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I don’t have a formal job, I work in the home and outside in the garden. When I’m not doing those things, I take care of my children, husband and our pets. When everyone and everything is squared away, I then spend my time reading and writing, all in all, about 3 to 4 hours a day. It is not as if I have never worked outside the home, I started working at 16 with my father at his restaurant and I more or less worked throughout the rest of my young adulthood and even after my son was born. I must admit at that time, I was starting to feel overworked, working as a waiter 3 doubles and 3 nights, my baby son was in daycare the 3 days of the week I waited tables and my husband took care of him all 6 nights I worked. The two days I had off were spent with my son, cleaning, preparing meals for the week, doing the grocery shopping and doing laundry. That was a year and it felt like five years. It was crazy hard but working at Steak Frites was challenging and fun.

Once we moved up here to the Berkshires and the kids were squared away in school, I got a wonderful opportunity to teach French to the younger grades, pre-school to third grade. That fantastic job lasted for seven years. I haven’t had a real job since then and I feel guilt sometimes. Sometimes I feel as if I am not fulfilling my potential whatever that is. My writing has become not only an outlet for my frustrations and questions but a potential future source of employment. My goal is to continue to hone my writing abilities and hopefully find a book lurking somewhere inside my head.

As I am writing this post, I am wondering why I wrote all about my job at Steak Frites and all the added work of cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry and watching my son. I can only think that it is some need to convince you, the audience out there, and myself that I am not lazy. Staying at home is not about laziness, it is a lot of work, thankless work that usually goes unappreciated and unnoticed. I really feel that society has done a disservice to women by making their contributions in the home seem inconsequential when in reality they are anything but. The freedom women have fought for long and hard in and out of the workplace had been won but now it is overshadowed by the fact that working is no longer a choice. Our economy no longer accommodates a single income family, the two income family has become a necessity, which has seriously limited the choices for women. Unfortunately, staying at home is no longer a choice. The feminist movement, in a sense, has become lessened because of the loss of choice. I have actually come to this conclusion, because of all my reading and writing. This long drawn out job crisis in the United States has caused a lot of long-term retrospective analysis and the very fact that since the 1980’s the median wage for the middle class has stagnated while the upper level income has steadily increased even with the recession. The choices left before the middle class have eroded over time and women who wanted to stay home with their children have suffered greatly as well the working women who still feel the need to do it all. There are some serious decisions that need to be made by the voters as to whether this an acceptable way for society to function, an erosion of the great middle class while the upper echelon gets richer and richer.

After all this, I haven’t stated as to whether I work too hard or too little. I don’t think so because I have so many friends who work outside of the home and do what I used to do, so for now, I will say that I don’t work too hard. I work just enough.