My husband is terribly computer illiterate. He’s the first one to admit it. He’s a stellar plumber, can unplug your bog and change over your cooktop in brilliant fashion. Google Tits? Sure. Email through his timesheet each week? Not so much.
Hey, I don’t mind, I can’t install a shower or hook up a gas hot water system so I figure we’re square.
But the brilliant Yvette over at Happy Child suggested I write a blog about the day in the life of my husband. So I started to think about it. About how it being 2010 and all, he’s not a father in name only. How, because I work 4 days a week, we have pretty much equal care and responsibility of our three children and all the duties that come along with that.
So, what I really need to do here is put myself in his shoes. Something I feel will be a big eye-opener for me.
Phil get’s up at 4:30am each morning. He starts work at 7:30am. Why so early? Well, he works across the border at Tweed Heads. They are an hour ahead of us for 6 months of the year with Day Light Savings. Plus, we live an hour away from the border. On top of that, he’s just a super early bird and he really likes watching Benny Hinn. Kidding, he just detests being late.
So already, I’ve got 2 more hours sleep up my sleeve than him. I’m still dreaming when he kisses me on the nose and closes the door quietly behind him.
The next 8 or so hours of his day are like that of anyone else’s who works. He goes, he works, he clocks off. So far, so standard.
From there, he goes back up Bottleneck Alley, aka, the M1 and picks up Sam from afterschool care. Then across the road to the kindy, and grabs Jack. From there, he travels a good 11 or so Km’s and picks up Maddison from afterschool care. (Yes, we have three children at three different places of education, smart I know) By the time he gets through the front door, it’s around 4:30pm.
The kids of course, are feral. They are hungry. They want a million things. I of course, am still at work.
Yet, 4 afternoons out of 5, I return home, and there are three squeaky clean children sitting around the dinner table patiently waiting for Mum to walk through the door to share and eat the dinner prepared or obtained by their dad.
And we do. Jack of course, will refuse to eat his dinner. And Maddison will polish off the lot. And Sam will be coerced into eating two more big mouthfuls of peas and meat.
Phil then prepares the lunches while I wash up and help Sam with his homework. He'll put on a load of washing, I'll clean out he kitty litter. He'll tidy, I'll hang out the washing.
Then we duke it out over who puts Jack to bed. Putting Jack to bed is easier than it sounds, but it also fraught with many exasperating returns to his room. To give him a drink of water. To wipe his bum. To clean up water from his floor. To hear about his day, one more time. To retrieve skelegton from his wedged position from the side of his bed. You name it, he will find the reason to haul us back in.
Phil will then sit on the couch or stretch on the yoga ball or sometimes he’ll play tennis with some mates.
So, yeah, that’s his day. I look at that and recognise the fact he does a lot. This is how we work. We’ve got to otherwise we,as a family, will stop. It's taken ten years to get to a point where this is "natural" for us and please don't get me wrong, it's by no means a perfect situation.
Part of me is constantly wondering when he’ll simply call bullshit on me. The other part is now realising I need to appreciate that we’ve found our groove, we are equally responsible and we just need to go with it.
So how do you juggle?