Intelligent observation or rant? Maybe both.

Let us all discuss the delicate and intricate dichotomy that is the working mother and stay at home dad. My husband is going to start school in January but until then, he is a stay at home dad, sort of. He drops the boy off at school in the morning, does their laundry, picks him up from school and makes their dinner. He does the bills and makes the appointments our son’s  physical and speech therapy.

My end of the bargain? I work 12 hours a day for about 150 people, and then I come home and walk through the door and become mom. I clean up dinner, do the dishes, give the baths, make the bottles, wash the bottles, and put the boy to bed. I hand over the paycheck, work overtime, and get nagged constantly about leaving my socks on the floor of every room in the house. On the weekends, except for the luxury of sleeping in until 8:30 (my fault, I am not a hard core sleeper) on Saturdays, I am in charge of.it.all.

My husband has done far more than I ever expected possible. I thank him every second of the day, leave him small notes of appreciation, shoo him out of the house for weekend camping with friends. I try to cook him his favorite meals on weekends even when it means eating the same old same old every single weekend. And after all of that, I still can’t shake the feeling that he still thinks deep down that he is simply doing me a favor, and one day, I will blossom into the super woman housewife and mother he believes I can be. He is throwing me a bone. This “woman’s work” is just temporary.

I believe this to be true because he reminds me all the live long day about what he has done that day. The tone in his voice says “I did the boy’s laundry today. You-0 points! Me: 100 points. DING DING DING!!! REWARD ME! THANK ME!”

I myself am not allowed to be tired. Or articulate that I am tired, for that only awakens the competitor in the husband.  Me: “I had a hard day today at work, I am exhausted” Him: “Hmph. At least you didn’t have to listen to the cat meow today and wipe apple juice off the floor.” Me: “I am starving!” Him: “Yeah right. The boy kept trying to play with the pots and pans while I microwaved his mac and cheese today”

Okay, hands down, that dude wins. What the hell could I be thinking?? I throw in the towel. I see a powerful episode of Oprah in his future.

I don’t really know what he was expecting when we decided to stop courtin’ and set up a homestead. I mean, I never set a precedent of being a fantastic housekeeper and wife. And having not been a working mother my whole life, I could only assume I would do a great job of it but the room for error was huge. I mean, you all know I am an unorganized mess of a human being, correct?

Aside from the uncontrollable need for a shit load of conversation and a slight mean streak when pushed too far, and I mean really far, as I have an uncanny jackass tolerance level much to the awe of my girlfriends, he has had it really easy with me. I have never depended on him for anything financially. I have always contributed to the household pretty equally.

I do not under any circumstances expect anything in return for taking care of my family. If I had to work 10 jobs and also be earth mother extraordinaire, I would gladly step up to the plate. I would fail miserably but damn, I would try. I look at my husband’s position in our family with a great deal of appreciation, empathy and sympathy. I can’t imagine how he must feel about starting his life over, going to school, and having his wife be his husband.

I know how to bring home the bacon, I know how to fry it up in a pan. But hell, I want a BLT too! I resist the urge to smack him in the head with that bacon. I don’t do it because bacon is expensive and delicious. I don’t do it because I love and appreciate what he does. And I know for a fact I am not alone in this because it’s a common thread amongst many people I know. Now, if you happen to be a stay at home dad who finds this blog and feels the need to defend yourself, you don’t have to. I know enough in my life to know that not all men are created equal. Well done, governor. Well done.

I just wish that hard working moms weren’t expected to do everything because they have to and it’s expected, while dads do everything they do and expect us to play the theme song to Chariots of Fire and throw a ticker tape parade in their honor.

I want a healthy, happy family. I want to take good care of my family and work as hard as I can for them. But I also want a delicious and expensive BLT.

Bebe

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