A little rant from a part-time stay-at-home
“You’re not motivated. You’re just a laid back artist.” This is exactly what he said, and if I didn’t love books and the idea of two hours out without the children so much, I would have called off the date. Called off the whole thing, date, bookstore, marriage, all of it.
We were talking about my business, my little children’s art studio and gallery. The business I started from the ground up. The business that I run by myself, that helps put food on our table and keeps my hair looking good (good hairdressers are expensive, you know). It’s not a huge money maker and sure, there’s a lot I could do to make it so, but, hey, I never wanted to be a working mom. A “stay-at-home,” as my friend’s 8-year-old daughter put it, is what I always planned on being. It’s not my fault I married for love not money. Well, yes it is.
But being compared, and not favorably, mind you, to my friend who sells an unnamed line of women’s cosmetics, my friend who drives a succession of pastel colored power cars, is where I draw the line. Her children are both in school. Her husband is really good with the children, really good. She could stay-at-home during the day when they were in preschool and go out at night to hawk moisturizer and foundation. My clients are mostly under 10 and they have to be in bed by 8pm.
Oh, I could go on and on. But not motivated? Argh! Bah! I write all my own brochures, make up my own lessons, answer my own calls, teach 10 or more classes a week, bring my 1 ½ year-old to work two mornings a week, buy my own supplies.
OK. This is not going where I wanted it to. I was hoping to write a thoughtful piece on being a working mom and being unappreciated. A piece about how working part-time is much harder than full-time. And, some day, when I don’t have four new poetry books waiting to be read, I will work on this essay. You see, I found a book at the bookstore about how writer mamas can succeed, er, make money with their writing, all the while being a mommy. And this is where my husband fell down the metaphorical well—he correlates success with money. Say nothing of the fact that I am a minor celebrity in the under 10-set in my little suburb. Say nothing of the fact that when he couldn’t find me, he just had to listen for the familiar cry of “Hi Miss J.,” from an adoring student, or, in this case, a student’s mom. See, husband? I am motivated. I’ve made little Picassos everywhere happy!