I owe an apology to women everywhere. Specifically, to stay at home moms.
I used to be like a lot of men who have this notion that mothers who stay home with the kids all day are either not pulling their weight, or are just sitting around doing nothing the entire day. In the past, I would often get agitated with my wife when certain things around the house didn’t get done by the time I got home from work. I was guilty of thinking more than once that “it must be nice to sit around all day and watch TV”.
How wrong was I? Dead wrong.
Fast forward a few years. My wife is now the one of us that goes to an office all day, and I’m now the stay at home dad. At first, I thought it would be a breeze and I’d get things around the house on a better, more efficient system. In fact, one of the first things I did as a stay at home dad was completely rearrange the cabinets and the fridge. I had everything in the fridge lined up, labels facing out, broken down by type of food, condiments, etc. and I was extremely proud of myself.
Wanna know what my fridge looks like today?
I got off to a really good start, and thought I could carry on that momentum of keeping the house clean, doing laundry, and having dinner on the table when my wife got home from work. Well, I was able to do that for about a week, and now, looking back, I’m not entirely sure how it lasted as long as it did.
You see, I never factored in the roadblocks and daily challenges that come along with being at home with the kids all day long. So, I will break down a more accurate account of my day to show you what I mean…
6:00 AM: I get up, get my wife coffee, get my son in the shower, get his bag packed, make sure his homework is done, and make sure his teeth are brushed.
6:45 AM: I take my son to the bus stop.
7:01 AM: I walk through the door just in time to hear my three year old whining and crying, begging for pancakes and juice. She likes to eat breakfast in bed, while watching her shows on TV.
7:02 AM: She gets her pancakes and juice and I usually get a thumbs up for approval from my daughter, but not always.
7:15 AM: I THINK about taking a shower. I can’t.
7:30 AM: The wife leaves for work.
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM: This block of time is really up in the air. Sometimes I get back in bed with the girls for a while. If I don’t get in bed with them, they get up at 7:30 A.M, and to be honest, I just can’t deal with two girls and all the drama that comes with them when they are exhausted beyond belief and cranky by noon because they got up so early. Plus I work every night until midnight and sometimes I need the extra sleep. However it’s not always restful when every 15 minutes I’m being kicked, rolled on, jumped on, headbutted or asked for a pacifier.
9:00 AM: I get a request (they think I’m a servant from their favorite restaurant called ‘Daddy’s Cafe’) from my three year old that she wants “Chicken Nuggets and Juice”. After telling her it’s too early for Chicken and Juice, she immediately throws down a five minute tantrum until…*drum roll please*… SHE GETS CHICKEN NUGGETS AND JUICE. She leaves me no tip.
9:05 AM: I try and sit on the couch with my laptop in a feeble attempt at trying to get some work done.
9:06 AM: My 18 month old is now eating chicken nuggets and drinking juice while sitting on my head.
9:15 AM: I brush chicken crumbs from my hair and off of the couch. Sometimes she eats granola bars, and cleaning that up is an entirely different animal.
9:17 AM: Diaper change.
9:20 AM: I sit back down on the couch.
9:21 AM: I’m requested to turn on Sponge Bob SquarePants. (The Splinter episode – I like how they request certain episodes now.)
10:30 AM: The 18 month old naps while the three year old watches TV, plays with her toys, and asks me a question every 20 seconds.
10:35 AM: I finally take a shower.
10:45 AM: Diaper change (the stinky kind).
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: I manage to sit down and get a few things done for work.