When my husband finally said, “Babe, I get it,” we connected on a whole new level of intimacy. For the last five years, I have been a stay-at-home mom with my children. However, like most stay-at-home moms with growing children who are becoming more independent, I decided that I wanted to go back to work.. .or should I say school, but what’s the difference anyway?
I’m currently in an accelerated BSN program, and I could probably write a whole post about deciding to become a nurse during a pandemic. However, I will save that for another occasion. My days and nights are extremely long, with my head shoved in books, and my husband has taken over all the childcare and house-cleaning responsibilities. He is a full-time attorney, so I have to admit that his plate is much fuller than mine when I was home with the kids. However, he never really understood the true intensity of caring for little ones during the day. He was gone all day, walked in the door around 5:30 p.m. to dinner made, and had his few hours of playtime with the kids before they went to bed. He never really seemed stressed around our little ones because it was just playing time with dad most days after work. He wasn’t home all day changing diapers, making meals, folding laundry, and doing all the other nitty-gritty stuff that comes with being a stay-at-home parent. If you have been in the trenches of at-home life with kids, you get it!
When I started this new season of life, my husband decided to work from home while tending to our little ones. We have help from family and babysitters here and there, but he wanted to take the opportunity to be home more with our little ones. I cautioned him by saying, “I know you are capable, but things are a little more chaotic than you think when you’re at home with the kids all day every day. Especially when you are working.” In his most macho voice, he replies, “How hard can it be?” I cringed, and after being married almost nine years, I just let that little comment slide through one ear and out the other.
The reality is, most dads do not ever get a bird’s eye view of the workload that comes with being a stay-at-home mother. You can try to explain it every night at dinner time, but they will never really understand the struggle, that is until they experience it themselves! I walked in the other evening, and I hear my husband yell across the house, “I finally get it!” Get what? I was thinking, but as I looked across a living room scattered with toys and his hair looking a hot mess, I threw my hands up and said, “YESSSSSSSSSSSS! YOU GET IT!” We laughed, I cried a little, and at that moment, I felt a new level of intimacy in our relationship. My husband used to thank me for “holding down the fort” while he was at work, but he never really knew how much effort went into being mom, wife, housecleaner, chauffeur, chef, and all the other roles I played for so many years. Now, he GETS IT, and every day when I come home, I remind him of how grateful I am for his help because I get it, too. Cheers to teamwork and dads who finally acknowledge the struggle.