This Shuts Me Up (For Awhile)

Whiling away the afternoon watching workers install new sidewalks in front of our house.

This installment of The B-More Dad Blog comes from an anonymous dad who leaves me with absolutely nothing to complain about. This on a week when I got to hang at the library with my 4-year-old daughter and my local at-home dads’ group, prep my bathroom for painting, join my kids watching new sidewalks being poured in front of our house and ride bikes to the pool three or four times with the kids.

For one moment, my whining will cease.

This came in as a comment in response to my post prompted by a guy who asked me what exactly do I do when the kids are at school. This dude deserves his own turn as guest blogger. And following it, a brief guest response from my Lovely Bride.

“As a part-time stay at home dad with a 19-month-old, I do the majority of the same things you do — day in and day out — to help maintain my home. The problem I’m having is ‘Stay at home dad’ envy. I’ve been at home with our son since his birth. My wife went back to work after 3 to 4 months of maternity leave. Since then, I’ve been the main caretaker for our son throughout the day.

“Last February, my former job called saying the my old position was opened and it was permanent with benefits working 3-1/2 days a week, 12-hour shifts at night Wed-Sat! I discussed this with my wife, and we agreed that this would help with our finances — and get me back on the horse and some well-needed adult time. Well, this worked out perfectly for us, because we also didn’t want our son in daycare due to every other person we talked to who has their child in daycare is ALWAYS SICK!! Plus, that fact that until he can actually say or show Mommy and Daddy who hurt him in daycare, we wanted to keep him out.

“With this shift, I work 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. I have an hour commute to come home to a wife who’s trying to get out of the door to go to work herself. So I’m rushing to help her by making a quick breakfast, getting coffee together, checking to see if she needs any help all while tippy-toeing through my home so I don’t wake my 19-month-old.

“Once I’m finished, and my wife’s successfully out of the door, who just happens to wake up maybe a 1/2 hour later but my son, and he’s ready to start his day. I run with him and do my normal errands until 1:30 or 2 p.m., then we can take a nap. We sleep for maybe 2 to 2-1/2 hrs. Then I’m up again getting dressed, and making a quick snack for our son before the babysitter arrives for an hour to watch our son until my wife gets home and I’m out the door heading back to work for another 12-hour shift.

“On most occasions, I can handle the routine. I catch up on a good bit of sleep on my off days, Sun-Wed.

“The issue is, while running around with my son we do a lot of things together, and my wife hates the fact that she doesn’t have the time to do these things with our son until the weekend. I can’t share certain events with her because she gets jealous, much less when a good bit of her friends are ‘Stay-at-home’ moms and are always posting on Facebook and e-mails about all of the good times they’re having with their children.

“I keep trying to tell my wife that they’re omitting the lion’s share of all of the other 10,000 things we have to do to avoid our working spouses from coming home after an 8- to 10-hour day and dealing with home chores! Not to mention also dealing with relationship issues on top of everything else. We’ve been battling some serious issues lately — both work and personal — and as a couple we’re SERIOUSLY misfiring, and it’s starting to get to a boiling point.

“If anyone reading this has experienced any of the things I’m going through and have weathered the storm, PLEASE share any suggestions you may have  — this will be HIGHLY appreciated.

“Thanks for letting me bend an ear.”

So that’s the end of the anonymous guest blogger.

My Lovely Bride had three thoughts in response. (Clearly, there’s lots more to it than this, but these were the first three thoughts.)

  1. The guy’s wife oughtta fix him breakfast after the 12-hour shift. Not the other way around.
  2. She needs to work through the Working Mommy Guilt/Jealousy for missing “those special moments” and focus on what’s best for the kid. And on the time she does have with him.
  3. Naked naps. For Mommy and Daddy on the weekends, that is. Ya gotta start somewhere.

2 responses to “This Shuts Me Up (For Awhile)

  1. Please thank your wife for the nice thoughts. They made me smile. I don’t want to paint my wife in an unappreciative light in any way, shape or form because thiers a lot of things i left out that seem to add to the envy/anomosity she has towards me for being the primary provider. She makes the higher salary and sustains the lions share of our bills and has been doing so for quite somes yrs now. Her problem steems from feeling pressured to maintain our standard of living and feeling that she has no real back up in me financially to let her stop and regroup from recovering from the past year and a half of:
    1) A 33 hr labor when our son was born.
    2) Having a short maturnity leave.
    3) Feeling like she missing out on what every other mother seems to experience with their first borns (reading to many blogs and listening to to many friend)
    4)In the middle of a family feud with her parents who live 20 minutes away who haven’t seen or spoken to her or seen our son since Easter of 2009 over something extremely petty. (A whole other story!)
    5)Dealing with an egotistical, bullying boss who intimadated by her because she has more experience than her. (Fact not hear say!)
    She been to HR & EEO about her boss with no success. The pressure has manifested into physically getting sick because she has to go to work and deal with a narcissistic, sociopath on an everyday basis. She been told to just quit her job and move on but in todays economy, that a WHOLE LOT EASIER SAID THAN DONE!! Image going from a combined 100,000 a yrs salary down to 45,000. I can sustian our finances until she feels that she’s ready to go back to work after she been able to just relax for more than 2 days but things will be tight and somethings may have to be eliminated. All she wants is to work in her field of 15 yrs without fighting unnecessary drama everyday and to spend more than 3 hrs a day with her only son before he has to go to sleep. Now with all of that being said, when she finally does have the time on the weekends to spend with our son now it’s additional pressure to be able to run with our son to parks the library etc just like I’m able to do during the week and it never really works out the way she planned for whatever reason. Theres not much I can do to help her out of her delemias but support her anyway that I can but as you know we as humans seem to always hurt the ones we love and I seem to be the target manifested with the “stay at home” Daddy issues and my tolerance is growing REALLY thin and I have a short fuse! I’m lashing out to her and I’ve done it twice in front of our son which obviously doesn’t go over well. As they said in “Forrest Gump” my wife and I are like “peas and carrots” when we’re in synch but in the past 4 months we’re turning into liver and yogurt!! 🙂
    Sorry that my post is so long but i wanted to clear up something and not put myself in such an “Angel’ light! Thanks for lettting me bend an ear again.

  2. Pingback: This Shuts Me Up (Again) | The B-More Dad Blog

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