For those of us able to stay at home, doing whatever it is that takes our fancy during working hours, I say this: how lucky we are. Yes, what a scrumptiously, delicious blessing it is to be so completely in charge of our own daily fate. To be able to eat pickled onions in peace without worrying about alienating one’s entire family with the stench.
Though this feels rather akin to professing a penchant for Class A drugs, pickled onions have long been my vice of choice, but they are undoubtedly unsociable: able to pong out a room quicker than you can whisper “stink-bomb” and lingering on one’s breath for many an hour after they have been delicately nibbled from a pickle fork, with the merest slither of blue cheese.
I tell you this not because because I am pushing pickles, but because I was dwelling on what freedom we stay-at-home mums/work-at-home women have. What it is to be able to have the house to ourselves on a daily basis and indulge, within the limits set by both workload and decency, our every whim. I often think of my Dad up a ladder or my lovely sister trolling her exhausted Mommy self into London, while I roll about on a yoga ball. I send Finn off to school, glad I don’t have to go with him and I open the door to the postman and feel terribly grateful that it is him, not I, who has to slog his way up the straight with a bag that looks as if it gets heavier everyday.
Yes. We are lucky. Though it is also true that I am quite the most outrageous slave driver and regularly whip my myself into a bleary eyed frenzy while working into the night, in the daytime the house is mine, and the hours between nine thirty and three thirty are mine too, to do as I please. To roam the streets of this little suburb, peeking inside the huge windows of the grand Victorian villas in my lane and calling in for coffee with friends. To take a nap. Bake up a storm. Read a book (and tell myself it’s work). Sort out the baskets under the bed. Have a daytime bath or linger over elevenses
All this I can do. But because I can, so very often I don’t. I simply sit in my chair typing, grateful for freedom. And choice. And pickled onions.
P.S: In other news, Alice is sashaying around the house in a tangerine, pearly buttoned jumper. She loves it. I do apologise for being quite so very preposterous…
Have a nice day won’t you?