Thank You, Mr. Mom

I left the kids with Scott for 5 days while I did the Blogher thing in San Diego. I kept trying to prepare him for what it might be like, how stressful it would inevitably be, how impossible it would be to keep the house and the kids clean. I didn’t want him to feel disappointed in himself.

I know how hard it is to do it all on your own. I stay by myself with them for a week at a time many, many times a year while he travels for work. I KNOW how mind-numbing the experience can be, how they just suck every last ounce of energy out of you, leaving you with no will to clean the house, and most days, even yourself. Most of the time when Scott gets back from a week-long work trip, the house looks like a bomb went off, and I greet him in my pajamas at 5 p.m. from the night before, hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, hairy legs. But, I present to him 2 alive, well, and mostly happy children; I consider it a success.

“It’s all about survival mode,” I told him. “All you have to do is survive and keep the kids alive. I’ll help clean when I get home.”

I’m a very kind wife like that.

Oh, survive they did. And thrive. And clean.ย 

I came home on Sunday night to a house that was not only clean,ย but he had actually taken on projects to organize, too. Our master closet has been a death trap for nearly a year. I thought about taking a “before” picture of it to share with you all one day, but I was worried somebody would turn me into CPS for letting my kid play hide and seek in it. (Only sort of kidding.)

Just imagine it looking nothing like this with huge mounds of clothes and shoes on the floor and craft supplies like scissors and glue guns precariously teetering over the top shelves.

He claims he just “had to do something.” He couldn’t just “sit around all day.” “Not that *you* sit around all day!” he was sure to make that disclaimer.

So the closet was organized, the dishes were done, the floors swept, the bathrooms clean, the laundry? Washed, folded AND put away. I can never make all that happen in a week!

The icing on the I-Must-Suck-At-My-Job cake is now Leyna will only fall asleep if he rocks her. She spent 4 hours yesterday fighting a nap, and I mean fighting in the truest sense; I have the scratches, bruises and nearly lost a nipple to prove it. Scott walked in from work, took her from me, rocked her for 2 minutes and she was out. I think she hates me for leaving her.

That’s fine. Whatever. I’m okay with sucking at this. I think this is a sign that I should get paid to “network” some day while he stays home. I was very awesome at “networking” last week. Now… to get paid large sums of money to dress up, drink wine, squeee at other ladies and hug everyone I see…. must think on how to make that happen.

I have an actual Blogher re-cap post coming tomorrow. In the meantime, be sure to enter the BornFree Blogher Giveaway for a $500+ prize package. Anyone, even those of you not at Blogher (from the US and Canada) can enter.



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  1. Ok seriously? I swear my husband is a better mom than I am! As a teacher he stays home with her all Summer long and I’m the one that travels for work a few times a year and he has that shit locked down! I come home from work to all the laundry done, the dishes washed, carpet vacuumed and a happy kid. I have him on cooking, but that’s about the only thing. I wish I made enough money so he could stay at home all the time!

    • We’ve both always said that if I could land a job making equal or more than what he makes, we’d make the switch, and I’m pretty sure he’d rocking. But, I know he also thinks I rock it, too, clean house or not.

  2. Yes, somehow men seem to juggle it while we are away! Although mine accompanied me this year and we left the kids with the grandparents; he’s usually the one at home with the kids while I travel. I’m always stressed out beyond belief when he’s gone for a night but he’s never EVER bothered when I leave. Footnote: Guys don’t mind letting the kids ‘go off by themselves’ while they do tasks around the house…whereas I feel a bit guilty that I’m in the laundry room when I could be ‘playing with the kids.’ So glad they all survived and thrived! It was fabulous getting to know you a little more – next trip I am scheduling in time to spend with people for real – I still don’t feel like I got to know everyone I wanted to. XOXO! Calley

  3. Two things:

    1. I also think my husband is a better mom than I am.

    2. ANYONE can do a good job for one week. One week is not extremely tough. I bet once the novelty wore off he’d be just as frazzled as the rest of us. The little darlings absolutely suck every ounce of energy out of you kinda like a dementor. He didn’t get the full effect because right when it would start to get all dementor-sucky? You came home.

