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Apology To All Stay At Home Moms

daddy-1

I owe an apology to women everywhere, specifically, stay at home moms. A lot of men who think that they are the “bread winners” of a family, have this notion that mothers who stay at home with the kids all day are…in a way…either not pulling their weight or just sitting around, doing nothing the entire day. I’m a bit guilty of this.  In the past, I would often times get agitated with my wife when certain things around the house didn’t get done by the time I got home from work. I was guilty of thinking more than once “it must be nice to sit around all day and watch TV”.

How wrong was I? Dead wrong.

Fast forward a few years. My wife is now the one of us that goes to an office all day, and I’m now the stay at home dad. At First, I thought it would be a breeze and I’d get things around the house on a better, more efficient system. In fact one of the first things I did as a stay at home dad, was completely re-arrange the cabinets and the fridge. I had everything in the fridge lined up, labels facing out, broken down by type of food, condiments, etc. I was extremely proud of myself. Wanna know what my fridge looks like today?

fridge

So I thought it would be easy. I got off to a really good start, and I thought I could carry on that momentum to keeping the house clean, doing laundry, and having dinner on the table when my wife got home from work. Well, I was able to do this for about a week, and now, looking back I’m not entirely sure how it lasted as long as it did.

You see, I never factored in the roadblocks , and daily challenges that come along with being at home with the kids all day long. So, I will break down a more accurate account of my day to show you what I mean:

6:00 A.M: I get up, get my wife coffee, get my son in the shower, get his bag packed, make sure his homework is done, make sure his teeth are brushed.

6:45 A.M: I take my son to the Bus Stop

7:01 A.M: I walk through the door just in time to hear my 3 year old whining and crying, begging for pancakes and juice. She likes to eat breakfast in bed, while watching her shows on TV.

7:02 A.M: She gets her pancakes and Juice and I usually get a thumbs up for approval from my daughter, but not always.

7:15 A.M: I THINK about taking a shower. I can’t.

7:30 A.M: The wife leaves for work.

7:30 A.M9:00 A.M: This block of time is really up in the air. Sometimes I get back in bed with the girls for a while. If I don’t get in bed with them, they get up at 7:30 A.M, and to be honest, I just can’t deal with 2 girls and all the drama that comes with them when they are exhausted beyond belief and cranky by noon because they got up so early. Plus I work every night until midnight and sometimes I need the extra sleep. However it’s not always restful when every 15 minutes I’m being kicked, rolled on, jumped on, headbutted or asked for a pacifier.

9:00 A.M: I get a request (they think I’m a servant from their favorite restaurant called ‘Daddy’s Cafe’) from my 3 year old that she wants “Chicken Nuggets and Juice”. After telling her it’s too early for Chicken and Juice, she immediately throws down a 5 minute tantrum until…*drum roll please: SHE GETS CHICKEN AND JUICE. She leaves me no tip.

9:05 A.M: I try and sit on the couch with my laptop  in a feeble attempt at trying to get some work done.

9:06 A.M: My 18 month old is now eating chicken nuggets and drinking juice while sitting on my head.

daddy4

9:15 A.M: I brush off chicken crumbs from my hair and off of the couch. Sometimes she eats granola bars, and cleaning that up is an entirely different animal.

9:17 A.M: Diaper change

9:20 A.M: I sit back down on the couch.

9:21 A.M: I’m requested to turn on Sponge Bob SquarePants. (The Splinter episode – I like how they request certain episodes now)

10: 30 A.M: The 18 month old naps while the 3 year old watches TV, plays with her toys, and asks me a question every 20 seconds.

10:35 A.M: I finally take a shower.

10:45 A.M: Diaper Change (The stinky kind)

11:00 A.M12:00 P.M: I manage to sit down and get a few things done for work.

* NOTE: It is now NOON and not one ounce of housework has been done.

12:0012:30 P.M: The kids eat lunch, surprise more chicken! while I do a modest attempt at trying to keep the kitchen clean while cooking their 7 course meal.

12:30 P.M2: 00 P.M: I finally get to clean the kitchen and do some laundry. If I’m lucky I get to pick up some of the 19,000+ toys and blocks laying on the living room floor. I’m super lucky if I can get through the living room without stepping on one of those extremely sharp toys that Toy companies think are safe to sell to children. It’s like walking through a landmine, in a house full of hostile terrorists.

2:00 P.M2:30 P.M: I get the girls dressed so we can walk down to the bus stop. Yes, THEY ARE STILL IN THEIR PAJAMAS.

2:303:00 P.M: The girls play at the Bus Stop waiting for their brother to get off the bus.

3:004:00 P.M: The girls lay down for naps, my son goes to his room. The kitchen is a disaster again from him getting out snacks and exploring the cabinets. Sometimes I manage to take this hour for myself to catch up on some work, but not always.

