I read another blog by a stay at home Mom the other day. She did a whole post on how difficult she was finding it to balance staying at home all day with crazy, tiring children without just fobbing them off on her husband when he got home from work, because he is obviously buggered after a whole day of work too. Since reading this post I have been wondering how we manage to get through our “suicide hour” – which for us is mostly from 5 till 8, so suicide hour is misleading, maybe it should be massacre time?! To harsh? I don’t think so…
To put it all in to perspective. I am a half working mom, but a half stay at home mom too. I work during the day as an Operations Manager which can be very taxing in a brain use kind of way. Constantly dealing with people who need me for my knowledge – that sounds like I’m bragging, I’m totally not. Then I get home at 2 o’clock to 2 kiddo’s under the age of 3, heck, they might as well be twins. This is has its own taxing quality, because for every second thereafter I am watching, listening, preparing, lifting, cuddling, feeding, bathing, disciplining, comforting, entertaining, teaching, cleaning and separating them (from killing each other). I am needed in a completely different aspect of my persona, and by the time Seth gets home we are all a little frazzled. Not to mention that it is time for my “wife” facet to emerge with a smile!
Sometimes I feel like he should take them off my hands for a bit so that I can have a break and unwind for a bit – like it’s his duty. But this thinking doesn’t take into account the day that he has had. He is also in demand at work, from all sides. Teaching the new program to his colleagues, participating in meetings and then just getting to all the drawing work that he is supposed to do. I totally get that. For a long time we had a bit of unbalanced expectations of what we expected from each other. Especially because he was also working quite late, it just aggravated an already delicate situation.
I am glad to say that we seem to have come to some kind of understanding. It is in no way close to perfection, but it could never be – we are just human after all. But these few things have helped us get it right, for the most part, in our home:
* I try and bath and feed the kids before Seth gets home. This eliminates me getting agro when he takes “forever” ( 5 minutes late) to get home. It also means that the girls are happier, get to go to bed closer to the ideal time of 7 and the time that Seth spends with them is a nice, chilled out time.
* We have recently redone our lawn in our back garden. (More on that in a separate post – but believe me, my kitchen floor thanks me – it’s never been so sand/dirt free). This does mean that we have to water the garden every day – and by we, I mean Seth, to avoid the beautiful new grass dying in our South African heat. This is now cutting right into the “home time with girls” situation in the evenings (because he wants to make sure he does gardening stuff in the light, because of the gecko’s that are out to get him). But now he takes them outside with him which frees me up a bit. I do it in the light so I can pick up the dogs pooh without stepping in it. And I’m so not afraid of geckos! Pft, I’m a man!
* Although I don’t “relax” in this time, because I am preparing everything for the girls bedtime routine, like the bottles, their beds, books to read and dummies and everything, it is still a little break away from screaming little people. Not that they scream all the time, but it’s nice to not have to be on guard for a couple of minutes.
We are both involved in getting the kids to sleep, with each of us taking one and putting them to sleep (not in the ominous way that you would put a dog “to sleep”, in the loving way that you would cuddle a baby to sleep – if they let you). Whoever finishes first normally feeds the dogs, then we eat and flop on the couch for the rest of the evening. Which let me tell you, is the best thing since well anything ever in the whole world!
Okay, mini Seth Blog time:
When I read Cindy’s posts like this I always have a voice in the back of my head saying ” Stop complaining, people might think we are ungrateful!” Which may be the truth for some readers, but I’m sure most understand that we are sharing our struggles to show that it’s human to feel this way. Hiding these feelings only makes people feel like they are the worst parents in the world, and everyone else is doing just fine. So don’t see it as complaining but rather just sharing. Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it’s the greatest thing I will ever do. There is a reason God made us His children, it’s the most rewarding thing someone can do. (So says a 27 year old)
Right, so I think I’ve used up about 4 blogs worth of text here.
Do you struggle with a “suicide hour”? How do you get through it?