    Not dismissing his good job. I’m sure he’s great. I’m just saying that he got a small sample of what it’s like to be you and wasn’t in for the long haul. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I so know what you mean! That is what happened when I went to BlogHer last year… although at the time we only had the to boys. I came home and the house was actually CLEAN! I was in shock and tried desperately to figure out HOW the FUCK he did it…
    His secret?
    His aunt that lives downstairs TOOK the boys for an ENTIRE DAY without telling me…
    And he would have got away with me thinking he did it all on his own with these hellians IF she didn’t slip up and say something to me about their trip to the zoo or where ever they went…

    I tell you Jill… HE IS HIDING SOMETHING! LOL

  5. I seriously don’t know how people do it! My husband and I can’t figure it out (though I must say I am better at it than he is). When my mother comes to watch our daughter, I am amazed at how much she does around the house. I don’t get it, and most importantly, it’s not fair!

  6. “The little darlings absolutely suck every ounce of energy out of you kinda like a dementor”
    I am stealing this! Love it!

  7. This would NOT work full time, I can guarantee it. It’s because he has distance from this a good deal of the time that he can make it happen.

  8. Mine cleaned the kitchen. The WHOLE kitchen, including scrubbing out the stains in our ridiculous white sink. And the baby totally loves him more than me now, even though I brought home her boobs.

    Two lessons learned: CHILDREN ARE FICKLE. And also: My husband is not as helpless as he wanted me to think.

    • I thought Leyna would be all BOOBIES!! THEY ARE HOME!! NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN! Meh. I think she prefers the bottle now. I’m afraid my supply dipped a little and they aren’t producing fast enough for her so she’s just like, give me the thing that gives all the milk to me really fast without any work. Glad you got a clean house, too!

  9. it was great to meet you at blogher (saturday night, aiming low party)! i love reading your blog, it was a trip to say hello in real life. ๐Ÿ™‚ hope you had an amazing time in san diego!

      • I know there was no offense meant, it’s just a phrase I’d like to see taken out of commission.

        Now I’m off to washing the sheets and stuff the diapers (right after I finish loading and starting our dishwasher)! Ah the exciting life of a stay at home parent.

  10. There’s a difference between running a sprint and a marathon. My husband is good at stepping in and doing something really big with the girls or getting big projects done, but it’s not really a level of productivity that can be sustained in the long haul.

    On the other hand, I have found that the more I do, the more I can take on. Some of it is momentum.

    • Totally, 100% agree with this. Huge difference between doing it for a set period it of time and doing it fortherestofyourlife. Or, at least for several years. ๐Ÿ™‚ That is awesome that he managed so well for the days you were gone! You rock at the 99% of days that you are there!

  11. While he’s never been left alone with my daughter for more than a day, my husband does the same thing. And you know why that is? Because he’s not interested in trying to teach her colors, or how to count, or her ABC’s. He’s not interested in teaching her that we put our toys away or really any other skill. He’s only concentrated on keeping the child alive while he gets his own things done. This is fine for a day or two, but when you are the primary care taker of a child, you simply cannot take this approach… well that is unless you’re cool with the television raising your child.

    Stay at home parents have different responsibilities than people who watch kids for a shorter amount of time. We have to find a way to work it ALL in, whereas temporary care does not. Don’t beat yourself up about it. As someone else said, it’s like comparing a sprint to a marathon.

  12. I feel like there’s a lot of judging going on in the comments. Instead of saying “Oh, he couldn’t do it everyday! He doesn’t realize how hard it REALLY is,” why not say, “That was really sweet of your husband to do so much around the house while you were gone.” Because it is, and it belittles what he did when we talk so negatively.

