Yesterday was one of my easier days as a stay-at-home mom. Naps were on time, we had errands to run and gymnastics class to go to, the house was clean and I even got dinner cooked before Frank arrived home from work. We ate as a family, Frank rocked Ava to sleep as usual and I hit the pillow at 10pm, exhausted as usual. I can barely even remember lying down I fell asleep so fast. Even on a great day, being a stay-at-home mom was exhausting.
"Our husbands just don't get it," as most stay-at-home moms would say. And in my personal opinion, there are far too many articles out there written on the subject. We get it, they don't -- that's all there is to it.
He doesn't get it and he never will because he has never been in my shoes.
But what about him?
He wants to come home and do nothing, absolutely nothing. He wants to sit there and watch tv with no distractions and just relax because he's exhausted. Exhausted from what? Sitting at a desk all day? Well I was running a marathon all day so you couldn't possibly be more exhausted than me, right? I had to smile for hours until my cheeks hurt and talk to a toddler for 10 hours straight with no returned response but you, you got to experience adult conversations, use the restroom whenever you needed to and take a moment to breathe when you needed it. Oh yeah, and that lunch break you were given? I'm sure that was a great refresher.
So you couldn't possibly be more exhausted than me, a stay-at-home mom, right?
We, as stay-at-home moms, just don't get it, just like they don't understand what we do all day. And in all honesty, there are some days I feel like I haven't been able to take a breath and I look back and can't even remember what I did all day long. Does that mean I sat there and twiddled my thumbs? Unlikely. But he didn't just "sit there at a desk" either.
My husband would kill to spend every waking moment with Ava. He would kill to feel that stay-at-home kind of exhaustion I feel. It's different, but it's very real.
He's making a sacrifice for you, for your kids, for your family...and that has to be acknowledged. He's giving you the gift of precious precious memories that he will only get to experience in photographs and cell phone videos. But those moments just aren't the same from behind a screen.
Could you imagine only getting to spend 2 out of 7 full, quality days with your kids? Because I couldn't. And my husband is out there working hour after hour after hour with the burden of keeping our family under a beautiful roof in a wonderful neighborhood, keeping food on the table and giving us the best life he can give us. He is working his butt off to pay for the errands we "have to run," the fun activities we run around to all day long and even down to the air conditioning we're feeling as I get to snuggle my baby for hours during nap time every single day.
That kind of responsibility is mentally exhausting to even think about on top of all of the work responsibilities and tasks he has to do, just like smiling, singing songs, and chasing a toddler from room to room all day is exhausting. But he takes on those responsibilities like the champ that he is and allows ME, the stay-at-home mom, to experience all of these wonderful, exhausting memories with my little Ava Sue. He has given that gift to me and that is one heck of a gift.
My husband would kill to be in my shoes but he has chosen to give me, to give us, this precious gift of being a stay-at-home mom. And to take it a step further, do you realize how many moms out there only dream of being in our position? We're lucky and we're so blessed for that stay-at-home mom exhaustion we get to feel daily.
So for just a moment, let's stop the "he doesn't understand how exhausting it is to be a stay-at-home mom" thing. No, he doesn't. He really has no clue. But we have no clue how it feels to be him either.
So cheers to the amazing working dads out there who work their butts off every single day, sacrificing that special time with their kids so that their wives can be at home. That sacrifice enables me to experience precious moments I will hold on to forever. So I'll take the stay-at-home-mom exhaustion any day.