How Much Should Dads Pitch In At Home?

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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.

Key Takeaways

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,

Perfect Chaos

6 thoughts on “How Much Should Dads Pitch In At Home?”

  1. Wayne says:

    First, I think I will have to add you to my prayer list.  Stay at Home moms need all the help they can get. 

    I’m not a stay at home mom.  I’m a Mister and, If I were in your husband’s shoes I would do whatever it take to relieve you of some of that load you have been dealing with all day.  It sounds like that is what he IS doing. You’re a team.  You both share in this. You both know this.

    I want to give him Kudos for what he is doing.  He sounds like a great husband/Mister

    My wife and I raised our granddaughter. We didn’t home school.  I went to work during the day and she worked from home for some of those years and at our church for some.  

    It was HIGHLY important that we work together when I was at home because our charge had some special needs.  We had her involved in a few activities outside of school (swimming was one) which I would take her to.  This gave my wife a break from dealing with the STUFF during the day.  (My wife… she is amazing).

    You both seem to be happy with the decision you have made and it sounds like he is helping wherever he can.  The only suggestion I might make would be for you to try and get back some of that “Routine”.  And, maybe on the weekends he could give you some time outside the house (with girlfriends?) or a babysitter for a date night?

    Praying,

    Wayne

    1. admin says:

      Wayne!  Bless your heart!  Thank you for the prayers – I will never turn those away!  I am proud of you and your wife for raising your granddaughter… what a blessing for her (you both, actually)!  My husband is great.  We came to this decision together, and as a team, we’re making it work.  Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!  Many blessings!  P.S. I’ll work on the routine idea – I like your weekend thoughts!  🙂

  2. Tim says:

    It must have been a pretty huge and difficult decision to go full time staying at home! While it is definitely a blessing to spend every waking moment with your children, like you said, it’s definitely a struggle sometimes to go through the day with the little ones and without anyone else helping you.

    It’s understandable that dads need to go out and work to support the family, it is super critical for kids to have their father or a father figure around as much as possible. It is so important for their future development at such young age. 

    Thanks for sharing this, I wish you all the best with your little ones and your family!

    1. admin says:

      Hi, Tim!  Thanks for stopping by!  The decision was actually the easy part…it’s the adjustment that’s tricky!  We’re making it, though!  Each day presents something new, and it’s exciting!  Having the Mister here is definitely a plus, so we value that time!  Blessings to you!

  3. Baraka says:

    This is an exciting article. As for us, my wife and I are both employed. Most of the time we are at work but when we come home we really value our time. We do our chores together, prepare meals, eat and later sleep because our bodies are already very tired. Despite all of this, we really enjoy being home together after returning from the job.Thank you very much.

    Baraka

    1. admin says:

      Baraka,  

      It sounds as though you and your wife make up a GREAT team!  It’s nice to hear how the two of you make it work so that you have more quality time when together.  Thanks so much for commenting!  Blessings!

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