I've starting thinking of myself as a maid. I read this book--The Help, set in 1960s Jackson Mississippi and told through the eyes of white women and the black women who kept their homes (a very nicely done novel, btw)--and I started thinking about the work of 'keeping a home.' Of managing laundry and clutter and nurishment for the sake of other people (and yourself...). Funny thing is--I suddenly found myself enjoying housework. The laundry. The dishes. Straightening up. Picking up toys. Cleaning out closets and cabinets. Ironing. Really. You should see how straight the linen closet is. If I keep this up even the attic is going to look like a retail store.
I think the difference is that I usually hurry through housework so I can be done, get on with the next (and more important) thing, which makes it a frustrating and anxious experience. But if it's my work, if this is what I'm supposed to be doing, then there's no hurry, and there's nothing to get on with afterwards. It's all a matter of perspective. (but isn't it always?) If I don't get around to finishing everything today, well, I'm still the maid tomorrow and can get to it then.
Of course, I'm not always the maid. With the kids so little, many days I simply don't have time to do much of anything but fix the food and clean up the kitchen. (and change diapers and referee and kiss boo-boos and supervise sidewalk tricycle riding and play my tambourine in the marching band.) Some days I want to be the maid but can't get around to it. I've comically found myself daydreaming about the day the kids are both in school and I have time to organize the house without interruption.
It's possible this is only a phase and before long I'll go back to thinking of ironing Mitch's shirts as drudgery.
The larger issue it's raised is my job title, and the difference between being a housewife (which no one is any more) and a stay-at-home-mom (which I think of myself currently). I've written a couple of failed (and unpublished) posts about this already... and right now don't have the time to start another. But these thoughts are forthcoming. Stay tuned.