Hold onto your hats, I feel a rant coming on!
However before I do, I need to preface this blog post by saying two things;
First, I love my husband dearly, he is my rock and I’d be lost without him.
Second, he is an absolutely amazing dad. He’s been stuck in there since the very start, changing nappies and doing night feeds and wearing the child in the Baby Bjorn like a pro.
But dear Jesus, am I the only one out there who sometimes feels like I’ve turned into a sort of husband wrangler?
I seem to be the one barking orders and organising everything in minute detail all of the time. I think partly it’s because, I’m a stay at home mum (SAHM), who works from home so I have a certain routine which I live by to survive and let’s just say it involves a hell of a lot of multi-tasking and running around like a blue arse fly.
During the week, things tend to go down quite traditional routes. My husband leaves early to commute into work meanwhile, I get the baby up and fed and am left to look after him and the house. That means I do the grocery shopping, I make the meals (yes even his packed lunch!), I do the cleaning, the hoovering, lighting the fire, stocking the fuel, doing the ashes, unloading and loading the dishwasher, the laundry and walking the dog, as well as looking after a wildling 11 month old who is into literally everything like a veritable live wire. I mean he is just full-on at the moment and I’ve got to keep one eye on him at all times. So I’m often chopping veg or hoovering, or trying to turn on the laptop with one hand while I try and pull him away from plugs or hanging out of the fire guard with the other. I often have so many things to do that I try and make a cup of tea only to come back to it three hours later when it’s stone cold and stewed beyond belief. I’m busy doing one thing and I suddenly say to myself;
Oh yes I must do that next.
Anytime I manage to get him down for a nap I try to turn the laptop on and do a bit of work, but invariably I get caught up in getting ahead with some meal prep, or the million and one other things that need attending to on a daily basis.
Then of course he’s awake and I’m off again.
By the time the baby does go to bed, (which my husband does do every night providing he’s home on time) and I get to plonk my arse in a chair to eat dinner and maybe watch something on the TV, I am emotionally and physically wrecked.
And look I’m not trying to complain here, I know this is the choice I’ve made as a SAHM. But that said, it’s still bloody exhausting and while I don’t want a medal or anything, some acknowledgement of it would be nice.
Anyway, as the weekend gets closer and closer, it dangles in front of me like some celestial light from on high. It’s the changing of the guard if you will. The hubby comes off the bench and togs out and don’t get me wrong he is a trooper. He gets up and does the morning routine with the little dude and lets me have a bit of a lie in every weekend. I know I shouldn’t be ranting here.
Yet, as wonderful as it is to do our tag-team parent handover, I still feel like I’m there directing operations like a pseudo husband wrangler and I get no time off mentally. I feel as if I’ve to tell him what to do and when to do it, because I’m the one who does it all during the week.
Give him the muesli for breakfast.
He likes the purple spoon.
No, don’t give the yogurt for elevenses, that’s for lunch time.
Don’t forget his hat.
Put on his coat and his hoody.
Where is his soother?
You have to sit on the floor with him to give him his lunch, he won’t go in the high chair.
He’s drinking out of this sippy cup now.
Keep your eye on him he’s going for the fire!
Why don’t you put him in the Jumperoo?
Are you bringing him for a walk?
Don’t let him go for the stairs.
And on and on and on!
See? Husband wrangling!
I know it sounds like overkill, but often if I don’t give these little reminders, then things won’t get done and we’ll have baby meltdowns all over the place. Really, it just stems from the fact that I am the one who’s in the thick of it Monday to Friday and I just know what works and what doesn’t because I’m living it.
Plus, I hate to say it, but he huffs and puffs and complains about his back after one weekend on point with the baby… try doing that five days a week for about 12 hours a day! My back, knees and hips are in absolute bits, thanks to years of horse-riding related falls and injuries, yet I still have to get on with it and lift and throw the baby around in the air.
Also, this is going to come off sounding sexist, but a lot of men just cannot multi-task. My hubby is no exception. He can of course get in there and change nappies with the best of em, but as for doing that while simultaneously keeping the kitchen clean, making the dinner, lighting the fire and doing the hoovering, is just not in his repertoire.
I’m not saying I’m super woman here. Far from it. In the SAHM stakes I know I have it easy, as I’ve just one baba monkey to look after. I literally do not know how mammies of more than one child do it. Ladies I take my hat off to you.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, while I know I should be incredibly grateful for having such a wonderful husband who is happily hands-on with our son, I still think a little appreciation goes a long way.
I know he’s thinking;
I don’t know how you do this all day, yet he never says it.
Is it too much to ask that when he has to walk in my shoes for a few hours he should acknowledge just how hard it is to walk in them and why come the end of the day I look like I’ve just done two consecutive terms in ‘Nam!