Dad at 40

Fitness, Nutrition, Parenting, and Life

Understanding your Wife’s Challenges

I have a unique situation. I am not quite sure how many men experience the same thing, but I am going to share my perspective. Before I go and do that, let me give you some background. As you may have read, I have an 18 year old son. When he was born, times were a lot tougher (I’ll share more about that in a later posting). I worked and so did his mom. We put him in with a caregiver that watched him for several months. Things were tight and life was not easy.

Fast forward 18 years and I have a very stable career and make a manageable living. My wife went back to work yesterday. I have the luxury of being able to work from home and stay with our son. Plus, his big brother helps out to make sure we are constantly watching him. Thus, I am the one picking up around the house. I do the dishes when needed. I sweep the floors. I do the laundry. Funny enough, as I was flipping through TV channels the other night, Mr. Mom was on the air and I thought to myself that I could finally relate.

As my wife and I discussed it, she looked at me and said she was lucky to have me. I am not saying I do not try to be a good guy, but that came out of left field. So, I asked her why. Well, according to the many parenting blogs and forums she reads, many women discuss their home situations when it comes to raising children and being a domestic engineer. Apparently, many men really lack the understanding of what it means to raise a child and take care of a home. They come home and have the expectation that dinner be cooked and the house be cleaned. Surely, this is not possible in this modern age? But, she swears it is.

So, I am going to say this as a guy who deals with this daily. Guys, if you are the husband with ridiculous expectations of your wife while she raises your children, then lay off her. I get that earning money is hard. Someone has to bring home a paycheck. But, raising a kid is hard too. Babies scream and cry. They find solace only in being held or carried. It is incredibly hard to accomplish anything when they are wanting to be held. If you put them down to sleep, you tip toe around to keep quiet. I swear, I want to stomp the UPS guys for ringing the doorbell and setting off the dogs. Cleaning!? Hardly. It is survival. Dinner? Bread and cold cuts.

This is not to say that there are not some extraordinary women out there who manage all of that. And, I would bet some men. But, the general rule is that parents dealing with a small baby have it pretty hard and we would all be better served if we were more understanding of the parent left at home to deal with our little ones. So, if you are that guy, take a day off and try it on for size. Let your wife just go for 8 or 9 hours and see how you handle it. Put the same expectations on yourself that you have of her.

As a bonafide Mr. Mom, I can tell you, it is a lot harder than it looks and I would gladly trade office duty for home duty any day of the week. In fact, it is my semi-monthly required time to go into the office. I can hardly wait!!



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