With Clay starting preschool, our morning routine has gotten more complicated. Instead of one drop off we now have two (five miles apart), we have to pack him a lunch and we need to leave the house earlier.
I was saying goodbye to the kids today when Chase asked me to get them some milk. I told him that I needed to leave (I go in early so I can get home earlier) and he would have to do it, to which he responded that some of our male friends “don’t have to deal with these types of routines in the mornings.” Trying not to sound snappy, I replied, “well, their wives work part-time.” I know that being home with kids part time and working part time still equals a full-time job (or more), but they have a bit more flexibility than I do in the mornings. This is not to say they have it easy and I have it so hard. It’s a personal decision and we all try to make the best choices we can for our family.
I know he didn’t mean to snap at me. Between the change in our routine and exhaustion from Avery’s odd sleeping habits lately, it is easy to feel frustrated. I have felt it too this week.
I realize my career would not work for my family, if it weren’t for Chase. I breastfed my kids, so clearly Chase could not help with that. He did however, bathe them and play with them. He fed them baby food and now makes meals for them. He changed diapers and now convinces Avery that going potty is fun. He doesn’t do laundry, but that is because I’m afraid he’ll mix up my carefully organized drawers and then it will just take me more time to redo it. So I do that. I make doctor’s appointments and pay our bills. He does yard work. I grocery shop. He takes Clay to swim lessons. I take Avery shoe shopping. Working parents have a lot to juggle, and in our house, it really is a team effort.
Team parenting is a relatively new concept. As was common in the 70s and 80s, both of our dads worked and our moms did housework and cooked. My mom said my dad was very helpful and hands on when he was home and that doesn’t surprise me. I know he would be so proud of the dad Chase has become, helping to make life easier for me and more fun for the kids. He’s pretty great and I know I’m lucky. Now if only he would put away his shoes and empty the dishwasher, he would be perfect…