See the bottom of the post for the new humble-pie update!
I have a job that keeps me away from home and isolated in a large warehouse. Sometimes I get home and the kids are already asleep, and when I get up for work the next day, I get to see them sleeping and whisper a good-by. After another long day, it has been about 30 hours since I have seen my kids, and I haven’t even been away traveling on business! My days off are spent writing and playing with the kids. Note that house-work is not on my list. My work hours sightly improved while my wife was pregnant. When she got closer to having the baby I helped when I needed to, but I was not overly helpful.
The Baby Is HERE!
My wife went into labor last week and we now have a happy baby girl! I was able to take off work to help around the house. Actually, all that stuff I don’t normally do, I now have to do. In my head, it seemed like I was going to have plenty of time for all of that stuff, and have time to spare. I learned more than I thought in a short amount of time.
I Do Everything Wrong
I soon learned that I needed a method and a schedule to follow for all the chores. I didn’t know what all the chores actually were, so I did what I thought was necessary. I did it all “wrong” and not in the right order? Do not ask me to explain this, I don’t care if it was wrong, everything got clean and no one got hurt. Well, some of the dishes were not clean and I got yelled at for it, but if she ignore dishes, I can ignore dishes… right?
I am an Amazing Cook!
Cooking dinner was, and is, one of the more annoying tasks. I like cooking, I just don’t like cooking when I am tired and the kids are asking when it is going to be done. I found myself tossing crackers or carrots to the kids like birdseed to pigeons, to hold them at bay. When it was all ready, it was the best received dinner. “You cook good daddy,” and “Oh! This tastes great” and “Daddy! I DON’T WANT EGGS!!! WHY DID YOU GIVE ME EGGS!?!?” After everyone is done eating is the perfect time to clean up, not the next morning. I also learned how to clean as I go.
Bed Time and Getting up for School
I can bathe two kids in less than 20 minutes, my wife, about an hour. The whole sympathy factor is not available. Soap, scrub, rinse, dry–done! I must admit, they do not enjoy bath time as much, but they have their teeth brushed and are in bed on time. I rouse my oldest for school gently and make her walk and dress herself. I was told to carry and dress her because she was tired and sleepy in the morning. She now knows the routine and she won’t ask me to pick her up. She is more alert and I have to constantly remind her to not sing that Frozen song or she will wake her mother and new baby sister.
Would I do This Again?
Heck yah! I really don’t want to go back to work. I think I am doing a pretty decent job, and I have found some methods to become more efficient and organized. I have also noted some areas that need modification/ improvement, like the laundry room and the closets. I really like being home and really like my family.
The Humble-Pie Update
Well, I was going to try and wait a week before I posted this, but I couldn’t wait. I am here to say that I am not the bad ass I thought I was. It took me 2 days to realize that my wife was doing laundry behind my back. I was not able to keep up and my daughter still needed cloths for school.
At the end of the day I would miss my kids like I hadn’t seen them. This confused me, and my lovely wife said, “It is because you left them out of your day.” I had brought my fast paced work life home, and it did not include children. I observed my wife watching a movie, folding cloths, and talking to the children at the same time. I cannot do that.
I let the house get messy, and clean what the wife needs most of the time. I can’t do her job the way she can and don’t think I have the patients to do that anyway. By the end of the week I wanted to punch something, but I have never seen her lose patients.
A home makers job is hard. There is no pay. No one thanks you for your sacrifice. You tend the lives around you and nurture their growth. At the end of the day you are rewarded with exhaustion and kids coming into your bed with bad dreams. I am not man enough to do this job, so I will do what I can and support her.