I had decided not to strike today for a couple reasons. One because I am parent to very young kids and it would be a pain to pass on those duties to others for an entire day. Plus it would be another woman (my mom) who would most likely shoulder the duties. She’s taking my kids in the afternoon when I go to work, as usual.
Second, because my job is such that it would hurt the children and families I serve, and fellow coworkers who are mostly women if I didn’t work today.
For those who DID strike today, I 100% support you! I just decided not to.
I woke up bitter about that decision. Ha!! I was overwhelmed already the last couple days by all my responsibilities and am in a great mood for striking. What if I didn’t do the million tasks required to take care of my kids and household and then didn’t go to work? I might be more appreciated and understood. If all women did, imagine the impact!
Instead I’ve decided to document every piece of work I do today, paid and unpaid. This is my morning before 9am.
5:30am- wake up, keep being woken by partner’s phone alerts buzzing. Do I smell smoke? No? Must be a weird dream I just had, my kids have been bringing up “what if there’s a fire at our house?” lately, it must be giving me anxiety. Tell myself we need to turn our phones to do not disturb at night. Worry about what might happen if we do that.
6:30- child wakes up to potty, remind her to close bathroom door, she needs help wiping after potty, keep her as quiet as possible so as not to wake toddler. Send her back to bed.
6:50- toddler up and needs momma, snuggle, older child is up and wants to snuggle. They’re awake. Partner takes them downstairs for breakfast. Doze until 7:20. Partner helps toddler overnight a lot since he hasn’t needed to nurse overnight and I’m grateful for that.
7:20- get up, pick out clothes for kids. Downstairs, get kids dressed, chase toddler and wrangle him to change diaper and get him dressed. He fights this hard every single time.
Pour coffee, barely sip it, take two bites food.
Brush kids teeth and hair. Supervise, mediate fights.
Be asked numerous times to play light sabers and hide and seek and have to say no and feel guilty because there’s too much to do in the morning.
Go upstairs to get self ready but find out child downstairs is getting on potty and will need me to wipe her. Run upstairs and change clothes quickly. Run downstairs and wipe, wash hands.
Sip coffee which is much needed. More supervising and mediating. Get probiotics for kids because of tummy ache. Say okay to them getting out yogurt and ask them to please eat at the table so there’s not a huge mess. The snacking is constant here even after decent meals. They’re growing kids!
Run upstairs, wash face, listen to kids yelling mom downstairs, tell them will be there in a minute. Throw lotion on face and a quick layer of sunscreen and powder foundation, blush, straighten out eyebrows so nobody has to see my acne scars or worry about me for looking a mess. Barely remember deodorant.
Come downstairs, running a few minutes late. Grab applesauce for preschooler to take to school, also find her library book and put in backpack. Advise preschooler to put on shoes and coat. Chase down toddler to put on shoes and coat, get him in stroller. Confirm that preschooler has shoes on right feet and help her with scarf and coat. Walk them to school.
Greet cute family looking at abandoned bank owned house. Ask if they bought it, they say they’re hoping to and they live across the highway from here. Feel dumb afterward because I’m so tired I forgot to introduce myself, worry I look bad or seem rude. They seemed so nice.
Take preschooler to school, hang out while younger child wants to do all the things, drag him out (not really drag, persuade and guide) so I can get home and do all the things.
Walk home. Be overwhelmed knowing all the shit I have to do with toddler around constantly asking me to play and feed him. Wish I could because this toddler is super fun and sweet and adorable, but know I have to prepare for the preschooler’s Birthday party this weekend that I have planned all by myself. Need to do laundry and clean and really really want a shower asap but can’t do that until toddler naps.
All of this is unpaid work. None of it is exceptional for me or anyone else I know who is a mother.
Stay tuned for part 2.