It looks like MinskMinks, we'll call it, isn't going to pan out. I thought it was a U.K. magazine I was going to write for. It turns out it was a Russian-based rag for people without a country or something--nomads living far from home who still wanted to read about fashion, diet and beauty wherever they are perched at the moment. I spent a lot of hours on a piece about a Cambridge University study looking at U.K. and U.S. attitudes towards working mothers over the past 30 years. It showed support for working mothers is ebbing away. Unless you are Nicola Horlick in the U.K. or Sarah Palin here, with six and five children respectively and high-powered careers, you just can't afford (literally) to be a supermum or supermom anymore. And it's too bad to find that out now that 75 percent of moms work, and most work because they can't make it on one income anymore. But the Professor who did the Cambridge study, Jacqueline Scott, hit the nail on the head as to what the real problem is with the fault-finding on the one who usually takes the rap for the family's problems--good ol' Mom. Scott said that among young people, "gender role division that people thought was eradicated 25 years ago" was the norm. There remained the expectation that women should do the majority of household chores and child-caring work regardless of her job responsibilities outside the home. Well, sisters, we've all known about that, haven't we? And when he has to eat eggs for dinner, or even worse, cook eggs for dinner for the kids because you're out working late, then he tells the sociologist poll taker that yes, things have never been worse than since you started working. And what is the answer? Is his answer that you quit go on welfare, sell the other car, and shop only at thrift stores? I bet not. He just wants you to function on even less sleep than you do now. To make it seem at home like you don't even work outside the home. I know all about that. I got divorced finally after I had had enough of it. I worked nights and he worked days. My plan was that this way not only could we save desperately needed money on babysitting, but our children wouldn't have to be with non-family members for a good part of the day. I had my first child when I was 36, the second at 40. These were long-awaited much wanted children. We wanted them too much to only to see them on weekends. Before I hit on the night/day work schedule thing, I went off to work crying on many a day, and I know lots of other mothers do too. It breaks your heart. You wonder if today will be the big day you miss them finally say Mommy for the first time and you won't hear it? Will it be the day they take the first step you're not there to see it? When you have to drop them off when they're sick it's all you can do to get through the day. You want to call the sitter every 20 minutes. You want to let that infant know you are there with him or her in spirit, but it's impossible. You just feel like a bad mother and a bad worker who can't concentrate on the job in front of her. Oh, sorry. I was talking about freelance writing and the report I wrote for the Russian magazine. Yeah, I haven't heard a thing since I submitted it. I found the gig in a newspaper ad that seemed to be posted everywhere. I ran into it several times before I e-mailed my samples. Wouldn't that be a cheap and easy way to run a little magazine? Put out ads for articles. Assign a topic. Collect all the articles in some faraway country. Change a few things here and there. And just publish them for nothing. Or maybe I've been trained all my life to think like that about the Russkies. For shame. But back to my good for nothing ex-husband. He wanted me to get up at the crack of dawn even though I worked nights and didn't get to bed until quite late. He wanted me to make his breakfast and his lunch. As it was, I spent my days in a pop-eyed frenzy (popping health-food store supplements like Tic Tacs) trying to make it look like I was really a full-time homemaker. I schlepped the kids to various stimulating classes for growth and fun, cleaned, prepared a fully home-cooked dinner from scratch so all he would have to do was heat and serve when he got home, did the shopping, did the laundry--you know the usual. I ran around like Martha Stewart on Dexedrine. And all I got was complaints. Why hadn't I washed my dinner cooking dishes? Why wasn't all the laundry folded and put away? Here's my question? Why did I wait so fucking long to divorce the son of a bitch?

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