I was trying to wash my dog after a walk. He likes mud so we do this a lot. Yet he fights it every time. This time I’d had enough. I told him it’s not fun for me either. There are plenty of things I’d rather do than wash a muddy dog with a hose of cold water. When he still fought I decided to leave him outside. The dry towel on the step.
My dog made me realise my life has become a series of chores. If I’m not washing, tidying, putting away, I’m sterilising, walking the dog, washing the dog. When I’m given time away from RB I do things that in another world would’ve been chores – garden, do French homework or if I’m lucky, go to the gym.
I guess those things are pleasurable to me now, but I don’t get to do them on my terms. Time is always limited and I never have enough to do a proper job. I’m called away by another chore, or RB needs me. I’ve lost my freedom to do as I please. RB, and the never ending needs of the house, come first. I, and my needs as a human being, come second. As I type this – for once on my laptop, how I prefer to write, not my phone, carrot fingers constantly stubbing the wrong letter – I can hear RB stirring on the monitor and I’m on an unknown countdown until he calls and I am summoned.
And my husband is excellent, when he’s home he shares equal responsibility for RB, as I believe all men should. However, he works full time. And yes, he’s working, but when he’s at work – which he enjoys – he’s building his brain and experience in ways society values – the ability to care for babies doesn’t hold the sway of ‘business’ experience. He’s earning money, which in our society equals power. I’m at home, on the never-ending conveyor of jobs that being a housewife entails. Which in our society, doesn’t seem to count for much.