Guilty as charged
This is going to be tough for everyone to hear, but I've been found guilty. Before you jump to conclusions, I want to spin it from my point of view. It's easy to get lost in our self and our own selfishness. For that I am truly sorry.
I have a mountain of stress on me at all times. I run a family business. I work hard. I get up early and stay late. I'm tired by 7pm. Me, me, me. I'm like Marsha. I get flustered when I come home after a long day and the kids have gone AWOL and my wife decides she is going to take a little time to herself. What does that even mean. I worked though lunch, barely got up from my desk, wrote 500 emails while taking 300 phone calls. How dare she right?!! I start to get upset when I feel like I'm the only one doing things for the kids. Diapers being changed, rocking the baby, get the kids to stop arguing, on and on I go. WHERE DID SHE GO.... F*#!, or FML as the kids are saying these days. I swear it feels like it has been an hour alone doing all the parenting by myself. Side note, it has really only been 6 minutes and 37 seconds.
Ohhh, wait a minute. She went to the bathroom for the 1st time in 5 hours and decided to take a 5 minute mental break. Why does she need a break when she has been home all day. I'm confused. You are at home all day on your cell phone, watching tv, and hanging out? What an easy job to stay in the comfort of your home and not deal with people all day. Why isn't the house cleaned, laundry done, toys picked up. If I stayed at home all day I would have all of these task done with no questions asked. I feel like my wife is just being lazy...
Ladies/moms/wives/house hubbies, I know you all might be upset after reading this quick tale of tales. Some maybe even shaking your head or fist at me. Stay with me though and I'm sure we can get to some sort of agreement.
I currently had to watch all 4 kids while my wife went to Target. She was only supposed to be gone for an hour tops and I thought I was ok with watching all the little tikes. No problem I told myself. What could go wrong I told myself.... Nina (my wife) watches the kids all day while I'm at work and that can span 10-12 hours at a time. No big deal right? WRONG! As soon as she left, my 3 month old daughter, Joslyn, starts screaming. No binky could calm her down. She just wants to be held. Started to get baby calmed down and then my sick 1 year old, Jett, started freaking out and fortunately for me has the stomach flu. Without being too graphic, this entails changing a dirty diaper every 3-5 minutes. So now, I've got 2 crying babies I'm tending to. Put Trolls on the tv, because J. Timberlake and Anna Kendrick can make anyone stop screaming and bust a move for a few seconds anyways. But you can only sing "Sunshine in my Pocket" 16 times before it gets old. Now babies are screaming again and my oldest, Jax, has taken his sister, Jules, toy and won't give it back. They are running around the kitchen, knocking things off counters while screaming at the top of their lungs. So to recap, I've now got 4 screaming children I am dealing with. Holy $h*! This is really happening and it happened so fast. WWMWD (What Would My Wife Do). I start contemplating all of my life's decisions and what could I have done differently and then realized that this is exactly where I need to be. Nothing can take me away from this mind melting father experience. My wife made it back in 1 hour and 3 minutes. I know it was 1hr 3min because I was hawking the clock after 17 minutes of her being away. Like watching paint dry. Had it gone 1 hour and 4 minutes, the house may have been burned to the ground with how things were going. Luckily the house was still standing and I was able to corral the kids long enough for mom to get back and take care of things like she always does.
I'm guilty of taking my wife and what she goes through as a stay at home spouse for granted. Nina makes parenting look easy. She makes it look natural, so I just assume she has it together at all hours of the day and can take care of everything at the drop of a hat. I already knew my wife was a Saint, but it is re-affirmed and I won't ever question her on anything. No matter if we argue, she is right 97.8% of the time anyways. I am lucky to have a job where I can go to vacation 5 days out of the week and calm the mind from the screaming and kids telling me no. Thank you work for giving me sanity, but bigger than that, thank you to my wife for keeping the family cohesive. Being a stay at home parent can be a thankless job. Even if you have been demoted to a 1st grade vocabulary by the time I get home, I can assure you I will never take you for granted again.
To be clear, I'm not the Dad that looks at watching the kids as baby sitting or daddy duty. I am my children's father and will always take care of my kiddos at all times of the day as well. I make sure to play with them and love on them as much as I possibly can. I teach where I can and try and make sure they know right from wrong. I love parenting. I'm just not as smooth at keeping it all together as my wonderful wife seems to always make it look.
Thank you to all the moms/dads that stay at home and take care of your kids all day long. You all deserve more credit for what you do on the daily. This might be the toughest job one can have. Watching babies/kids is a truly different type of busy and the responsibility of it is un-parallel to anything anyone can ever try and compare. You are shaping little minds and helping them to reach their potential for what their life could turn out to be. I promise to never forget what you go through on a daily to make sure the household is kept in order. It is currently 2:50am and my wife has been thrown up on 3 times tonight. Oldest daughter is in our bed. Other kids are sick and waking up in unison every 30 minutes. My wife and I are both tired, but the main difference between us is that I get to go to work in 6 hours while she has to stay living the lavish life of a stay at home mom. Which up until now I didn't realize was a full time 24/7 job with no breaks.
Nina, thank for all that you do. I literally could not manage without you. At least not longer than 1 hour and 3 minutes at a time.... I'm not good with getting thrown up on or side swiped with a poopy diaper, but you always know what to do. Thank you for letting me sleep on the floor as so I would not get the wonderful experience of getting thrown up on. I see you and I appreciate everything you do even if it doesn't always seem like it. I love you more than you know. There are going to be so many moments I will cherish in our lifetime together, but none more so than watching you be the best mommy to our children at every hour of every day.
For what it's worth, you're even a pretty good wife/best friend.