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For Love or Money


Allow me to get on my detergent box for a minute.

That’s about as long as it’ll take for said box to collapse under my weight as I diatribe while the next load of laundry finishes and the dishwasher wraps up the dry cycle.

See, a couple days ago, I was reading a post about the difference between career writers and a hobby writers (I don’t claim to be either – writing is not something I do, it’s what I am).  About halfway through the article I stumbled across the idea that those who write less frequently were suffering ‘bored housewife syndrome.’

I’ve seen variations of that sentiment anytime someone wants to belittle the creative urges and efforts of other artists or writers struggling to keep art in their lives, whether it’s in response to the online work of a mom picking up a camera for a first time and finding a new part of her soul or a mommy-blogger spending a few minutes a day to feed their literary soul.

Behind that phrase is the idea that creative wives and mothers are  looking to fill the spare time on our hands rather than something in our souls.

Which leads me to the big question I had at the end of the post – who the heck are these bored housewives and how do I get an application for their club?

(I know it’s been more than a minute, but I’m getting there.)

I’ve been a work-at-home mom for about four years now. During all that time I’ve also been a housewife, and, while my cleaning allergy (I think it really is a medical condition) creates some challenges, I do manage to do most of the same things competent housewives do.

I have made over a thousand peanut butter sandwiches, washed and hung enough laundry to fill the Grand Canyon, ran a taxi service, stayed up with sick kids and healthy kids who needed to eat every three hours.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I voluntarily committed myself to this circus years ago and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it, but one thing I have never been is bored.

I do think the term ‘bored housewife’ belongs in the encyclopedia next to Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, and Elvis because I have never met another housewife who is bored, wondering how to fill up the hours in her day.

My time to write – whether in a journal or blog or book – is carved out of the wax of the candle that I burn at both ends of each day. Most days I do it with abandon, hoping that someday it may pay but wanting to do it so badly that I don’t care if I never see a dime for my writing (okay, I’d like to see one or two dimes).

Butf I will not concede that art produced during stolen hours or even minutes, means that I – or any part-time artist – am any less serious about my creative career than the person who has arrived at the place where they do have hours a day to devote to their art.

It just might take me a bit longer to get there.