There’s no denying it, I’m a loving and caring husband, and you should know it from reading all my previous blogs. This notion of men not helping out in the house is nothing more than a myth – at least in our household. My hands are so well cared for ever since I started to use the Fairy dish-wash soap (the one with built-in moisturizer that pampers your hands and leaves your dishes feeling squeaky clean). Basically, I’m an all-in-one wonder dad – if you ask me of course.
Being an at-home-working-dad has given me an insight into the daily tasks required to keep the household going, on top of the traditional duties such as cleaning and cooking and more importantly ALL the kids’ daily rituals and after school activities. I have no idea how my wife manages or has the energy to go from activity to activity. She has done so for several years now. On top of that, she’s breastfeeding every 2-3 hours, with the exception of when I wake up early (4-5am) to feed the baby.
Despite having two kids already, it’s still not easy to adapt to having a new addition in the family. So to show my support, I took a few days off work, and worked from home a few days too, to look after the other two hobbits as much as possible. Mind you, this in itself is a full-time job, because the missus is often stuck in a breastfeeding trance, so most of the day-to-day duties fall upon me too – I know, you feel sorry for me. I’ve started to sing “go down Moses…let my people go” and “jump down pick ‘o bale of cotton”, which my wife doesn’t find amusing. I just find it natural to sing these songs. A man can only take so many strokes of the whip (unless he’s into that stuff).
So, for the past 4 weeks, my involvement in the daily routines increased from bringing our daughter to school, to also bringing our son to school. His school is a 30 minute drive from our house, on the motorway, so it is a fair distance. He goes there 3 times a week and 3 hours per day. It is too far to go back, so I spent the time in the lovely Malahide village – home of the notorious yummy mummy gang, who have their headquarters in the local Starbucks. I was sitting there one Wednesday trying to work while our son was in school, when the place was suddenly invaded by buggies, screaming kids and lactating women. Women and kids were all wearing the latest gear, and most of it could pay for our car.
To make the situation more complex and perhaps disturbing was that staff in Starbucks knew them all and started to prepare the various variations of coffee; skinny slim decaf columbian, hot coco made with soy milk and rye scones. What ever happened to a normal cup of Joe?
My work laptop was being squirted with juice, crumbs, coffee, breast milk and baby pooh. Not sure I could handle much more of this. But, just as quickly as they had emerged from their gold plated SUV’s, just as quickly did they vanish.
Later in the week, while dropping off our son at school, my daughter and I were waiting in the car for a few minutes, letting the traffic in the cul de sac calm down. Suddenly, one of these bling-bling SUVs pulled up and parked in the middle of the street. Out jumped a yummy mummy dressed to kill in DKNY, Armani and D&G sun glasses. She was dropping off her son to school that he was not in the slightest interested in going. He grabbed the nearest pole to resist entering the school. The mother started pulling his legs causing him into a vertical position. She then attempted to trick him and picked him up to hug him, while one of the teachers took the kid from behind trying to lift him into school. As she gently pulled the kid away from the mother, he desperately clung on to his mum’s DKNY shirt. All of a sudden the mum’s shirt ripped open and revealed her right boob! The mother “calmly” buttoned her shirt, fixed her sunglasses and pretended as if nothing had happened. I quickly rolled up the window trying to suppress my laughter, but then my daughter and I looked at each other and we both burst out in hysterical laughter.
Other man duties during my stint off included bringing our daughter to horseback riding, theatre school and gym – all on different days and far from home of course. It takes almost two hours each event, so I spend time working on my blog or playing with my iPhone. Funnily enough, I’m most of the time the only husband/man at these events, much to the amazement of the yummy mummies. I can see them stare at me with utter disbelief because I don’t “participate” with supporting comments and other gestures to my daughter. I just let her do her stuff at her own pace and she really loves it. She’s sooooo proud every time and talks for hours about what she did that day.
It’s not easy being a “single parent”, looking after two maniac hobbits with millions of activities to do. The car is being seriously tested in regards to mileage and my cleaning skills have improved immensely (BTW, My wife doesn’t consider cleaning a woman’s job). By the time I get to sit down with my cup of Joe in the sofa, it’s almost 20.30. That’s when my wife looks at me with begging puppy eyes wondering if I could give her some neck massage.
In bed by 21.30 and up at 04.00. Blimey, yesterday morning I folded the clothes and prepared pancakes well before 07.30 – I actually had to re-heat the pancakes as the rest of the family didn’t come downstairs until 09.00 By then I was already changing to go outside to mow the lawn.
Who cares about expensive gyms, when you can be on the go for 12 hours daily.