When blogger “Daddy Fishkins” became a stay-at-home dad while his wife went back to work, he had no idea how difficult it would be. So, he wrote thispriceless apology that we could all learn something from. Fishkins sets up the situation:
I owe an apology to women everywhere. Specifically, to stay at home moms.
I used to be like a lot of men who have this notion that mothers who stay home with the kids all day are either not pulling their weight, or just sitting around doing nothing the entire day. In the past, I would often get agitated with my wife when certain things around the house didn’t get done by the time I got home from work. I was guilty of thinking more than once that “it must be nice to sit around all day and watch TV”.
How wrong was I? Dead wrong.
I got off to a really good start, and thought I could carry on that momentum of keeping the house clean, doing laundry, and having dinner on the table when my wife got home from work. Well, I was able to do that for about a week, and now, looking back, I’m not entirely sure how it lasted as long as it did.
You see, I never factored in the roadblocks and daily challenges that come along with being at home with the kids all day long. So, I will break down a more accurate account of my day to show you what I mean…
6:00 AM: I get up, get my wife coffee, get my son in the shower, get his bag packed, make sure his homework is done, make sure his teeth are brushed.
6:45 AM: I take my son to the bus stop.
7:01 AM: I walk through the door just in time to hear my three year old whining and crying, begging for pancakes and juice. She likes to eat breakfast in bed, while watching her shows on TV.
7:02 AM: She gets her pancakes and Juice and I usually get a thumbs up for approval from my daughter, but not always.
7:15 AM: I THINK about taking a shower. I can’t.
7:30 AM: The wife leaves for work.
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM: This block of time is really up in the air. Sometimes I get back in bed with the girls for a while. If I don’t get in bed with them, they get up at 7:30 A.M, and to be honest, I just can’t deal with two girls and all the drama that comes with them when they are exhausted beyond belief and cranky by noon because they got up so early. Plus I work every night until midnight and sometimes I need the extra sleep. However it’s not always restful when every 15 minutes I’m being kicked, rolled on, jumped on, headbutted or asked for a pacifier.
9:00 AM: I get a request (they think I’m a servant from their favorite restaurant called ‘Daddy’s Cafe’) from my three year old that she wants “Chicken Nuggets and Juice”. After telling her it’s too early for Chicken and Juice, she immediately throws down a five minute tantrum until…*drum roll please: SHE GETS CHICKEN AND JUICE. She leaves me no tip.
9:05 AM: I try and sit on the couch with my laptop in a feeble attempt at trying to get some work done.
9:06 AM: My 18 month old is now eating chicken nuggets and drinking juice while sitting on my head.
And Fishkins continues on describing to us the daily travails of a stay-at-home
mom dad in painful- and sometimes gross- detail. Then he closes with an outstanding apology:
Every given day is different. I didn’t add in the sick days, the one hour melt downs, the various random messes, the errands, the castles I have to build out of blocks, the shampoo I have to clean off the floor, the dish-washing detergent that I have to clean out of the dog’s water dish, refolding the clean laundry that the kids have strung all over the house, the pee puddles that I have to clean up from when the baby rips off her diaper and pees on the kitchen floor, the baths I have to give mid-day because one of them thought it would be funny to splash around in a mud puddle, the re-hanging of curtains that the kids have ripped from the walls, putting drawers back into the dressers that they’ve pulled out and slid around the house like cars, and so forth and so on.
So whomever gets home from work, whether it be the husband or the wife, they have no idea what their spouse has been through during the day. The other day for example, my wife gets home from work and I’m outside in the driveway letting the girls play, it was a beautiful day and I was sitting in a lawn chair just watching the girls. She gets out of the car and asks “what about dinner?” I told her that I was waiting for her to get home so the girls could play outside and she looks at me and says, and I quote:
“What is going on with you lately?”
REALLY!?! I just spent 12 hours with three monsters all day long and I take a few minutes to myself to get some fresh air and when my wife gets home that’s the first thing I hear?
So, in closing, I sincerely apologize to any and every woman I’ve ever said anything negative about, or joked about in regards to being a stay at home mom. It’s not easy. In fact it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.
A Stay At Home Dad