I had a rare opportunity the other day. It’s really only happened a few times. I dropped the middle kid off at Pre-School at 815am, rolled over to Nana’s house at 825am to drop off the youngest child, then I was dropping off the oldest to Kindergarten at 835am. I went home to a silent house and wouldn’t see one of my children again until 1245. WOW! The quiet in the house was deafening.
I sat in the house wondering what I could get clean, how much work I could get done during this down time, and basically wondered how productive I could be. It felt like I was skipping school! Then I thought for a second, “Wait, you don’t skip school to go do homework. You skip school to have a good time.” I pulled out my bicycle and went on a two hour ride and it was pure heaven. God Bless Grandparents is what I say!
Now I don’t feel guilty about this at all. It was rather invigorating to say the least and the house did get swept and mopped with the extra time I had after I finished riding my bicycle. The thing about cleaning a house with small children, it never ends. I could do the best job in the world cleaning the house but it will be deconstructed as soon as everyone gets home. Whenever I put a nice shine on the floor one of the kids dumps a full plate of spaghetti on it. It’s a never ending business of cleaning, and cleaning some more, and cleaning again.
I think what’s more important here is my sanity on a day to day basis. I have had the unique opportunity to hold multiple positions in the family. At first I was the primary bread winner while the wife stayed home with kid one and two. Then my wife went to work and we were a dual income household while I shuttled the kids to daycare. My final position has been the stay at home parent over the last two years. What was the easiest job? Going to work while my wife stayed home and took care of the kids and the house. By far that was the easiest position to be in. It’s pretty much a tie between both spouses working or one being the stay at home parent. Both have positives and negatives that I can talk about in a different post.
I don’t feel bad at all for taking some time to myself. That needs to happen every once in a while when you are the parent at home. You don’t have co-workers, the satisfaction of a challenging career, or a building retirement plan to keep you boosted everyday. I know what some of you are saying right now. My co-workers suck, I’m not satisfied in my job that has me working too many hours, and what retirement plan. Well this is what I say to you. Do yourself a favor and GET A NEW JOB! The stay at home parent needs some alone time. They need the opportunity to just get out of the house. The house is their workplace and the stay at home parent is in their workplace all of the time. The dishes will get done, the floors will eventually be swept, the laundry will be washed and folded. Don’t sweat it, take a few hours if you can. Thank the people who helped you get this time off as much as you can.
Most of all, when the chips are down and your feeling burned out, embrace the suck. Or, maybe call your mother-in-law.