4:00 5:00 P.M: I referee my son and daughter from arguing and fighting over various, pointless issues including territory of the house.

My Son: “Dad get SYD out of my room, she’s touching my important stuff!”

Daughter: “No I’m not”

Son: “Yes you are Syd, you are touching all my important computer stuff and making noises!”

Me: “Sydney are you making noises?”

Daughter: Nods her head.

Me: “Why, are you just trying to annoy him?”

Daughter. giggles. “yes”.

5:00 P.M6:00 P.M: I help my son with his homework, clean the house, sweep the floors, cook dinner.

6:00 P.M: Wife gets home, and we eat dinner. Most days I’m too exhausted to go into much detail of how the day went, and sometimes I’m so frustrated I eat dinner on the front porch, alone.

NOTE: This is on a GOOD day. Every given day is different. I didn’t add in the sick days, the 1 hour melt downs, the various random messes, the errands, the castles I have to build out of blocks, the shampoo I have to clean off the floor, the dish-washing detergent that I have to clean out of the dog’s water dish, refolding the clean laundry that the kids have strung all over the house, the pee puddles that I have to clean up from when the baby rips off her diaper and pees on the kitchen floor, the baths I have to give mid-day because one of them thought it would be funny to splash around in a mud puddle, the re-hanging of curtains that the kids have ripped from the walls, putting drawers back into the dressers that they’ve pulled out and slid around the house like cars, and so forth and so on.

So whomever gets home from work, if its the husband or the wife, they have no idea what their spouse has been through during the day. The other day for example, my wife gets home from work and I’m outside in the driveway letting the girls play, it was a beautiful day and I was sitting in a lawn chair just watching the girls. She gets out of the car and asks “what about dinner”. I told her that I was waiting for her to get home so the girls could play outside and she looks at me and says, and I quote:

“what is going on with you lately?”

REALLY!?!? I just spent 12 hours with 3 monsters all day long and I take a few minutes to myself to get some fresh air and when my wife gets home that’s the first thing I hear???

So, in closing, I sincerely apologize to any and every woman I’ve ever said anything negative about, or joked about in regards to being a stay at home mom. It’s not easy. In fact it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. Sure it has it’s moments, but it is a very challenging, very stressful job that is all held together, for most women at least, by a good bottle of wine.

And for those of you that have no idea, check out this home video I created:

Sincerely,

A Stay At Home Dad,

Daddy Fishkins
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If you liked this blog post check out ‘The Lost Art of Changing A Diaper’, another fan favorite.


Mike, AKA Daddy Fishkins, is the original bipolar stay at home rockstar dad who is lucky enough to have the 3 most wonderful kids and the most beautiful wife to ever walk planet earth.


748 comments
colokiwimom
colokiwimom

This is an awesome account of a day at home with the kids!  I have been both a working parent and a stay-at-home parent...although now that my kids are 9 and 11, I get more time out so I call myself a stay-outside-mom.  My house doesn't get cleaned and the dishes don't get done on time, but I'm so much happier this way.  Hubby has also stayed home with the kids so he doesn't seem to complain about it (who knows what he is actually thinking though!).  We don't all have the same parenting strategy, but at the end of the day, the kids are well, happy, loved and fed, clothed, mostly washed, etc.  That should be all that matters.  I would call unsolicited advice-giving as arrogant rather than ignorant.  Many are well meaning people, but they need to see the world work in their own way.  I am the one who ignores what they say, so call me ignorant ;)

melleluckylu
melleluckylu

Hi. I'm from Germany and sorry, my English is not that good.. Your story is in the "Focus" here in Germany and I love it! To read that a man is having the same troubles as I.. Really, thank you! I would like to see my husband after a day you wrote about.. If I am telling him how my day has been, he really asks me "this is all?" Or he is coming home and asks "what have you done the hole day?" and it sounds every time like "why isn't all the homework done?"

Hold your head high,you will make it. Sounds like you love your family and this is the most important point.

ClaireElizabethLewis
ClaireElizabethLewis

Brilliant!  Wish I could swap with my Husband for a week so I can have a rest & he can appreciate how hard it can be!

stephconkle
stephconkle

Well written and much agreed! More "breadwinners" need to read this.

Nikki Atkinson
Nikki Atkinson

Way to go dad, I never get a shower in unless I can get all the kids down for a nap at the same time, or I gotta shower with them. It's so hard being a stay at home parent! Your doing a great job though. Keep up the good work.

Roberta Selleck
Roberta Selleck

I'm lucky enough to be home every summer with my kids as I'm a teacher. I say lucky because I don't have to pay a sitter and I get to spend quality time with my two awesome kids. Now that the kids are older (7 and 9), it is soooo much easier than when they were toddlers. Now, we just struggle with the I'm bored factor and can we please watch TV for 8 hours a day and play on some form of electronics for the other 4 or 5. Oh, and can I please have another snack even though I didn't finish my lunch just 20 minutes ago! :) Posts like these make me smile because they show that everyone struggles and we all share in self-doubt and the craziness of raising kids. Keep plugging away and thanks for sharing!

