Moms Have a Harder Job Than Dads
“Moms have a harder job than dads,” said my husband to my son this morning. Right before my eyes. But I don’t necessarily agree.
I wake up every weekday morning at 6:00 AM, hit the snooze button a few times, and then finally roll out of bed around 6:30. After a pit stop, some stretches, and a gentle nudging of the children in hopes of releasing them from the clutches of their sweet slumber, I zombie-walk downstairs to make coffee, snarfle something to eat, make the kids’ and Stewart’s lunches, throw the laundry in the dryer, load the dishwasher, pour the cereal and milk, pick up a bunch of junk off the floor, and then go back upstairs to get dressed, do my additional stretches, wash my face and brush my teeth, and then come back downstairs to get Kyle and walk to school.
Stewart gets up at exactly the same time as I do. He makes a cup of tea in the microwave and sits quietly on the couch, staring into space while it steeps for a few minutes. Then he gets his tea and sits back down on the couch, staring quietly into space as he sips the tea.
Meanwhile, I am walking back and forth, picking up stuff, moving things, making lunches. This morning I tripped over his shoes which he had left in the middle of the floor despite the fact that I placed a basket in the corner of the room for the boys to put their shoes in.
A while ago I observed this juxtaposition of our morning activity and fumed inside. I remember slapping together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a bitchy commentary running in my brain. How can he just SIT there while I am doing all this work? Doesn’t he see how I am not resting for one second while he leisurely sits there drinking his tea, enjoying his hot beverage, and I literally only get one hot sip of my coffee per day?
I kept my bitching to myself, knowing better. Over time I have come to accept that this is just the way we both are. I know that if I ask Stewart to help me in the morning, he will. Eventually. I understand that it takes him a bit longer to wake up and get moving.
This morning Kyle had joined him on the couch. The two of them simply sat there together while I went through my regular motions. I did make a comment, noting that Kyle seems to be inheriting Stewart’s morning inertia. Stewart turned to Kyle and said “Moms have a harder job than dads.”
It was nice to have that acknowledgement, but I don’t necessarily agree. For us, at least, it’s about the differences between our attitudes. Stewart doesn’t really care about the mess that piles up around us when we neglect household duties, unless it extends to the yard and garden, or it means that he can’t find something he needs and I’m not here to find it for him. I, on the other hand, cannot be peaceful in a messy house. I find it difficult to work amid a chaotic space, piled high with papers, junk, and things that are out of place.
When I came back from Hawaii on Sunday morning, I dreaded the state the house would be in, but I knew I had only myself to blame. If I don’t keep up the routine for one day – one mealtime, even – it all goes to hell. The trip was an indulgence for me even if it was a work trip, so I brought it upon myself. When I arrived back at the house I was delighted to find that things weren’t that bad, and I only spent a few hours straightening up to get back to normal. I did skip grocery shopping, however, so guess who’s been eating non-perishable foods for the last few days?
I’m still catching up on laundry, that great fabric beast that ebbs and flows relentlessly, so of course I was going back and forth with the loads this morning as Stewart looked on. At least, after I asked him (twice), he finally put his shoes in the basket.Pin It