JAFUH-Just Another Frantic Unpaid Heroine

In a previous post I noted my discomfort at arriving at a juncture in my life where my predominant occupation is at home as the mainstay and lynchpin of the life of our family of seven. I used the acronym JJAFAH -(based on the well-known NZ moniker JAFA) in a lighthearted but disparaging way.

It seems society has set many women up for this sense of disquiet. We feel that others question our decision to work or to stay at home. That same feeling of judgement surrounds many of the major parenting landmarks. Breast vs Bottle, cosleeping etc etc. The “Mommmy Wars” were most recently highlighted when PR hack Hilary Rosen stated that potential FLOTUS Ann Romney, had never worked a day in her life.

I am looking forward to the release in the US of Elizabeth Badinter’s book:
¬†“The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women.

The New York Times blog “Motherlode” on Badinter’s book:

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/has-motherhood-replaced-sexism/

I find this debate engrossing. Do we modern women really make our own decisions or does society make them for us? Personally, I believe society has a strong influence on our decisions from abortion and breastfeeding through to when we return to the workforce.
I think that both SAHM and working mums work hard and solo parents work the hardest of all. I do believe that those go out to work get something in return. Politicians refer to this as the “Dignity of Work”.

Mitt Romney looked liked a hypocrite effectively saying that Mums alone would be given assistance ¬†so they could work. After all his potential First Lady “chose” to stay at home.
NZ PM John Key has forwarded a similar agenda around incentivising women out to work.

But something the working Mum gets that the SAHM struggles with is people contact. The feeling that ones actions are influencing society at large. We miss out on networking. Workmates. Buddies. And our partners may be wonderful but a lot of the meaningful stuff is lost in the minutiae.
My husband said to me the other night in the kitchen:” That’s the nicest thing you’ve said to me all day”.
I startled.
” I’m sorry, what did I say”? I had a bad feeling.¬†I asked, ” Did I just say fuck you”?
He laughed. ” You just asked if you could wash the pot for me”.
Just That. Constant conversation snippets and banter between us. Nothing substantial or life changing. Not even a notable quantity of words exchanged
 He is the Yang to my Yin, the Downward to my Dog, but no-how and no-way am I going to extract from him the amount of words that I crave in a day.
And that is one reason work beckons attractively. ¬†More opportunities for conversation are presented, and if people want to converse with you it imparts a feeling of worth. What is that word again, ah yes, “dignity”.
Who’s to say Ann Romney actually made the “choice” to stay at home. what I do know is the more at home that I am, the more I have to do, and that is why I will now refer to myself as a JAFUH. Or:
Just Another Frantic Unpaid Heroine.

 Rose of the day. These beauties are now a table centerpiece.

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