realized something in the recent past that so many people will never understand: the life of a stay-at-home mom. He, like many others, thought it was a life of leisure and essentially doing whatever you want. That is, until he experienced it for himself. Here’s what he wrote in an article on scarymommy.com: ————
I owe an apology to women everywhere. Specifically, to stayÂ at home moms.
I used to beÂ 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 didnâ€™t get done by the time I got home from work. I was guilty of thinking more than once that â€œit must be nice to sit around all day and watch TVâ€Â.
How wrong was I?Â Dead wrong.
Fast forward a few years. My wife is now the one of us that goes to an office all day, and Iâ€™m now the stay at home dad. At first, I thought it would be a breeze and Iâ€™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 ofÂ keeping theÂ house clean, doing laundry, and having dinner on the table when my wife got home from work. Well, I was able to do thatÂ for about a week, and now, looking back, Iâ€™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 meanâ€¦ 6:00 AM:Â 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:Â I take my son to the bus stop. 7:01 AM:Â 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:Â She gets her pancakes and juice and I usually get a thumbs up for approval from my daughter, but not always. 7:15 AM:Â IÂ THINKÂ about taking a shower. I canâ€™t. 7:30 AM:Â The wife leaves for work. 7:30 AMÂ â€“Â 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 donâ€™t get in bed with them, they get up at 7:30 A.M, and to be honest, I just canâ€™t deal with twoÂ 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 itâ€™s not always restful when every 15 minutes Iâ€™m being kicked, rolled on, jumped on, headbutted or asked for a pacifier. [intra-ad-b] 9:00 AM:Â I get a request (they think Iâ€™m a servant from their favoriteÂ restaurantÂ called â€˜Daddyâ€™s Cafeâ€™) from my three year old that she wantsÂ â€œChicken Nuggets and Juiceâ€Â. After telling her itâ€™s too early for Chicken and Juice, she immediately throws down a fiveÂ minuteÂ tantrum untilâ€¦*drum roll please*â€¦ SHE GETS CHICKEN NUGGETS AND JUICE. She leaves me no tip. 9:05 AM:Â I try and sit on the couch with my laptop in a feeble attempt at trying to get some work done. 9:06 AM:Â My 18 month old is now eating chicken nuggets and drinking juice while sitting on my head.
:Â I brush chicken crumbs from my hair and off of the couch. Sometimes she eats granola bars, and cleaningÂ thatÂ up is an entirely different animal. 9:17 AM:Â Diaper change. 9:20 AM:Â I sit back down on the couch. 9:21 AM:Â Iâ€™m requested to turn onÂ Sponge Bob SquarePants.Â (The Splinter episode â€“ I like how they request certain episodes now.) 10:30 AM:Â The 18 month old naps while the threeÂ year old watches TV, plays with her toys, and asks me a question every 20 seconds. 10:35 AM:Â I finally take a shower. 10:45 AM:Â Diaper change (the stinky kind). 11:00 AMÂ â€“Â 12:00 PM:Â I manage to sit down and get a few things done for work. NOTE: It is now NOON and not one ounce of housework has been done. 12:00Â â€“Â 12:30 PM:Â The kids eat lunch (surprise-more chicken!) while I do a modest attempt at trying to keep the kitchen clean while cooking their seven-course meal. 12:30 P.MÂ â€“Â 2:00 PM:Â I finally get to clean the kitchen and do some laundry. If Iâ€™m lucky, I get to pick up some of the 19,000+ toys and blocks laying on the living room floor. Iâ€™m super lucky if I can get through the living room without stepping on one of those extremely sharp toys that toy companies think are safe to sell to children. Itâ€™s like walking through a field of landmines, in a house full of hostile terrorists. 2:00 PMÂ â€“Â 2:30 PM:Â I get the girls dressed so we can walk down to the bus stop. Yes, THEY ARE STILL IN THEIR PAJAMAS. 2:30Â â€“Â 3:00 PM:Â The girls play at the bus stop waiting for their brother to get off the bus. 3:00Â â€“Â 4:00 PM:Â The girls lay down for naps, while my son goes to his room. The kitchen is a disaster again from him getting out snacks and exploring the cabinets. Sometimes I manage to take thisÂ hourÂ for myself to catch up on some work, but not always. 4:00Â -Â 5:00 PM:Â I referee my son and daughter while they argue and fight over various, pointless issues including territory of the house. Son:Â â€œDad get SYD out of my room, sheâ€™s touching my important stuff!â€Â Daughter:Â â€œNo, Iâ€™m not!â€Â Son:Â â€œYes, you are, Syd! You are touching all my important computer stuff and making noises!â€Â Me:Â â€œSydney, are you making noises?â€Â Daughter:Â Nods her head. Me:Â â€œWhy, are you just trying to annoy him?â€Â Daughter: Giggles â€œyesâ€Â 5:00 PMÂ â€“Â 6:00 PM:Â I help my son with his homework, clean the house, sweep the floors, cook dinner. 6:00 PM:Â Wife gets home, and we eat dinner. Most days, Iâ€™m too exhausted to go into much detail of how the day went, and sometimes Iâ€™m so frustrated that I eat dinner on the front porch, alone. NOTE:Â This is on aÂ GOODÂ day. Every given day is different. I didnâ€™t add in the sick days, the oneÂ hour melt downs,Â the various random messes, the errands, the castles I have to build out of blocks, the shampoo I have to clean off the floor, the dish-washing detergent that I have to clean out of the dogâ€™s water dish, refolding the clean laundry that the kids have strewn all over the house, the pee puddles that I have to clean up from when the baby rips off her diaper and pees on the kitchen floor, the baths I have to give mid-day because one of them thought it would be funny to splash around in a mud puddle,Â the re-hanging of curtains that the kids have ripped from the walls, putting drawers back into the dressers that theyâ€™ve pulled out and slid around the house likeÂ cars, and so forth and so on. So whomever gets home from work, whether it be the husband or the wife, they have no idea what their spouse has been through during the day. The other day, for example, my wife gets home from work and Iâ€™m outside in the driveway letting the girls play. It was a beautiful day and I was sitting in a lawn chair just watching the girls. She gets out of theÂ carÂ and asksÂ â€œWhat about dinner?â€Â I told her that I was waiting for her to get home so the girls could play outside and she looks at me and says, and I quote: â€œWhat is going on with you lately?â€Â REALLY!?! I just spent 12Â hoursÂ withÂ threeÂ monsters all day long and I take a few minutes to myself to get some fresh air and when my wife gets home,Â thatâ€™sÂ the first thing I hear? So, in closing, I sincerely apologize to any and every woman Iâ€™ve ever said anything negative about, or joked about in regards to being a stayÂ at home mom. Itâ€™s not easy. In fact itâ€™s the hardest job Iâ€™ve ever had. Sincerely, A Stay At Home Dad
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