If Something Didn’t Get Done Around The House, There Was A Very Good Reason.

I was home from work on a Friday. My wife was teaching.

I gave Aspen (age 3) the iPad so I could fold two baskets of laundry without her bothering me. Instead, she climbed on my leg while watching the tablet, and wanted me to tug her around the house. It took almost 20 minutes to get her off.

I put some more laundry away. Somehow she got onto the counter to a box of cookies. I’m not sure how she got up there, but what I do know is she took one bite out of four cookies.

Why?

Because 3-year-olds want to see the world burn.

Once I got that handled, fit and all, she insisted on pouring her own milk. Naturally, I had another mess to deal with. Then she wanted to change into a swimming suit.

Then she peed in it.

I rushed her to the restroom, and as I put her swimming suit in the laundry, she shoved a roll of toilet paper in the toilet and flooded the bathroom.

I swore. I swore a lot…

All said and done, it took me almost 2 hours to put two baskets of clean laundry away. My frustration level was 11, and I ended up sitting on the sofa eating the cookies Aspen didn’t finish.

I’m not currently a stay at home dad. Mel and I both work, which means a lot of taking turns with the kids. But I was for a short time, a few years ago, and I learned a lot about what happens when you are home all day with kids, and days like this one only refresh my memory.

And you know what, I get the urge that a lot of working parents have to criticize the stay at home parent (mostly mothers) when the house isn’t in order. But realize that what I described above is just a small sampling of what it’s like taking care of a home with young children.

And I know, there is someone out there reading this ready to jump into the comments section with all kinds of critical advice on how to get crap done with children in the house. To you I say, “Save it.” It’s not welcome, and you are not the audience here. I’m speaking to the stay at home parents struggling to care for their homes and children, all the while trying to meet the expectations of a working spouse.

It isn’t easy. It’s rough. It takes forever to get anything done with the kids home, pulling at you, clawing at you, wanting you, and the whole time you know you need to finish the laundry and the dishes, but you have a kid strapped to your leg like a ball and chain.

And if you are reading this and you wonder why the house isn’t meeting your expectations, realize this is what stay at home parents are up against. Then quit complaining and grab a basket of laundry. Because the fact is, so much of this whole marriage and parenting thing comes down to trust. You have to the trust the one home with the kids to be doing their best, and if something didn’t get done, there was probably a very good reason.

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