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.)
- The guy’s wife oughtta fix him breakfast after the 12-hour shift. Not the other way around.
- 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.
- Naked naps. For Mommy and Daddy on the weekends, that is. Ya gotta start somewhere.