Mucking around not earning money

I finished my paid work part of Tuesday soon after 11am, collected my daughter and went home. It is wet and rather cool here today and I had to make myself stay home and make the place warm and moderately welcoming instead of yielding to the temptation to muck around town doing bits and bobs like the library and ending up buying shop food and generally pulverising the budget and any chance of an orderly home.

Anyway, there I was back at home being good and doing something in the kitchen like cleaning up. That's two days running and don't assume that this is normal for me to be able to see almost the entire kitchen bench so often and so easily. I am pretty adept at running up meals on the tiniest corner of bench top while the dishes wait saggily.

The phone rings. I wasn't sure who it was. Which is logical if you have not yet picked up the receiver but I am a bit freaky on the telephone front and frequently guess correctly who it will be before answering. Guarded in case it was those people selling insulation cold calling for the millionth time.

But it wasn't. It was my cousin Mary who is 82 and today it turns out she has a vomiting bug. So I spent some time talking and listening and reassuring and feeling her bewilderment and loneliness at being ill without her beloved and almost 2 years' deceased husband with her to keep her company. Later I dropped some enerlyte around to her to help her recover and then this evening I dropped in to find her much improved.

But of course this is waste of economic time activity isn't it? Because it doesn't generate tax revenue.

Of course having Brighid around me mucking round doing her thing getting into mischief and exploring the different patterns toy cars can be arranged and ordered into for the thousandth time isn't of much economic worth either. I could instead be working lots more hours for the tax man and paying for a nursery to care for her and then freaking out about her development and paying more money for computer games to help her count (but really to babysit her) and buying product after product to allay my fears about her progress in a consumerist, competitive world.

Only I don't. Today I knew for sure that mucking around at home, making shepherd's pie with leftovers from last night, folding a bit of washing and missing the chooks, singing nursery rhymes in the car on the way to return some scarily expensively overdue library books (tiny bit of town mucking about - can't be good all the time), being home when an elderly person who hates to intrude on busy lives rang, was totally valuable.


Leanne said…
Yes priceless!

Have a look into what Uncle John will actually pay you to stay home - by the time you work out extra expenses with working - eg buying takeaways, dearer cuts of meat as it is fast to cook - it can look quite nice to be a kept woman!
And in my opinion no one is better at raising your kids than the parents.

Love Leanne
Leanne, yes about the effect of family assistance vs costs of working. If I was only at work because of the money, I might not be at work. But the 9 hours per week I am away from my daughter enables me to make a difference for a group of people who have not had a fraction of the family resources and support of my own children. Totally worth it, both the staying at home mostly bit and the going out to work sometimes bit. Neither commitment is primarily about money. Does that make sense?

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