I’ve always known that being a stay-at-home parent is a JOB…it’s not easy, it’s not just playing with kids all day…it’s work. Often very fun and rewarding work, but also often stressful, loud and unendingly frustrating. I’ve always respected and admired my wife’s sacrifice of her career to stay home, but some days I get reminded of how tough it can be and how stressful it is.
This morning, while taking time off from work because my wife was sick I received one of these reminders. While my wife went to sleep to hopefully feel better, I was thinking that my daughter was tired and ready for her nap so I laid her down in her rocker and started to play legos with my son at his request. After a few minutes it became clear she wasn’t quite ready for her nap and really wasn’t sure what she wanted. I tried to soothe her and then my son and I tried to play with her for a while to calm her down. This worked briefly but eventually all my efforts were futile. She started really crying and didn’t want anything I was offering. I was thinking she might want to nurse, but it hadn’t been that long since her last meal and my wife really needed to sleep. Meanwhile my son was doing what three year olds do when not directly supervised with legos, which always annoys me since I’m a kid at heart and a just-slightly less strict version of Will Ferrell from the Lego Movie when it comes to legos. My stress level rose and my tone with my son became more harsh.
In that moment I realized my wife does this every day, all day five days a week and does it really well. I knew this already, but in that moment I knew it and understood how difficult it really was.
I am happy to say that I did eventually calm my daughter down, kept my son happy (and from breaking all the legos), and kept my wife asleep. I don’t bring this last part up because I think I deserve congratulations or kudos. In reality I was simply doing my job as a dad and doing for just a few hours what my wife and lots of other stay-at-home moms and dads do all day, every day. It was a reminder to me how awesome my wife is, how difficult her job is, and how blessed I am 😊
This is fatherhood…