It’s a scenario that’s happened countless times in the last 3 years and will no doubt happen countless times more. I get home from a tiring day of work only to have my wife shove my toddler son into my arms with a heavy sigh saying, “Thank God! Here. you take him for awhile.” and suddenly my work day has been extended for a few more hours. This has caused some very intense…uh…discussions between my wife and I. I thought why the heck should I have to pull double duty? I’m exhausted too. Can I sit and enjoy some mindless television entertainment for a few hours before I have to go out into the cold, cruel, working world again? It’s not that we don’t love our little boy or that he’s some kind of problem child. He’s my best friend and very well behaved (most of the time). It’s just that I didn’t get why my wife’s day was sooo much more exhausting than mine. I was the one getting up early, sitting in traffic and dealing with bosses, deadlines and the pressures of providing for my family. What’s so tough about occupation: homemaker?
Before all the ladies up and through this place start hatin’ on me, let me make my point which is this: Ooooooooh. I get it. See I’ve been a stay at home dad, Mr. Mom, “manny”, or whatever you want to call it for the last 2 weeks. My wife just gave birth to our 2nd little boy. Thank you. He’s the most beautiful baby that’s ever been born in the history of time. You heard me. My job has essentially been to cook, clean, chauffer, entertain and otherwise occupy our 3 year old son while my wife takes care of our newborn. So I’ve had a glimpse of what my better half does during the day for very little thanks and essentially no pay. Wow. There’s a reason why society dictates that the men go off to work every day. If it were up to us to raise the kids, they’d all be wearing pajamas, eating cheese sandwiches and watching Sportscenter all day. They should make a movie about a dad staying at home with his kids. Maybe get Michael Keaton to star in it. What? Really? When? Oh, I‘ll have to check it out.
Actually if I do say so myself, I’ve done an excellent job these past two weeks. But by 8:30 at night, I am 10 times more tired than I am after a normal day at the office. For instance I promise never to scoff when my wife tells me about her disastrous shopping trip to Costco with our son. Last week I treated the other shoppers to the wacky physical comedy of trying to maneuver a shopping cart filled with bulk groceries while chasing a 3 year old sprinting towards the hot dog booth. Trying to turn that cart quickly is like steering an ocean liner. No wonder the Titanic hit that iceberg. Yesterday I took my kid to Disneyland. By myself. Some friends from work said, “Geez. Aren’t you having the time of your life while we’re slaving away back here at work?” I say to them, “Think so? Wanna trade places for a day?” I do believe my wife has said the exact same thing to me during those intense discussions I was talking about before.
So raise a glass to the moms, guys. Out of the whole year they get ONE day set aside for them and it’s coming up. Make sure it’s a good one. They’ve earned it. Here’s to your mom, my mom, and the mothers of our children. And the next time your wife says, “I need a break.” believe me…she does.
And just because I can’t leave well enough alone, a note to the dads: Take heart. Our day is coming next month and we’ve earned it too.