Saturday morning, as I was gathering up left over and forgotten items in the bathroom, a sock stuffed in the corner next to the trash can and a dripping toothbrush from the counter to place it back into the toothbrush holder a mere inch away, I started to wonder if the definition of the word mother includes a reference to domestic servitude. I grabbed my laptop and typed m-o-t-h-e-r into the New Oxford Dictionary in my computers mission control and was shocked to read the following definition: a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth. There was no prose alluding to a maid or even a whisper of the word “mother” meaning housekeeper, then why, I questioned, is it that I am the only one picking up the slack and the socks?
Days turn into months before I witness my husband in the act of cleaning anything, of course with exception of himself and I sometimes think that if he didn’t have to go to work he would skip the cleaning of himself as well, and I think what a glorious life that must be. I have had daydreams of coming home to a vacuumed rug and laundry not spilling over out of the hampers onto the floor. I have wistful thoughts about what it must feel like to get into a freshly scrubbed shower not being exhausted from being on my knees doing the scrubbing, and what if (this is a big one) I opened the refrigerator and there was my favorite items from the market tidy and organized on the shelves, what if? Obviously all of that would be unbelievably amazing and a side perk would be that I wouldn’t have to pretend to be sick as an excuse to shirk off my household chores in order to spend an afternoon reading a novel.
I choose to live within the reality of the parameters of my home life, I am the sole caregiver in my family, I cannot spend the precious seconds of “me time” that I get in the day in a silent reverie about someone else providing my family with a clean home. I know my husband will not miraculously transform into a domesticated animal that I can train to pick up his work shirts from the floor of the bathroom and my son is not going to stop eating Pop Tarts on the couch leaving a fine dust of pastry for someone else to sit on. I live with these truths about my home life, but it would be nice, even if only for one day, to have someone else help out with the mundane tasks of toilet scrubbing and dish washing...a girl can dream can't she?