So I read this article just the other day. I can't even remember where it was - but very possibly it might have been August or September's issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Yes, I get it. No, it doesn't help me make MY home and garden better, but we can dream, right? So there's this article about stay-at-homes. How in the past, a stay-at-home spouse was in a position to be coveted - after all, it usually meant that the family was so well-off, one spouse could afford not to work and had the "luxury" of staying home. It talked about the fact that some families don't do it for "monetary reasons", rather, they enjoy the fact that one spouse can stay home and handle the day-to-day affairs of the household, leaving their evenings and weekends free to have fun. Of course, they had an example - an interview with a family - one spouse stayed home - can't remember which one, but Monday and Friday were "errand" days, Tuesday was grocery day, Wednesday was laundry day and Thursday was cleaning day. "It all works out so well!" they gushed - they have the weekends free, no errands to run, no groceries to buy, food is there and prepared.....ok. So what in the world is wrong with this picture? As if setting aside an entire day to shop for groceries and an entire day to do laundry isn't ridiculous enough, this couple HAS NO CHILDREN.
Okay. You have no kids. And you still need all that time to get your day-to-day household business done? C'mon people, are you nuts? After all, how long does it actually TAKE to do the laundry for two people, one of which stays home?! Presumably, that's at least one person that doesn't need to be ironing and laundering special-care items that one would wear to work say in a business setting. And gee, does it REALLY take a whole Tuesday to shop for groceries for two people who actually EAT their food rather than sulk petulantly at the plate in front of them full of a carefully prepared meal that will eventually wind up in the trash?
I remember when Mark and I were just a couple. Our little family of two - we lived in a townhouse in Annapolis, we both worked at the same office, we commuted together, we played co-ed volleyball, we went out to eat with our friends, and SOMEHOW, we managed to get our laundry done, procure food for the house, and STILL had plenty of time to keep the place neat and orderly, and weekends were awesome - I still remember we used to have friends over, go out of town, go to the beach for the day, visit parents - I never once remembered staying home on weekends because OH NO - we both worked, therefore we had to go grocery shopping and pick up the dry-cleaning and it took an entire Saturday!
So I'm a little unimpressed with the logic. "Getting things done so the weekends are free" doesn't seem like a valid reason to be a stay-at-home. Take some advice from someone WITH kids, where's it actually an advantage to be a stay-at-home. We get all that stuff done, too, during the week. We drag our screaming, protesting, picky-eating, whining, and half the time, coughing and sneezing kids with us to the grocery store, the dry cleaners, the bank, the liquor store, etc... We do laundry when we can - throw in a load at 6am, by the time you're ready to leave for school or the library or wherever, it's ready to go in the dryer, fold it at midnight. And cleaning? Well, it's an ongoing thing. Maybe our homes aren't in Better Homes and Gardens (HA!) but things do get picked up, and the vacuum does get run once in awhile.
I'm not saying families of two shouldn't have a stay-at-home. Just please don't try to tell me the whole week is just filled to the brim with "errands" and "running the house." I'm thinking that there must be an awful lot of bon-bon eating going on!