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New stay-at-home mom here! We’re about three full weeks into our new routine, and I’ve learned a lot! I want to share with you some things that have entered my mind over the past weeks, while the Mister was at work and I was home teaching our littles. The burning question though, if you’re interested, is how much should dads pitch in at home? How big of a role do we moms expect them to play? Do we expect too much or not enough? Have you ever even thought about it? Honestly, I hadn’t until our roles changed and I began spending every second with our kids.
How It Used To Be vs. Now
When we both worked at school, our routine was solid. We’d get the kids up in the morning, feed them, get them dressed, etc. Out the door, we would go. We’d make a quick stop at daycare for our son and continue to school. After school, we’d pick him up and come home, get dinner ready, eat, play, and get ready for bed. Everything started over the next morning. We would use our weekends to run errands, clean the house, or finish up any loose ends that didn’t get done during the week.
Now, there is no set bedtime, as we’re homeschooling. I really like this! When the kids get up, we usually read a story or two. The Mister heads to work, and our day at home begins. There’s breakfast, school-time, play, lunch, more work time, clean up, dinner, etc. The new routine is really that there is no routine. How cool is that?
The Top 3 Things I Miss
(While Dad’s At Work)
1. Adult interaction–
This is no joke, and shouldn’t be taken lightly! If you’re raising your kiddos and homeschooling them, you know that the lack of adult conversation sometimes makes you feel as though you may go crazy at any given moment. Luckily, my dad, who’s 1200+ miles away, calls me on a regular basis. He just has a sense or knack of knowing when I need to chat. Bless him! The ironic thing about wanting adult interaction, as I’m learning, is that by the time the Mister makes it home, I’m already spent, and no longer crave those conversations I did prior to lunch. This is something I’m working on, for sure!
2. Help With The Kids–
There has been a handful of wanting-to-pull-my-hair-out moments of frustration. We’re averaging a time or two a week. This happens mostly when the girl decides she knows everything and flies through her independent school lessons. When this occurs, her assessment scores are not to par, she gets frustrated, and when she won’t reason with me, she sees my frustration as well. If her dad was here, I feel as though he would be able to calm the stormy waters and help get us to shore safely, before the ship sinks. At any rate, it’s just nice to have the other parent around when things get sticky.
3. Clean-Up Duty–
Let’s face it, if you’re home more often, more things get used, and therefore, left out. I notice every little thing out of place and it’s an anxiety inducer for my OCD self. I love that the kids are able to play and experiment in our home, but the poor house has seen cleaner days! There are times, though, when I look around and think, who cares? We’re not here to impress anyone. The mess is proof that we were productive throughout our day. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? The kids and I have begun working on a cleanup plan, so that at the end of the day, mama goes to bed happy, with a straightened up house! 🙂
What Are My Expectations?
Honestly, I didn’t have any. I didn’t know what to expect when we decided that I’d stay home with the kiddos. What I have learned though, is that it is so nice to have another adult around. I have learned to value the time the four of us are together, so there is help on the parent-front. The really great thing about being married is that you learn about the other person rather quickly. I bring this up as a segue to my next point: The Mister can read my mood the second he walks in the door. He can tell if the day went well, if I am frustrated, or otherwise. He knows then how to best help out without having to ask me what I need. He gets me. My day instantly becomes better when he gets home from work.
The Big Helps
As I reflect on the past 21 days, I have realized a few things. First of all, this homeschooling gig is definitely for us! I love the time I’m able to spend with the littles and the learning that’s happening within our walls. This is a life-change that I’m so very glad we embraced! Things I value about the Mister are little things. He’s helping out around the house, doing some dishes, cleaning, interacting with the kids so I can cook dinner, etc. One of the biggest bits of help of all though is getting the kids to bed. On its own, it’s not a daunting task. However, by him covering that duty, I’m able to focus on this little business I’m trying to create. Once the kiddos are in bed, the house is quiet, and I’m able to work uninterrupted. This has been a gigantic help.
As I have already mentioned, staying at home is our best idea yet. Sure, there are challenges, but when in life aren’t there? We work together to make every challenge a learning opportunity for positive change. The time I get to spend with our kids far exceeds anything else I would otherwise be doing. I’m learning to appreciate the time the Mister is home, so we can end our days as a team, with both of us present for the kiddos. It definitely makes the day easier when you know you can count on your spouse to help around the home. I don’t believe he needs to work all day and then come home to work more. I’m not saying that. Simply, I’m learning to appreciate and value the time that he is home. That’s all. We are a team. We always have been and will continue to be.
How are you working this out at home? What are your own expectations from your Mister? Do you enjoy the time apart from your spouse? Are you learning to value the time you’re together? Do you ever feel as though you get the label, ‘Bad Cop’ with your own kids? Hooray! Dad’s home! The kids get so excited when he’s home, yet you haven’t seen that excitement from them at all throughout your day together? What other advice do you have? Leave me a comment and share some thoughts. I want to know how you manage this in your home!
Live Your Best Life,