Due to Boyo having a couple of sick days this week, I’ve had an unexpected glimpse into the life of a SAHM again. I spent five years at home full time with Boyo, and started working part time a few months after he started his first year of primary school. I work school hours, which means I not only get to do the school run every day but also that I miss peak hour on public transport too. Phew!
During the last couple of days, I’ve had to do some of the things I used to do as a SAHM. Doctor’s visits, trips to supermarkets and shopping centres during the traditional working day. I have always been a big supporter of the very hardworking and often underappreciated SAHM, but my respect has been renewed over these last couple of days.
No, not to do with the extra time I’ve had to hang out with Boyo, do laundry, prepare meals and spring clean the house – that bit I’ve actually enjoyed. It’s stuff I do every day anyway (with the exception of the cooking – that’s the Welshman’s domain). It’s been fabulous to be able to do three loads of washing during the day and hang it outside where it has enough time to actually dry, so my house is not festooned with drying washing. Oh, this part I’m loving!
What has triggered my newly found respect for the SAHM is how much of their time they spend with other people. and the annoyances that must surely ensue.
On two quick trips out, I had the following annoying experiences that SAHMs deal with on a daily basis:
Supermarket spruikers who call you “Mum”
Yes, I understand that you’re trying to get my attention and yelling “Hey you” probably isn’t terribly effective, but Mum? Really? I’m considerably older than you, but under no circumstances am I your mother. Please do not patronise me. I know a university education is very expensive nowadays, and that you have to earn some money somehow, but might I suggest pissing off your potential customers is not smart marketing practice.
Old People Parking
Dear gods, how do some of these elderly people still have a license? It is common sense that if you wish to pull into a car space that I am reversing out of, then you might like to leave me enough room to actually get out of the damned park. Usual rules apply in car parks too, just quietly. I can just imagine your indignation should a young person sail through a zebra crossing whilst you’re attempting to cross it. You might like to bear that in mind the next time you blithely drive through one, respected elder citizen.
Driving in General
I don’t drive very often. I have an 11 year old car with about 50,000 kms on it. When we’re out and about in the weekend, the Welshman tends to drive. When I do drive, it’s a bit of a well worn circuit to and from the school, after school activities, via the occasional shopping centre. I am shocked at how terrible the average driver is. How hard is it to indicate so people have some idea of your intended actions? Is it particularly difficult to drive at the speed limit? I’m not sure if too fast is worse than too slow. A very special mention to the nutter who pulled out into moving traffic, causing me to slam on my brakes, and then drove 15 km/h below the speed limit before turning left from the right hand lane without indicating.
I’m well known for my ability to fill any spare silence with some inane chatter, but I must have had “please talk to me” tattooed on my forehead today. My quick dash through the supermarket to grab something for dinner (chicken tacos, actually) and some milk, bread, vegetables, toothbrushes and bananas was filled with little opportunities for chat. Yes, I am buying a lot of green vegies and carrots, actually. They’re for my bunny. No, he’s not just a very tall preschooler. He’s actually 8 and in Year 3 but is a bit sick today. No, I’m aware he doesn’t look very sick. Yes, I’m aware he should be at home if he’s sick. No, he’s not infectious. Actually, I have no idea how much this is / where that is located / why they don’t stock this anymore. I don’t actually work here. That’s why I’m not wearing a uniform and why I’m pushing a trolley.
I had to take Boyo to the doctors. With some trepidation, I ventured to the local bulk billing medical centre, after my GP was fully booked out. Oh my gods. Medical centres are truly the tenth circle of hell. There are sniffers without tissues, sleeve wipers, scratch itchers (that may have been Boyo actually, until I noticed), uncovered coughers, many leggings-as-pants wearers, and other such fabulous creatures. My absolute favourite had to be the group of dodgy looking men who loudly and rudely whinged about noisy children. Um, the reason the children are noisy, dude, is that they are crying because they are sick and in pain. That’s how babies communicate. It’s probably even the reason they’re at this charming establishment. Your helpful comments made one poor mother shrink into her seat even further. If they hadn’t been quite so dodgy looking, I would have taken them on.
I’ve taken about three calls a day from charities, wanting me to donate. I’m not anti-charity or anti-donations, and I know many charities are doing it particularly tough at the moment. As a couple, we chose a charity to donate to monthly many years ago and we still do this now. But, five or six calls in two days? What gives with that? Luckily, I didn’t have a baby to be woken up by a charity caller anymore.
SAHMs of the world, I salute you! You do a very hard and often thankless task day in and day out, and just dipping my toes back into your world for a few days has renewed my respect for what you do, and what you have to put up with.
Are you a SAHM? Do you find these things annoying too? Maybe I’m just premenstrual this week!
I’m linking up with Kate Says Stuff for Thankful Thursday.
I’m thankful for my former days as a SAHM. Just quietly, I’m thankful for my fab job that enables me to work and be a school run mum too.
What are you thankful for this week?