I hated it when people assumed that because I was a full-time, stay-at-home mother – therefore I had oodles of time on my idle hands and I spent my days rolling around naked in chocolate sauce, waiting for the Hot Man to come home for lunch…surprise honey! Not. Indeed I have blogged at angst-filled length about this hatred and overwhelming loathing for such assumptions. (Read angst-filled, loathesome blogpost from a Demented Domestic Goddess here.)
But you know what I now hate EVEN MORE? When my husband takes over as the full-time parent and stay-at-home Dad for a few months so I can finish my next few books and people make even worse assumptions about him. Because he’s a man. And because I’m a woman. And because I’m ‘just’ a writer and that’s not a ‘real’ job anyway.
The Hot Man is the cleverest man I know. ( But thats because I havent met MacGyver. Or Dr Seuss. Both very clever people, or so I hear.) He can design and build everything from a fence, to a house, to a gymnasium, to a hotel, to a mini-mall, to a warehouse, to a school hall, to a church…you get the picture, right? The man is a building genius and makes enough money to get his wife all the Diet Coke and Doritos she could ever wish for. However, he’s on leave from his genius career because he wants me to finish my next book (before the Zombie Apocalypse preferably.) He said, “You’ve taken care of our family all these years so that I could pursue my career. Now its my turn to do the same for you.”
It’s not easy for anyone to switch jobs, especially not when the new job requires that you perpetually clean, cook and wash for a family of seven people with a perpetual smile and emanating love and happiness. The Hot Man is the driver, homework supervisor, head chef, laundry specialist, chief cleaner, President of Discipline and Order, Law enforcer, Peace keeper, family shopper, accountant, bedtime story-reader, prayer-time boss and more. He’s only been in this new position for a few months but he’s thrown himself into battle 100%, making it possible for me to sit on my backside all day and write. (and eat.)
Im very grateful that I have a partner who’s willing to take over in the home for a little while so I can get my books done. Which is why, its driving me up the wall when friends, family, strangers and blaardy idiots alike – get on the Hot Man’s case about his new (albeit temporary) calling in life.
They ask him stupid things like, “So what do you do all day? Don’t you get bored of sitting around doing nothing?” (I really want to hire an assassin to abduct such people and leave them on a deserted island WITH five children. And a cellphone. So I can call them up and ask, ‘What are you doing? Are you bored yet? Had enough of doing nothing?” And then hang up the phone and let the assasin carry out the rest of their contract.)
They say idiotic things like, ‘Aren’t you scared your wife will be the boss of you now?” Or “How can you be the man of the house if she’s the one working?” (Clearly these are people trapped in a time warp and nothing I say will save them from their stupidity.)
Other beauties he gets asked, are – “What if she leaves you because you’re staying at home all the time? She might not want you anymore because you’re not earning any money.” To them I say – there is nothing sexier than a man who has cooked dinner, read bedtime stories to a five year old AND offered to get you some ice cream. Not to mention, that unlike my lazy self – the Hot Man is combining full-time parenthood with training for a Half-Ironman event – which means the man cooking dinner in my kitchen is flexing some pretty impressive musculature while he cooks… check out the ab’s, woohoo!
It continues to bemuse me how much OTHER PEOPLE love to have an opinion about how me and the Hot Man have chosen to parent our family and structure our relationship. How badly OTHER PEOPLE just cant resist butting in with their busybody selves. Especially when they want something. They want the Hot Man to drive an hour one way, every day – so he can do their renovations. And they get mad when he tells them he has to ‘discuss it with my wife first because she’s the one working right now and my first priority is the children.’ They demand to know, WHY does he have to discuss everything with his wife? And WHY can’t he just hire somebody to look after his kids so he can do their renovation job?’ Perhaps to such people, the raising of children is something THEY are happy to leave to a television. Perhaps they don’t understand how much time is required to actually listen to a kid when they come home from school wanting to tell you everything about what they got up to in the playground, who hit so and so, who drew a cat when they were supposed to draw a pig, or who called so and so a stinky bum… Perhaps they have no clue how much work is involved with making sure teenagers grow up to be half-way decent members of society – because they’ve never parented a kid. Or five. And I sure as hell don’t appreciate complete strangers trying to tell my husband how he should communicate (or NOT communicate) with his wife.
No, I am unimpressed. People – its the 21st century. You do realize that men AND women have flown to the stars and back? Right here, right now where I’m standing – we are fortunate to live in a place where men AND women can choose what they want to do, how they want to live, love and laugh, how they want to parent. You don’t have to agree with our choices, or like them. Just like I dont have to agree with or like yours. But it would be wise to keep your nosey-pokin’, busy-bodyin’, bossy-pantsin’ opinions to yourself. It’s called – being respectful of other’s and their choices.
As for me, now that I’ve finished ranting – I’m going to see if I can convince the Hot Man that he should roll around naked in chocolate sauce. (Not.)