New Respect

This weekend I gained a new-found respect for stay at home parents, be it mother or father. My wife got the opportunity to visit her sister in Texas for the weekend, leaving me in charge of our three kids. I’m not going to gripe and moan about having to do this. They’re my own kids, and any person that gripes about having to watch or care for their own kids had no right to procreate in the first place.

My oldest spent most of the weekend with her friends or at her mother’s house. So in full disclosure I probably shouldn’t count her in this whole bit. Although I did have to take some time to get her from place to place. The majority of my time was spent caring for my youngest of eight months.

I’m not going to go into the play-by-play details of my weekend, just know that we played and had a good time. The issue I want to bring into the light is my apparent lack of multitasking. I did my best to keep the house in order while entertaining the 8-year-old and wrangling the 8-month-old. While the kids received their well deserved love and attention, the household chores suffered. I admit, they usually suffer on a normal basis. I’m not the most adamant when it comes to staying on top of the laundry or dishes or sweeping or… well, you get the point. I’d rather be doing something else, that’s all. However, this weekend I wanted to show my darling wife that she could go away for the weekend, and not only would the house still be standing when she got back, it would be fairly clean, too.

Well I’m happy to report that the house was in fact still standing when she got back. As for the rest…

The dishes got done. So did the laundry. But man, trying to get that much done while taking care of kids nearly broke me. I had hoped to get some writing done in the evening once the kids went down for the night.

Boy was I stretching.

By eight o’clock I was so wiped, I could barely muster the strength to watch a movie. Fifteen minutes into whatever I put in, I’d blink to see the end credits rolling.

What I’m trying to say here is this. All you stay at home parents out there do an mentally trying job and incredibly under-sung. Without a doubt, it’s rewarding equally as much as it can be difficult, but any parent should know this. It’s the non-family (not necessarily single) people who lack perspective. A perspective I was duly reminded of this weekend.

I know stay-at-home parents that not only take care of their family, but manage to get a crap ton of other stuff done as well. So to all those moms and dads that make their jobs’ that of the family, you have my respect.

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