I’ll start off by saying it’s been a bit of a rough morning, so this is probably going to be a bit of a pity party. But a small row has got me wondering if the work that I put into my blog, and another project that I’m currently working on without pay, is actually worthless?
I’ve spoken before about the struggles I have with parenting, mostly it’s good, but sometimes it’s really bloody hard. Giving up work because it couldn’t fit with school hours without me spending between three and four hours a day travelling to a job that in going part time had also been downgraded into mind numbing routine and no take home pay at all after the commuting and lunch essentially, compounded the hard stuff.
I’ll lay it out. I hate cleaning, I hate washing clothes, I hate putting away clothes. These things are thankless chores. I know they need doing, but when that’s literally all I’m doing, it makes me insane. I feel like I can’t breathe. I spend hours when I’m not cleaning relentlessly scrolling through my phone, or binge watching Netflix, just for something – anything – to keep my mind occupied. I sit in the gym, on my own, watching down the clock.
So, in an effort to simply make the hours I spent alone bearable – and I don’t say that lightly – I started the blog. I created something – an unpaid job if you like – for ME. Just for me. I put those hours into it, I spent them curating my writing, editing photo’s, learning various applications and systems. And I made friends. Colleagues even. It made me happy. It still makes me happy – and it’s also brought me some pennies of my own now and again, as has the occasional freelance writing work that I’ve gotten off the back of it.
But it’s not a job, is it? It’s not a properly paid, earning per hour job. Does that make it worthless? Does that mean I can’t have concessions, or ask for help with other things, when I need to get things done? I’ve recently started working on a project with someone that should in fact lead to a proper paid job. But it needs unpaid work to be done initially. So again, is this work worthless? When I ask for help, even one thing a week to facilitate the work I do, does the fact that I’m not getting paid for what I’m doing mean I don’t deserve it?
I don’t know. I really don’t. But feeling unsupported does make me feel like this is all a worthless waste of my time. I mean, I don’t have to do any of this. We don’t need the money, should I give myself a slap and be happy that all I have to do is some cleaning and washing? When so many people are killing themselves working and looking after their families because they can’t afford not to? There’s nothing wrong with being a housewife is there. What’s wrong with me that I can’t be happy without doing something for myself, for being so selfish and wanting something outside of child care and housework? Even if it is unpaid and worthless. I just don’t know anymore. I guess that by being made to feel that my time is worthless, makes me feel worthless too.