Do you know how tired I am of people grouping me with those that don’t work? Yesterday, after a particularly trying incident, I imagined the scene as I would have liked to respond.
Says the stern-faced woman to me in a nasally tone over the brim of her glasses, “So, you don’t work, Mrs. Roy?”
Our eyes lock for a moment. My lips tighten as I adjust the fidgeting toddler on my lap. “No, ma’am, I can’t possibly work after I’ve planned for and prepared meals for six people at regular intervals throughout each and every day; maintained the never-ending laundry division of the home; supervised all sanitation aspects of our little haven of rest; sought clothing for the inmates; protected and reviewed the financial expenditures of the days, weeks, and months; looked after the health of the bodies that dwell together in these very quaint, close quarters; single-handedly tutored four little people that possess a whole kaleidoscope of learning styles; handled the disciplinary issues that arise multiple times during the course of the day while diligently and often quickly formulating the character deficiencies of each being (including my own), and having done so, contemplated the strengths and weaknesses of each all the while continuing to create an ever-changing plan to deal with them; and last but not least, prepare to discuss all of these happenings at the end of every day with my superior who, himself, is trying to maintain a business. No—I couldn’t possibly add work to my life.”
Elizabeth Roy, 2009