Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Things Husbands (Don't) Do

My little munchkin is home sick this week. She has her second round of Hand, Foot, and Mouth (evidently this is something that is quite common among kids these days), and can't go to school all week. So I spent yesterday at home with her, and will again today, with grandparents coming to assist the rest of the week.

Last night, as we were getting ready for dinner, my husband picked some old food out of her high chair. I apologized for not getting it earlier, and he said "don't apologize, I totally get it, I've been home alone with her before too and I know what it's like."

Following this comment, I looked around. The house was (almost) spotless. Dinner was made. The baby was cheerful. The dog was passed out. Let's just say, this is vastly different from what I come home to when Dad has been home alone with Molly all day.

I'm not writing this post to complain about my husband. He's a fantastic dad. He helps out as much as he can, and as much as he knows how to. But I often have to remind myself that his brain does not work the same way that mine does. I can simultaneously be feeding the baby, cleaning the kitchen, making dinner, and feeding the dog. My husband can focus on one of those things at a time. It does not make him a bad husband, dad, or housekeeper, it just makes him different.

I know all of my mom readers have gone through this. How many times have you said "Why can't he just help out?" "How does he not SEE the pile of toys in the middle of the floor that he just walked over?"

Give your husband a break. I guarantee he is not out to screw you over, make your life more difficult, or be a lazy bum. I have to remind myself of this a lot. Instead, when I come home to a crazy house when Dad's been home all day, I look at my daughter who spent hours playing with Dad, and sometimes, I actually get a little jealous. Can you imagine being able to just focus on ONE thing? Can you imagine not seeing the dishes, or the dirty windows, or hearing the washing machine beep? I think Dads actually have it pretty great.

Today, try to ignore everything else. Focus on your kid. Forget the dishes. Forget the laundry. Just have some fun. Be Dad for a day..I think you'll like it.


  1. I can see both sides to this. I don't want it to seam that being a Dad home with the kids is all play and no work (or all focussed solely on playing with the kids and nothing else). However, I agree that in general, when I am home with my 3 kids (all under 4 years old) that I tend to focus much more on the kids then on the "other stuff" that needs to get done. I think the challenge is when I (and other dad's) do other stuff, there can be a tendency to say - yeah but...meaning, i cleaned up the toys, but didn't do the laundry. So the other piece of advice I have for wifes/mom's is to also recognize the things that do get done, reward those, and then that will encourage even more "good" behavior!

  2. Thanks Dave! I agree with your advice for the moms!