    • I hear you. Speaking for me, I’m pretty sure he could do it for longer than a week. He’s pretty awesome like that. Still, though, it’s like couldn’t he let me win at Checkers this time? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Can he come and help organize my closet?! It is amazing how much they can get done when they put their minds to it with the kids home. I do find that my husband does let the girls do a little more on their own than I do when he is home alone with them.

  14. “Because heโ€™s not interested in trying to teach her colors, or how to count, or her ABCโ€™s. Heโ€™s not interested in teaching her that we put our toys away or really any other skill.”

    “He did say he let the kids play in the piles of dirty laundry while he cleaned out the closet, so thereโ€™s that.”

    I don’t know that parents really *need* to be so focused on their child’s academic development, trying to teach them things. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but if that is your focus, then something’s gotta give.

    Me, I can’t handle the chaos – it makes me agitated. I think learning to clean, do chores & errands are valuable life lessons and she’ll learn colors somewhere along the way. I also think it’s valuable that she learn that first we work, then we play.

    I am blessed with a very easy kid – a little benign neglect is not going to send her to the ER because she wants to climb the bookcase. She wants to help me do all the grown-up stuff like laundry and cleaning, she is always trying to prove how big she is, how capable she is. I realize I am incredibly lucky and it certainly makes parenting easier.

  15. I am almost positive I suck my “job”. My mother in law comes over for 4 hours one day a week and cleans nearly my ENTIRE house (I’m talking dusting, vacuum, steam mop, laundry, toilets, kitchens EVERYTHING) takes my baby for at least 1 walk (with the dog!) reads approx. 4 books to her, and sometimes even makes me dinner (but only if I have something thawing…) I simply cannot do it. I struggle with this weekly. I honestly feel like I am not good at it.

  16. It’s just like when they are angels and take super long naps for the babysitter. And this is totally going to encourage me to clean out my closet…

  17. Oh my gosh, I must say I am super-duper jealous of you. I know for a fact that (at this point in time) my husband could in no way take care of all three kids for 5 hours, much less 5 days. You have a special guy, though I”m sure you know that.

    Don’t worry, I’m sure your before picture looks like my current closet, hehe!

  18. Dude, frickin men have to steal our thunder! I left my hubs home for like a whole 8 hours and came home to him doing a lot (which is odd because when we’re all home the man ain’t do shit other than messing around on his iPod). The only way I made myself feel better was that we do this ALL the time! 24/7 for life. I think if they were to become full-time stay-at-home dads, they’d get it. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

  19. OMG, this is hilarious. I would feel the same way, because DH would never accomplish all of that amazingness if I were out of town for 5 days! At least, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t… Hmm. Anyway, glad you had a great time in SD. Look forward to attending next year!

  20. To all the women who say that there’s no way her husband could keep this up for more than a week, I have a question.

    Are you saying there’s no way ANYONE can keep a clean house for more than a week with a child around or there’s no way a MAN could do that? Because it definitely seems to be the latter.

      • Maybe it just feels like more of a slam on men since 1) I’m a man and 2) the comments are from women, hence they talk about their husbands.

        Guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today (especially from 2-5 this morning when Isaac thought it’d be GREAT to be awake).

  21. Yay! Way to go Scott! Did you really doubt him? If anyone can do it, it’s him! He was great with Ty. You guys have to come down and visit! So glad you had fun in San Diego and that is also wonderful how you were able to donate your breastmilk!! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! What a gift!

  22. HEHEH I guess I can consider myself lucky that mine can’t get anything done while I’m away. hell he can’t anything done while I’m here and the toddler is sleeping. While it may take me 4 days to complete a cycle of laundry (or more…shhhhhhh) at least I remember the clothes are dirty. I have to be fair though, he does do garbage and dishes, and I don’t always have to remind him what day the pick-up is ;D

  23. Thanks for the early morning laugh! Perfect reading while multitasking trying to get the lil one back to sleep at 4am. My husband will have the house to himself this week…I can on,y hope that the house is better off than when I leave it and the kid is coming with meM

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