Everyone knows that staying home all day with the kids can be tough. Many people, even people without kids will normally admit that. You must deal with the isolation, the stress, the horrible music and TV shows that pass for children’s entertainment that you are forced to endure over and over and over again. It is enough to drive anyone a little crazy.
You can prepare yourself for this. Depending on what you did before you stayed home you might already be ok with some of these drawbacks. I, for example, was in sales so I was pretty used to being alone. It also helped that I was, (am), pretty immature so the kids entertainment didn’t bother me much. But there was one thing I was not prepared for. I didn’t know that being an at home parent meant that I was Dad all day.
“Well everyone works all day” you just said in your head so rudely interrupted me. That is true if you are referring to the work day. A time span of 8ish to probably around 6 or 7 that night. That is a long day, I am not denying it one bit. But my day is a little longer.
My day starts around 6 am. That is when the kids get up. I know many people get up that early to get ready for work. I am not getting ready. I do not get a shower or coffee. I wake up I start work. I am getting the kids dressed, getting them breakfast and packing lunches. As busy as I am I know I am one of the lucky one’s because my kids at least go to school for a couple of hours many at home parents are not so lucky.
Now many would point to nap time as a break, and it is. If you could cleaning up the mess of the morning, preparing dinner, doing laundry, and occasionally some yard work as a break.
But you may be saying, “Your wife gets home around six, surely you get a break then?” Well, you would be mistaken. When my wife gets home she does help. She helps a lot. But the kids are still there. They didn’t go anywhere. So I am still on the clock, the only difference is I now I have a coworker to commiserate with.
Finally, after baths, stories, and at least 3 or 4 trips to the potty and for water the kids go to bed. The time this happens varies but in my house that is normally around 8:30 pm. 14 and a half hours from when my day started. This happens every day.
Now, once again I can read your mind and your thinking, “Well, what about weekends?” Do you think the kids went somewhere? Weekends aren’t a break for an at home parent. I am still doing exactly the same thing I do every day. Weekends just mean that my wife gets to share in more of my day-to-day duties.
So, next time you think it would be so stress-free and restful to stay home with the kids, think again. Being an at home parent is a labor of love. If it wasn’t I would have quit this job ages ago. But despite all the long hours, and the lack of sleep, I wouldn’t have it any other way.