Lisa is in California visiting family and I’m home solo with the boys.
Four days as a “single” dad is interesting because I always think things will be different with just me running the show. Some ways they are, some they aren’t.
I’m certainly not the stereotype dad that lets the kids stay up late and eat junk food. We’ve established a good night time routine and regular diet for the boys that I like to stick to. But things are definitely more messy.
Lisa is amazing in how she keeps our home clean. It’s a labor of love, as she wants a clean home and enjoys providing that for her family. But with her gone I realize how much a super clean house isn’t that big of a deal to me.
Last night when the boys went to bed I did the dishes and wiped the table down from dinner. But I left the play area a wreck, and didn’t vacuum the crumbs around the table. I also didn’t wipe down the counters. These are things she usually takes care of.
While I absolutely appreciate the immaculate house my wife gives us, I realize the level of cleanliness is beyond what I need to feel comfortable in my home. Hopefully when she’s back this discovery will allow her to relax a bit more.
Aside from simple things like cleanliness, I’m getting more of a glimpse into Lisa’s everyday life. She’s a stay-at-home mom and her life revolves around our children. The schedule, pace, and workload of two toddlers is much different than my daily work at a desk.
I think as dads we believe we know what our wives go through when we take the kids for a couple hours, or maybe overnight. But those little jaunts into parenting solo don’t paint the whole picture. Doing it day in and day out is where it can get grueling.
It’s not just caring for children by making meals, doing baths, and playing with them. But it’s cleaning the house, doing the dishes, grocery shopping, doing a Target run for all the household items, and more.
Of course this is all while having two little boys in tow.
Somewhere in there my wife will also randomly vacuum the car out or decide to wash all the curtains. Who thinks of that? She even reorganized the garage one day “because it needed it.”
Men, do we appreciate all that our wives do for our family? Do we notice all the little things that get done?
I thought I’d walked a mile in her shoes, but it’s really about half a block.
It’s obvious Lisa works hard. But without her around I’m always taken back by how hard she works, and I want to keep this perspective when she returns.
In the same way she encourages me by telling me she notices my efforts, I hope to do that for her.
Empathy is a powerful thing.
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