The title is a little tongue-in-cheek, because Henry actually has a full-time job. He is a nurse and works three 12-hour shifts per week. On his two days off, he stays home with our infant daughter. He is a very good father. Very attentive and playful. She lights up when he talks to her and she giggles when he plays with her. I’m so thankful for how much he loves her and how he does not mind spending time with her. Now the big “But.”
What the Heck Does He Do All Day?
I know, I know, that is the phrase that stay-at-home moms everywhere despise. I, too, think that usually when someone says this to SAHMs, it is in a hateful, accusing way. And, well, I guess I am sort of doing that too with this post. But seriously. Our daugther is not even 5 months old. She takes 2-3 naps a day. I mean, she is asleep at least 3 of the 9 hours he is home with her, yet when I come home from a 9-hour day, the house is a wreck. Like, not a dish has been put in the dishwasher, the dog is out of food, the floors need vacuuming, the bathroom looks like a teenage boy lives with us, the bed is unmade, and I could go on.
I KNOW kids are busy. I was home with Baby Girl for 6 weeks full-time and 2 weeks part-time after she was born. I have been home sick with her 2 times. Kids are freakin’ time-suckers. However, I still got something done during the day every day that I was home with her. It’s not like some SAHMs that have a baby and a couple of toddlers. We have one kid. She naps. It takes like 15 minutes to load the dishwasher. It bugs the poop out of me that he can’t fold laundry while Baby Girl plays on her play mat, or in her bouncy seat, or swings, or jumps in her jumpy thing. I nagged him about it for the first few weeks, but it always just caused hurt feelings. He would apologize, then it would happen again. It’s so not worth the mental energy. So, now, I just grit my teeth, hide my feelings, and do what I can when I get home.
Henry and I are so in-sync with so many things, but cleaning is not one of them. If I leave him a list, he tries harder, but I feel like I’m mothering him. I want us to be partners, not me bossing him. I feel like our household has really have not gotten so far away from the 1950’s. I work 45-50 hours per week and still come home and do laundry, cook, clean, pay all the bills, etc. Henry works 36-42 hours per week, takes care of the yard work, cuts wood (in the winter only), and is a stay-at-home-dad 2 days per week. He feels like the load is evenly shared because most of the time, if I start a task, he will assist or at least offer to help. However, for the most part, I do all of the cooking, cleaning, and laundry. These are every day tasks. Yard work is like 2x per month. Additionally, Baby Girl is pretty much my sole responsibility on the weekends while he hunts or fishes. (we watch football together, so I can’t say he is lazy and sits around watching football while I do housework.)
I’m making him sound like a jerk, and he really is not. When I have addressed these things in the recent past, he always apologizes and says he will try harder. When I come home from work, he gets in the kitchen with me and helps me cook, load the dishwasher, fold the laundry, etc. It just seems he CANNOT do these tasks alone. So, I end up working from dawn until bed time. I still don’t know what he does during the day. I can’t understand it, so I judge and rant. 🙂