Text of Kin

“Just not cut out for watching children.”  That was a text I got from my husband the other day.  I won’t repeat what went through my mind and what I may have actually said out loud when I read it.  Since going back to work, Will is in charge of the kids for about 4 hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings.  The other 2 days I telecommute and then there’s the weekend, of course.  So all in all, it’s not a whole lot of time to be on point.  This was only his 5th day doing it.

After I saw that text, I called him, just to make sure nothing horrific or out of the realm of normal was going down.  I heard Stella in the background, playing and intermittently bellowing.  Felix was doing some low-level fussing.  All in all, it sounded like a typical morning.  For whatever reason, Will was struggling with it.  He stated that he thought about getting a second job so that he could pay someone to help watch the kids all the time.  He stated he wished they were older so things would get easier.  I replied something to the effect of “Now you know why I was about to lose my shit after 10 weeks home with it all the time.”  I got crickets.  It made me kind of angry.

I guess part of me is glad that he’s having some problems.  I know that sounds mean as hell, but I sometimes felt a lack of empathy while I was home on maternity leave, and I still sometimes feel it on the days I’m home.  Even on weekends, I’m the one that juggles the kids most of the time while he works on whatever project.  I don’t mean to imply he’s slacking.  He’ll be outside cutting grass or doing some other variation of “man work” I either cannot or don’t want to do.  I’m inside trying to do laundry and vacuum with 2 kids.  I think cutting grass is probably more peaceful.  It’s just a different world.

Will is great with Stella when he’s focused on her and her alone.  He gets short with her when he’s trying to do something else and she’s swirling around which is always.  My husband is NOT good at just sitting with the kids.  And that’s what you have to do.  You can’t get involved with rewiring a circuit board (or whatever the eff you do with a circuit board) or trying to purge the library while you’re in charge.  They require a bit more attention than that.  If you’re lucky, you can read some.  But you’re going to be interrupted over and over and over again.  It’s just what happens.  It’s maddening.  You’re frazzled and feel busy although you can’t do much of anything.  And anything you try to do takes 400 times as long.

Daddy helping with her new Yo Gabba Gabba shoes.  He is a great daddy.

Daddy helping with her new Yo Gabba Gabba shoes. He is a great daddy.


Stella "helping" make the bed.  I'm not sure why inserting her animal collection is helpful.  Nor would I have pegged Brobee as a stomach-sleeper.

Stella “helping” make the bed. I’m not sure why inserting her animal collection is helpful. Nor would I have pegged Brobee as a stomach-sleeper.

Things will get easier as they get older and are able to entertain themselves without covering their hair with paint and glitter.  One day I will definitely look back and pine for them to be little again.  Not every moment is a drag.  Sometimes it’s sweet.  Sometimes it’s funny.  Sometimes it’s damn entertaining.  I know I recognize this.  I worry sometimes that Will doesn’t.

I do get impatient with them.  I get bored.  I get frazzled.  I get stupid having no one to talk to but wee ones and nothing to entertain my brain but reruns of cartoons.  I guess some kind of acknowledgment of “I see now how hard this is” would be nice.  Ultimately, this is probably a very typical mom vs. dad dynamic. It’s only now quite exacerbated since adding the second kid.

Insights, oh wise parents out there?


About larva225

Working mom. Is there any other kind? Geologist. Nerd.
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6 Responses to Text of Kin

  1. my27stars says:

    (I in no way see myself as a “wise” parent, 🙂 I just wanted to respond) I know, as far as Doodle is concerned, when I’m watching a friend’s little one or one of his cousins, the two are actually easier than he is all by his lonesome. While that didn’t start to get easier until he was about a year-ish, hopefully it comes easier for you guys with Felix and Stella both learning to appreciate the specific ways the other can play. And I remember a few times when Doodle was little and Jake had to watch him for an hour or two while I went to school or what have you – I definitely think it’s a working dad thing. He’s an AMAZING dad, but he STILL doesn’t know how I do it all day every day and tells me regularly how he wouldn’t be able to. And that’s with only one. *hugs*

  2. my27stars says:

    Tell him, silly. 🙂 I’ve learned that no matter how many times I tell Jake, “Do this for me or say this to me without me having to ask you when you notice I need it,” he’s just not wired to think like that. I just have to suck up my pride and specifically say to him, “Hey, I just did this and that and it really sucked. Some appreciation or help would be fantastic.” And then he feels all bad because he thinks that whatever he has been saying or doing showed that he really was being appreciative or helpful.

  3. I admire your ability to look at the situation for what it is with taking care of two very young children. It’s strange when I am looking at Facebook posts of my friends who have three young children, and they all look happy and it appears as if the mother has perfect control. However, I know that she is probably only displaying the moments that aren’t anywhere close to utter chaos. Right now Lilah is sitting next to me playing with an app on the iPad, and that is the ONLY reason why I am able to read and reply to this right now. Amazingly enough, she was trained quickly to hit the CANCEL button when asked about in-app purposes. Whenever I feel like it gets too much to bear, like I can not get anything done for the life of me… I remember that some women take care of upwards of 5+ children, and although it can be made easier by the older children helping, it still makes me feel better by putting it into perspective. I feel like a weenie when I complain about taking care of just one two and a half year old. I am just going to try to enjoy her youth as much as I can, because I know that once she hits the teenage years, she will not want to cuddle with me or get piggyback rides. Benefits and drawbacks to every stage of growth! Take care.

  4. boringyear says:

    Before Monkey was born, Hubs thought he wanted to be a stay at home dad. Now he realises that there is no way he could cope day in day out! He’s a great Dad, but his patience just isn’t good enough for more than a couple of hours at a time.

    Also yes to the feeling busy and not actually getting anything done! That drives me nuts.

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