Monday, November 26, 2012

My Day Off

So today was my day to sleep in.

Tammi and I each get one day a week to sleep in, and I had missed mine last week, so I highly anticipated sleeping in until 9 a.m.


Of course, I still needed to let the dogs in at six a.m. but, yeah, other than that, I’m totally going to sleep until all the way to NINE-freaking-A.M.

The dogs, gentle souls that they are, waited until 6:30 a.m. to sound my first alarm. Bonus — they failed to wake up Jackson in the process.  I dozed on the couch for 20 minutes, because I kept expecting the kids to wake up.  Then, around 6:45 a.m., I went back to bed, sneaking in another 30 minutes of sleep.

Thirty whole minutes. Wait, how did my 9 a.m. transform into 7:15 AM.?

Well, at that point, Tammi rolled over and said she hadn't slept well and begged for me to get the boys.  To be fair, my wife lives with MS. When she says she hasn't slept well, it means get your lazy ass out of bed because she physically needs more sleep.

Not to whine, but it was MY day to sleep in

When you work from home, sleeping in is what you working people call “days off.” My definition of a holding a “J.O.B.” includes two things — First, you have to punch a clock. Two, you have to receive a paycheck. I went into more detail the last time I missed a day to sleep in.  And I still think that is true.  So, I do not have a job no matter how much work I do.

Recently, I have begun to see a bigger problem though.  If I don’t have a job, then I can’t really claim days off, can I? Logically, that makes sense to me. What I can’t get my head around is that for the foreseeable future, I don’t get a day off.

When you have a job, your day off is what you work toward.  Yeah, yeah, we all want a job we can enjoy. I did. Hell, I still have a part-time job I enjoy. But no matter how much you enjoy your job, it is still not playing with your kids (or whatever you non-kid having people do on your days off. Oh yeah, drinking.)

Tracey has a job, and she works on her days off.  This week, I came home from my part-time JOB, and there was shit in the tub. That’s not a metaphor. That’s real life parenting WORK.  (That’s story deserves its own blog) It’s not as if, because I don’t have a job, Tracey spends her days off with her feet up. 

I consider my days off to be Friday and Sunday.  On both of those days, I think it’s fair to say I work half as hard.  Half might even be a bit of an overstatement.  I basically try to do just enough to make Tammi happy without actually doing anything.  Yet, I still get the boys to school, do the dishes, pick up the clutter and generally manage the day.

So what defines a day off?  I’m not entirely sure.  I don’t think it’s the measure of how much work you do.  I also don’t think it is the opposite of work, i.e. a day you don’t punch the clock or earn a paycheck. If that were the case, you could say every day is a day off for me. That’s certainly not the case.  I think you could make an argument that your day off is defined by two things — doing something you enjoy and changing your routine.

So, with that in mind, I say working folk have defined days off.  For me in particular, and stay-at-home parents in general, I think we have days off.  They are just less easy to define.  My days off are broken up throughout the week.  So rather than having two days off, I take periods of time off throughout the week.  That lack of definition does make them less rewarding, but not less real.

On Tuesdays, I get to sleep in (maybe). On Friday night, I have the guys over. On Sunday afternoon, I watch football. Tuesday and Wednesday Tammi is home to help with chores and change the routine. 
So, I don’t have a job, but I do have days off? 

This is going to require more thought. 

*I took last week off for Thanksgiving.  I hope everyone had as good of a time with their family, as I did with mine.  I have a lot to be thankful for…I don’t think just one day is enough.

** As always thanks for reading.  I hope you are enjoying reading as much as I have enjoyed writing.  Don’t be afraid to share with your friends, or leave a comment.

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