Jessica Stilwell has lived every mother’s fantasy. She went on strike. For six days the mother of three girls -- 12-year-old twins and their 10-year-old sister -- did no “picking up, tidying, washing, cleaning, clearing, reminding or nagging.”
It all began on Oct. 1, after Stilwell spent a weekend alone with her children while their dad, Dylan, was away playing golf. Also in the house was a foster baby, as Stilwell is a social worker by profession and regularly takes in infants in need of temporary homes. It was a typical weekend, filled with errands and sports, and at 11 p.m. Stilwell sat down for the first time all day and looked around at all that hadn’t yet been tidied -- realizing with new clarity that none of it was mess that she had made.
First on Facebook, and then on a separate blog called Striking Mom, Stilwell spent the week chronicling the dissolution of her home. That outlet, she says, strengthened her resolve.
“If I hadn’t done the blog I wouldn’t have lasted more than a day, maybe two,” she told me in an interview this morning from her home in Calgary, Alberta. “I am a real Type A. The mess was making me crazy. The only way I stayed on this was by telling myself ‘that’s going to be funny to write about tonight.’ “