PaulandKymberlie Rains
PaulandKymberlie Rains

Yay for u dad!!!! Thankfully even though I am a SAHM my husband is very active with our children and watch them while I do other things so he knows what it's like and mixed with his down to earth laid back mature I don't have to worry about that :) as far as anyone judging who cares I myself don't let my baby's watch sponge bob but that's me and everyone is different and as long as your kids are loved and happy who cares!!!!! Thank u for posting this and for those out there who think they know it all I'd hate to be in your home because those who can't admit reality and try to hide behind false things and judgments u are probably not as happy as u could be and if u hold yourself to such unrealistic standards I'd hate to see what standards u hold your kids to! This man sounds like he has a happy home!!!

Lori Terrell
Lori Terrell

OMG... you took a shower before NOON? YAY DAD!

Erin Journell Lunsford
Erin Journell Lunsford

Oh did someone forget to mention all this when you had kids? I know that they sure as he!! Didn't tell me. All I can say is welcome.

Zulejka Javersek
Zulejka Javersek

Thanks for writing this. It's funny how our spouses criticize us stay-at-home-people, but when you once in a blue moon leave THEM alone with kids for just a couple of hours, boy do you get home to a warzone - and a very cranky spouse, too!

Tessa Hanna
Tessa Hanna

I absolutely love this..it's all true. Just when you think you have it something else is thrown at you and it changes with the changing kids. Each age group brings different messes and interruptions...it's the hardest job out there.

Sarah Parker
Sarah Parker

Daddy Fishkins...Thank you for so perfectly explaining what it's like to be the stay-at-home parent. I only wish I could get my husband to understand instead of just saying, " I know it's hard" yet still making me feel like a failure. I want to be supermom & superwife but instead I just end up feeling upset and unappreciated. Let me throw in that I LITERALLY live on a farm next to my in-laws who get to judge me everyday and assume I do nothing while their son "works so hard, he has too much stress on him". He is stressed but I guess I'm not! Anyway, love your blog and hope to keep reading your truths!!

Stevi Hughes
Stevi Hughes

I wish my husband could understand this. Instead he thinks all u do us nap, play with our son, and cook a few days a week. Every time he has the baby while I'm gone for a couple hiurs, he cleans the house spotlessly and doesn't understand how I can't do that same thing when I'm home Alllll day. I hope one day he will understand.

Kirsty Coltman
Kirsty Coltman

So understand I had twin girls then 3 years later had another girl then 18 months later had another girl. So 4 under 5 and if I got a shower it was a good day. My girls are lovely and are quiet smart my house maybe not the cleanest but every morning and every night I get a I love you and some time I get a I'm pretty. And if laudry is adding up who cares there is always tomorrow

Becsta Baxter
Becsta Baxter

It is lovely to hear this come from a man. I am a single.mum.of two boys now aged 10 and 11. I raised them on my own and worked or studied through these years on top of having the responsibility of house work and running the house. every home and family cope different and some parents are blessed with children who are not jumping off the ceiling. You were very brave to write this blog, as II'm.sure.most men just refuse to look deeper.into.how.hard it really is. Thankyou again it is wonderful to read such honesty. all the best, and just know it does get easier as time goes on. a little hint is to get them into a routine and structure, so you can get things done :-)

Ashleigh Fuller
Ashleigh Fuller

A shower?! Lucky duck! Haha My 2 yr old is like having 4 kids in one. He loves throwing toys at his brother or yours truly. Loves getting on the back of the couch and using my pregnant tummy as a trampoline. Won't leave his clothes or diaper on so I totally hear you on the human waste messes! I have an almost 7 yr old who loves to pick on the younger one...and a daughter due end of September. My husband? He works 12 hr days, but on his days off...He is more of a disaster than I am by the end! Lol

Sia Lewis
Sia Lewis

Daddy F ishkins apology accepted, stay posting because in itself is therapy....

Jean B. Brudd
Jean B. Brudd

Great article. Love your sense of humor. No need to defend yourself. Some people live to judge and criticize others. That way they don't have to face their own shortcomings.

Melinda Brady
Melinda Brady

Its great to see you have the opportunity to be a stay at home dad. Every dad should get that chance but some just have to work long hours to keep family going. Does not matter if mum or dad running a house it is draining and rewarding. But you never truly understand what the stay at home parent goes through till you try it. I love that you have written this it is a great read. And I bet your kids love you for all the times you jump for there demands. Lol

Susan Spurlin
Susan Spurlin

Thank you for that. I was a stay at home mom for 20 years and have felt and experienced everything you described. It's nice to be appreciated.

