Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Woman's work is never done

Man, it’s been a busy week. What with one thing or another, I don’t seem to have stopped at all recently. I have friends that think being a househusband and stay at home Dad is a piece of cake, and I must admit I don’t do a whole lot to shatter this image. It has always seemed more fun to let them continue to think of me as a lazy bum, who sits around with his feet up all the time, than put them right. I genuinely enjoy winding them up, as they moan about work, by remarking how hard sitting in the garden had been that day. Feet up, beer in hand, listening to Elbow, or if I want to come across as middle class aloof, Coltrane or Brubeck. Not that I consider Jazz to be middle class music of choice, but the people I am winding up tend to.

So I have always been quite quick in agreeing with my mates about how easy a life I have, and it has recently come to my attention, that I am doing all the other housewives out there a huge disservice. I mean, most of the blokes I talk to are husbands themselves, probably with the sneaky suspicion that their own wives are sitting at home doing bugger all, and here comes me, confirming all their worst fears. So it is time to put the record straight, no exaggeration, be it over or under, just what our, (well mine really, they are probably right about their own wives), days are filled up with.

I started writing down what I did all day and it looked a bit like this.

· 8.30 School run.
· 9.15 Back home, change Mates nappy.
· 9.30 Twitter
· 9.45 Do washing
· 10.00 Do washing up
· 10.15 Twitter again
· 10.30 Play bricks with Mate
· 11.15 Pickup Katy

You get the gist of it, pretty boring mundane stuff. I was bored rigid typing it, so I can only apologise for how tedious it must have been to read, and I had not even got to lunchtime. I began to feel that this did not give you an accurate snapshot of what a hard working bunch we are, so I started to think about the weekends. This is the time to kick back and relax, potter about the garden, and generally unwind from the previous weeks work.

Not for us it isn’t. You would think that 2 parents = half the work, but unfortunately the first principle of “Kids Maths” kicks in. So now, 2 parents = twice the work + twice the mess. It is a hard equation to get your head round, and one that only the stay at home parents understand. I know you are trying to help, but all you are doing is just disrupting our routines. Seriously, how many sweets do you think you can give a child, just to get them quieten down so you can watch TV, before the sugar rush kicks in and all hell breaks loose? That’s right, you don’t know, but we do.

Last weekend I agreed to help my brother-in-law out, and deliver 100 catalogues to some of his previous customers. He runs his own kitchen showroom, and I have my eye on this beautiful Lacanche range cooker, so I agreed to help him out (so just remember, next time you need to get your kitchen done, give me a call, I could do with the commission). So having got up with the kids at 6.15am, washed, dressed, and fed them, I left them in the hands of my over-confident wife.

To her credit I only received 3 phone calls while I was out. The last of these I received when I was outside a 12th floor penthouse, and had to explain, much to the amusement of tenants of said penthouse, how to make a loaf of bread in our bread maker. I did not realise “It won’t rise if it’s too wet” was such a funny sentence, until I re-lived it in the lift down.

That finished, I then had to cook dinner, bath the kids, and put them to bed early as we were going to the 40th birthday party of one of my closest mates. I allowed myself a whopping 15 minutes to get ready, remembering the “wife maths” equation of, male preparation time x 4 = wife preparation time.

Eventually the monster-in-law turned up to babysit, and off we went. I could not drink for the first couple of hours as I had to go pick up Dawn at 10.30pm from a drama trip. To her credit she did show her gratitude for my abstention, when I picked her up she asked me to wait round the corner whilst her bags were being unloaded. I tried to convince myself this was because she did not want me to block the road, and not because of the usual Dad embarrassment factor.

I eventually got to back to the party and had to go through the weight yo-yo conversations again. To anyone that had not seen me in 18 months, I had lost a stone and a half, for anyone that had seen me in the last 6 months, I had put on a stone. It turned out to be quite a good party game, “dodge the insult, spot the compliment”. All in all, it was a good night.

The clocks went forward that weekend, and I duly changed all the clocks before we went to bed, all the better to deal with summer-lag. Unfortunately Mate is so clever, that he realised the clocks had changed, and promptly woke up at 6.15am, NEW TIME! I was understandably very proud of his 2 year old brain, and told him so, albeit through gritted teeth.

Sunday was spent ignoring my hangover, getting the vegetables planted, doing the school wash, doing the weekly shop, and general upkeep of myself and wine glass. I would like to say this was an unusual weekend, but alas, they all seem to be like this in one form or another, rushing from one task to another, with not much time to breathe in-between.

I have been trying to write one of these blogs per week, but this one has been 2 weeks in the writing. I apologise for the wait, it’s just I’ve been a bit busy.


Russ said...

SAHDom is a bit busier then most would expect huh? We have yet to start school, but we do story time at the library plenty.

Brubeck, that is some good stuff. Does that make me middle class aloof? It might. If I'm not listening to Brubeck, and jazz is on the menu, it's Miles Davis for me.

I'm in the market for a kitchen! I don't suppose you could get really good shipping rates to the US?

Anonymous said...

you have time for twitter twice? your time management is far better than mine! i occasionally get to go to the toilet!! well done you. xxxx

Anonymous said...

Its so good to hear that blokes do really think we sit on our arses all day doing nothing!!! My husband cant handle weekends, he would would never be able to deal with a whole week at home!!!