One of the biggest regrets of my life ... and there are a LOT of regrets ... is that I fucked up my twenties so bad that I totally forgot to get a career. I almost had one, as a copywriter in a kick-arse advertising agency in North Sydney. They could see my potential, I tried so hard to believe in myself .... but drinking and partying, etc kept getting in the way. I would turn up to work ROLLING drunk, sober up around 1pm, and spend the afternoon trying to figure out what the hell I had done the night before.
These days, if I'm around somebody who has drank the night before, I can smell it through their pores. Which in turn means that after all my benders, I would have stank the whole office out. It makes me embarrassed just thinking about it. Everybody around me would have known. I had a lot of pretty cool jobs when I was younger. In a travel agency, magazine publishers, advertising, radio stations. And I fucked up every single one. Spectacularly. In a so-not-cool way.
So now, I am a kind of stay-at-home-mum who works from home part-time. And here's the thing about my beloved husband ..... HE IS STUCK IN THE FIFTIES. Yes. Yes he is. Because I do not have a "proper" job, he does not lift a finger when he gets home. Annoying as it is, we have trained the boys pretty well. Tim can clean up the kitchen in ten minutes flat. I'm on Max's back all the time about picking up after himself, and I've just taught him how to unpack the dishwasher. He also feeds the dog and keeps his room clean. I've taught Tim how to cook a few meals, he cooks a better steak than me.
I see no value whatsoever in sending young men out into the world with no idea how to take care of themselves. They will know how to clean a toilet, wash their clothes, and tidy up. I fully expect their future wives to thank me.
This still leaves me with the bulk of cleaning the house. Dave built our house, it's beautiful. But it sucks. I'm forever cleaning it. And cooking. And washing dirty boy clothes. And making beds, sweeping up Rocco's thrown dinner, picking up toys, grocery shopping ... etc. It's full on. Sometimes I think it's good because it takes me outside of myself. I'm just too busy to fuck up my life anymore.
Dave and I have an unofficial agreement - he goes to 'real' work, while I do all the 'pretend' work.
I have a few writing jobs that I do from home. I set up my freelance business (business HA!) .... before Rocco was born, promised Dave I would still earn money. The past few years I've drowned in dirty sheets and shitty nappies and tear-soaked tissues. Any money I make goes straight to Rocco's few days a week daycare fees. So, I'm pretty flat broke. I just don't spend much money - I'm not earning it, so I can't spend it. My idea of a splurge is buying a few tops and long-johns for winter recently, grand total of $75.
This past week I have gone through every single room in our house, de-cluttering stuff that's been there since we first moved in five years ago. I even went through the pantry. My brother came over to visit to find me alphabetising my spice rack. He was like, "Eden what the fuck is wrong?? Are you depressed?"
Dave asked if I was pregnant. I'm not, just organising, man. Who knew it felt SO GOOD. I went through all of my clothes, to sell some cool stuff on eBay so I can buy my plane ticket to BlogHer. (Dave saw the clothes ... hon you look great in that! Ohhh, not that, keep that one!) I told him they are all too small. I may have a fringe, but midriff tops? Totally pushing it.
I turned to Dave yesterday, and said, mate, I *DO* work, you know. I do heaps around here! He was surprised, told me of course I do, there's no way he could go out and function and run his business if I wasn't doing everything at home. I wish he told me this, you know, eight years ago.
A few days ago I put BlogHer ads up in my sidebar. About seven hours after I did it, I ran a report to see how much money I'd made. Because I was born missing a patience gland.
"DAVE! GUESS HOW MUCH MONEY I'VE EARNED SO FAR??!"
He came running, panting with excitement. "Wow - how much hon?"
I smiled at him and showed him the figure.
Bless his heart, he was almost as excited as me.