A few months ago we had a role reversal at our house. My wife who had been home with the kids for the last 10+ years went back to work full-time and I became a Stay At Home Dad. It’s been interesting to say the least.
Now she is starting to see how I felt being gone for most of the day and coming home to find unexpected things. Little things really, but enough to scramble ones brain if you let them. Is this basket of laundry clean or dirty? Did they do their homework? Who is this new kid at school they keep talking about? The other day she said she felt out of the loop and I couldn’t help but smile to myself. Not because I was glad, but because that’s how I used to feel.
That’s not to say we don’t communicate, we do. She’s even home right after the kids so there’s no 4 hour lull like I used to have with my commute so she misses a lot less than I did. She’s also learning what it’s like to come home exhausted and not wanting to deal with anything. I on the other hand am learning that a day at home with a 2-year-old requires some amount of recovery time. Sure she’s cute, but after a day spent chasing her one needs a bit of a break.
One issue has been the questioning. My wife double checking everything. Did you give them snack? Did they write in their reading log? Yes…I did all of those things just like I do every day. I understand that she’s doing her best to stay in the aforementioned loop, but it can seem nagging at times. Like she’s second guessing the whole situation. Do I forget things sometimes? Sure I do, we all do.
I seem to rely less on other people than she did. I’m not one to be Mr. Social so I spend most days alone with my daughter. We try to go out every day to a playground, park farm, the library…anywhere. I just don’t call 3 other Moms before I go. If I run into them fine, I can chat if need be.
It’s very rare to see other Dads during the day and as a result I get a lot of kids that want to play with me at the playground. Not to say that Moms don’t play…but more often than not they sit in groups and talk while I field requests to push other people’s’ kids on the swings. I don’t think the Moms know quite what to think. Am I a babysitter, a manny, home sick? For that matter I don’t know if these are Moms, nanny’s or Grandma’s either so I guess we’re even, I just feel outnumbered.
Stay tuned…I have to go hunt for a 2-year-old, she’s quiet…TOO quiet.