Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dark secret revealed

I never leave my freaking office.

Sure I love to surf around, check in with the dingos, keep up with email, occasionally see a friend online that I'd love to IM. But really, the bottom line for my outrageously long hours in my office is that I am phobic of crossing paths with the maids.

This is a deep dark confession of the kind that makes the confessor worry that they've admitted to too much, that the consequences will reach farther than they are prepared to follow. Nonetheless, how better to start one's blog than with an embarrassing, shameful secret.

How can I hate my maids? Especially ones who do all of the household tasks that don't appeal. Making the bed, washing dishes, ironing, washing floors, vacuuming, dusting, washing windows, watering houseplants, polishing furniture, sweeping (as dh loves to call it, Mexican Tai Chi), doing laundry, folding clothes, general tidying.

So what's not to love? If they are busy doing all of that I have oodles of time to spend on things that interest me right? I mean, I profess to be interested in cooking, sewing, scrap-booking, tarot reading, cultivating friendships, making soap, candles, clothes. I want to teach myself to knit, to play piano. I want to get exercise and read interesting books. I envy the mamas I know who seem to make time to do all this and more and most of them, maybe all of them, are without a team of maids taking care of their households.

So what is my problem?

My problem (and maybe just my lame excuse) is that I want privacy when I do any of those things. I don't want to feel like some lazy gringa with nothing but time to devote to irrelevant little hobbies such as any of the above. So, instead of feeling guilty about making soap in the very kitchen Lupe is trying to clean or trying a yoga routine on the roof that Maru is trying to sweep, I retreat to my office where they have no idea what the hell I'm doing, I just hope they assume it is something important that they wouldn't understand.

I find too many days passing in a paralysis. This is not the life I want to be living. This is some creepy little half-life. On Sunday, in 5 days, I will be 35 years old. I have a kid and husband an incredibly beautiful house and a successful business but something has disconnected here.
On the family front it's okay. I feel most of the time like an okay mom. I try to be a good listener, a gentle but firm disciplinarian, a creative playmate (I said I try!), I make a real effort to be the chief cooker of homecooked, sit-down-together-at-the-table-every-night dinners. But even there I'm ashamed of the time that I don't spend doing the chores myself. What must my daughter think of me? She sees how much time I spend in front of the computer. What does she think about it? In her world it is normal to have maids. She's always had them, all her friends have them too. But that isn't necessarily an okay worldview in my opinion. Of course I'm not suggesting that I want her to grow up thinking that a woman should spend all her time taking care of her house either, but there is no balance here anymore.

Okay, I will return to this but it's time to stop before the rambling gets away from me.