that it’ll take up all of your day to do that, and I’d not be inviting you to my house under normal circumstances. (It’s 60 minutes from my place to hers, then another 30 minutes from their home to the hospital – so that’s three hours there and back, not to mention the two hours she’d want to stay for the visit. So 5 hours from the time I leave to the time I arrive home, if I’m lucky.)

Me: “It’s pretty grey, Mum. Looks like it might rain. ” I explain GG’s car problems. “He wants me to phone the mechanics’, Mum.” Translation: I need to hang up for a bit.

Mum: “Do you think it might rain today?” Translation: I’m not hanging up.

GG goes on a long rant about work … trying to be supportive, I let him ramble away, making sympathetic comments in the appropriate spots.

My eldest son walks in from work and sits down in the other chair in the office: “Hey, Mom I need to go over to Long and McQuade today to pay the rental fee on my guitar.” Translation: I need you to drive me over to the store and back while I’m still awake. (He works night shift so he sleeps during the day. In other words, he wants me to take him between ten and noon.)

Mom in the meantime is telling me a story of how Dad has lost a book she’d brought him, his glasses, his robe, had stuffed a chocolate down the toe of the single sock he was wearing and how it had melted (yuck), and argued with the nurses over his medication.

GG: So what did the mechanics say?

Me *sighing and mentally calculating the best route to the music store since every single road around my house is under construction and also if there is a route that could include a gas station since my car is running on fumes, and if there is a bank on the way because I need to get money to pay for the lecture I’m attending between 1 and 3 that afternoon, while wondering how I’m going to meet GG at the mechanics’ the way he wants, and still find time to write*: I’m still on the phone with Mum.

GG: Oh. When you going to be done with her?

Me: Probably in an hour or two if any of her previous calls are an indicator.

Mum: “I was wondering if you’d like to come visit Dad with me today.” Translation: I really really want you to come up and drive me because I don’t like to drive but I don’t want to have to come out and say that.

Me to Mum: “Mum, I’m going to that lecture put on by the Alzheimer’s Society today on the legal issues involved with patients with dementia. You know – the one you asked me to attend for you?”

Mum – disappointment clear in her voice: “O-o-oh. [Yes, she actually drew it out to three syllables.] Is that today?”

Eldest Son: “So when do you want to take me? I was thinking that maybe we could swing by Subway and pick up some subs for lunch afterward. I’ll buy.” Translation: He’s no dummy, he’s trying to bribe me.

GG: So – you talked to the mechanic yet?

I believe I growled at that point.

The conversations end with me agreeing to take Eldest Son to the store (but not Subway which is in the opposite direction) at about 11:30, and me promising GG yet again (5th time?) to phone the mechanics as soon as I hang up from Mum and get back to him, and me agreeing to meet Mum at the library on the far side of town the next morning to drive her to the accountants’ office.

Which means yesterday, I drove ES over to the store and got his guitar rental payment made, went to the bank, attended a two hour lecture that ended up being closer to three hours and got home just as Gizmo Guy drove up in his race-car-sounding Honda. I never did get the car filled up – had to do that this morning. Plus I had to do all the regular housework – making meals, cleaning, etc.

Today, because of yesterday’s agreement with Mom, I had to drive Gizmo Guy to work this morning since his car is in the shop and I needed my car (thankfully he’s not working at his usual data centre an hour and a half away but is working at a local one today.) Then I have to drive across town to the library, pick Mum up, drive back to the accountants’ office which is two blocks from my house, and when that’s done drive her back across town to her car. This evening I’ll have to go back downtown to pick up Gizmo Guy from work. I also have to follow up with the mechanics about GG’s car because even though GG will be working in town today and it would be a local call, heaven forbid that he’d actually pick up the phone and call the mechanics’ himself.

The icing on the cake came last night during a conversation with my sister when she said, “So what are you going to be doing the rest of the week? I know you’re taking Mom to the accountant’s tomorrow, but I think you should be arranging to get her to a lawyer as well, and then maybe you should start visiting nursing homes. I don’t know how we’d be managing if you weren’t home all day with nothing to do.

WTF? Nothing to do?

Arrrghhh! Amy, I’m pretty sure you might have been able to hear me screaming about then. In fact, I’ll bet people in Japan could have heard me!

Did she REALLY say that?
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4 thoughts on “Did she REALLY say that?

  • November 20, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    I was wondering what that was. That weird inaudible scream.

    Why is it that people assume Stay at home moms do NOTHING!!!

    Seriously. I think my life got busier when I dropped to part time.

    I feel for you. Should I bust some heads for you Leah?

  • November 20, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Amy – I used to work and thought it would be quieter when I got to stay home full time. As you’ve found out – as if. People quiet happily plonk more on your plate – here, you’re not busy, you can do this instead of me. And you start putting more expectations on yourself in terms of housework and writing and stuff. But my sister’s comment got to me because she should know better since she used to be a SAHM. How quickly they forget!

  • November 20, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry reading this Leah. It’s like a scene from a sitcom, but with no laugh track and overly dramatic eye-rolls, it’s just real life. And it sucks.

    Home all day with nothing to do…
    Okay – that one came with it’s own laugh track, albeit sarcastic.

  • November 24, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    It’s a good thing you’re doing something to create endorphins.

    Sounds like your sister needs a to do list!

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