Danielle wrote a post about household duties and what she does verses what her husband does, and I was going to comment but then I realized my “comment” was reaching “small novel” status and decided to post a blog post about it all instead. So, here we are!
I know I bitch (a lot) about the stuff that Matt does to irritate my socks off. I’m quick to complain but slow to appreciate. I hear negativity pouring out of my mouth more than I hear the appreciation I should have for the man he is, and he is a really remarkable guy!
Right now, we’re both considered stay-at-home parents (although he is job hunting and hopefully, with any luck, he’ll have a full-time job very soon!) and because we’re both home we divide and conquer. Because Matt has been home, I mostly get to sleep at night. Sure, I need to wake up for feedings when they’re needed, but Matt rocks the baby, puts him to sleep and puts him to bed. He also changes diapers and comforts Nolan in the middle of the night on the rare occasion that Nolan wakes up. Matt is awesome for that, so I can squeeze in a couple more night time Z’s when I can. Fact of the matter is, I do sleep best at night. I feel more refreshed with night time sleep than I do with morning naps. As a result, come morning he’s usually slightly more tired than I am, especially because he tries to stay up until 2am just in case Archer wakes. I jokingly ream him out for “staying up to play video games”, but that’s not really what he’s doing. Sometimes, when I’m in a grumpy bitchy mood, I ignore the simple fact that Matt does come running any time he hears a kid.
So, I let him sleep in during the day, usually until 10 or 11 depending on the kind of morning we’re all having. When he wakes up, one of us makes lunch. Usually me, because he usually has the dinner hour covered. Matt does laundry, too. He carries heavy baskets up and down the stairs for me. It’s my job to fold and put away said laundry.
Matt also helps with the kids, a lot. He changes as many diapers as I do and he helps feed the toddler. He helps me keep Archer calm and chill at night, he never hesitates to grab him up for cuddles and “walks the floor” with him for me (since walking and rocking a baby is something I find difficult to do). Not to mention, he cooks dinners (he’s an amazing cook) and does the grocery shopping. It’s hard for me to get out with both kids to grocery shop right now, thanks to my many physical limitations, so Matt doesn’t mind taking on this task. Plus he’s really good at sticking to the grocery budget and getting more bang for our buck! It’s probably something that will stick even after he gets a full-time job. He’ll do the big shops on the weekend. He likes grocery shopping. I don’t mind it, but it’s certainly not my favourite task and since I always have the kids, well…it’s just easier if Matt goes during the night or on the weekends.
As far as cleaning goes? I do it. I clean up the toys, I vacuum and steam mop the floors, I do dishes and clean counter tops and wash windows and do the bathrooms. Sure, if something needs to be done immediately (i.e. Nolan spills something) and I’m stuck nursing on the couch, Matt jumps in with both feet. But I prefer to do the cleaning. It’s no secret that my entire world has been flipped upside down since Archer’s birth and Matt’s laying off in October. I’ve had to adjust to a lot of things, I’ve had to learn how to ask for help so that I don’t drown in the insanity of it all. But cleaning is what I do, it’s another way I unwind and regroup. It’s “me” time, as sad as that sounds. Plus, I like things done a certain way and Matt is fairly decent at cleaning, but it’s still not the way I do it.
Now Matt is actively looking for a job, and I say actively because before he was only casually looking. We thought we were going to move, and he didn’t see the point in landing an awesome job up North only to have to leave it. Plus, it made sense for us to have him home at the time. Now that Archer is older and I can manage two kids on my own no problem (I had plenty of trial runs when I was down south and Matt was up North), he is actively looking. We’re still keeping an open mind about where we’re going to go, but we’re staying North for sure. Maybe we’ll end up North west, but North is where we’ll stay.
When he lands that full-time job, I’m going to have a whole new set of rules to learn. I’ll take over the night time children tending, and the laundry. I’ll take over cooking every meal and I’ll continue to do all the cleaning. It makes sense to me that I would do all of that when he works full-time. When he isn’t working full-time, obviously divide and conquer makes perfect sense.
I’m really blessed in the sense that while although I may forget to be appreciative, Matt never does. Night after night he sits in the rocking chair with the biggest smile on his face, holding a very full Archer while I lay in bed and just remarks to me about how amazing fatherhood is, and how blessed he is to have me. A day doesn’t go by when he doesn’t tell me or show me in some small way that I am appreciated. If we can afford it, it’s in small treats. If not, it’s in words and smiles and text messages. I know that if he had the money, I would be showered with gifts on the daily, but the fact that he can make me feel loved and appreciated by not spending a dime is pretty cool.
So right now, that’s how things work. We divide and conquer, except for housework – I do all of that (save for laundry).
What about you? Who does what in your household?
As sad as this sounds…I can count on one hand the amount of stay at home daddy’s I know. I can count on one hand, with one finger. So if you’re a stay at home daddy, I want to hear your input too! Don’t be shy!