I work while my husband stays home with our kids. Recently, my husband needed to help out with his family’s business. So I took the day off to stay home with the kids. It 100% never occurred to me that being home on a weekday would be any different than being home in the evenings or on weekends.
The day I stayed home there were 3 homemade meals on the table. I got my son off to school and back again. I kept the laundry and dishes caught up. My kids got the recommended daily amount of physical activity, unstructured play with classical music playing in the background, and were read to. I even squeezed in a workout and shower for myself.
I was the perfect stay at home mom for the day. . . but I was exhausted.
In fact, I was exponentially more exhausted than my usual level of exhausted. With full confidence, I know that if I had stayed home the next day too it would have been a completely different day. I assure you copious amounts of frozen waffles and screen time would have been involved.
Even if I hadn’t gone full blown super SAHM for the day I still would have been wiped out. I know this solely based on how many times I located lost items and refilled snacks. There’s just no way to keep up that stamina.
It’s funny what people adjust to as their normal though. My husband was more tired than usual too. When he got back home that day, he said, “I don’t know how you do it everyday. Oh and the traffic!”
Don’t get me wrong. I pitch in and do my share when it comes to the household duties. On typical weekdays though when I get home from work, dinner is already on the table and the house is clean. I knew this before, but our role reversal that day made me realize it. Since things with the house are taken care of by my husband through the day it means I get to unwind with the family or help with homework or do anything else besides worry about the house. It means I get to focus on my family when I’m home from work.
No matter what our typical roles are, this parenting gig can get tiring. It was good for my husband and I to walk in each others shoes for a day. It renewed our appreciation of what we do to keep our house and family running. Also, I’m going to tell you what I told a group of my stay at home mom friends.