Erin TinyLady Wolfe
Erin TinyLady Wolfe

This is just what I needed to read. My husband told me today that I did not do everything around the house & that saying I did was a complete joke. I'm 7 and a half months pregnant with my first child. We have custody of his 5 year old from a previous marriage. Her mother is not really in the picture & her father isn't really the disciplinarian, so she's very much a problem child. On top of those things, I have a lot of pregnancy related health problems & 8 pets to take care of all day. I'm not saying I'm super mom, but I somehow manage to keep this house from falling apart & when he comes home from work, house is clean & dinner is on it's way to the table. Most days I don't even get to leave the house because I'm stuck on the phone, doing things for him. He has no idea how hard it is. So I have decided to actually just sit around & watch tv all day. The only thing I've done today is take care of my animals & do my own laundry. Ha!

Victoria Lozano
Victoria Lozano

I love this! The most difficult and rewarding job in the world <3

Amanda Myers Holiedy
Amanda Myers Holiedy

Love this! Thanks for the apology and thank you for writing this blog. I shared it. I wish you the best of luck to your family!!!

Gail Sparrow
Gail Sparrow

I applaud you for penning this letter, It isn't easy being a stay at home parent and never will be, you are right....it is a long exhausting day and come around 2pm all you want to do is close your eye's for 10min to re-charge your batteries. But of course that is just something we wish for that doesn't happen! ......It's one hell of a roller coaster ride being home all day........but hey..... those up's and down's can be so rewarding! lol! ........Good luck, I think you are doing a great job!

Kelly Anne Qualters
Kelly Anne Qualters

Good luck dude... Welcome to the stay at home parent world.... How did you manage to squeeze in the shower?

Shannon Lister
Shannon Lister

Omg I agree completely. Execpt sometimes I get to watch about 10 mins of tv.

Chantal King
Chantal King

Well done Daddy Fishkins :-) Love the letter :-) Your day is similar to mine and many others, and thats ok :-) I have 5 kids and it can be a an organised messy mad house lol. ignore the "expert" parents.. no one is an expert.. and their house is likely in the same shambles.. just too proud to admit it :-)

Sandy Bennett-Sayer
Sandy Bennett-Sayer

Thank you Daddy Fishkins for the validation! I was a stay at home Mom, worked part time evenings and weekends and provided daycare during the week to other working families to help contribute to our finances. My husband didn't fully understand how much time and energy was invested in finding a balance parenting 24/7 (Men's brains are wired differently). Staying at home to raise a family is not a privilege...it requires devotion, perseverance and financial sacrifice. Toughest job I ever had and my best accomplishment ~ Now I'm parenting my parents!

Amber Atkinson
Amber Atkinson

Awesome! Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's great to hear how stay at home dads handle the same challenges as stay at home mums. Job well done, daddy!

Jennifer Warner
Jennifer Warner

It's nice to have a stay at home dad see the daily things mothers go through. He's right, it'seems not easy, especially being a single parent either. I give you props for sincerely apologizing!!! :-)

Ju Stine
Ju Stine

I get this, but at the same time there's some things in here that are ridiculous, such as giving into the chicken nuggets at 9am. Your kids don't run the show here.....

Beth Choate Ward
Beth Choate Ward

It doesn't get any easier when they are older either!! I have teens and young adults and a husband. I am disabled but everything anyone wants done gets handed down to me. I have to make phone calls, run errands, clean house, cook supper, drive people to doctor's appointments, babysit my grandson, schedule repairmen and sit and wait for them all day. I wish I wasn't disabled and could work again! I did not know how good I had it! BTW... you are doing a great job!

Kristy Archibald
Kristy Archibald

My partner works Fly In, Fly Out so he's away from home Monday to Friday. Thankfully he has spent enough time with the monkeys when he's home to appreciate the fact that he gets to fly away to peace & quiet and for those most part I'm glad he isn't home messing up our routine... It can make for a looooong week without much of a break though! At least I'm not under a lot of pressure to go to work & 'be productive'!

Rebeckah Jefferson
Rebeckah Jefferson

I was just wondering how he could clean the house, cook dinner in 1 hour? That's amazing! If the parent cooks food from scratch, double or triple that time!

Debi Speed
Debi Speed

I have one question in my mind. What did daddy do for a living before mommy became the bread winner?

Kerry White
Kerry White

I feel your pain and appreciated the laugh I got from reading this....

Dana Clark
Dana Clark

Kids pull curtains off walls & draws out of dressers?? Can't say any of the kids in my family, nieces & nephews included, would get away with even the idea of that sort of behaviour. As a single mum who works full time & does all of the above as well I say cheers for the laugh..

Kristen Cavender
Kristen Cavender

THANK YOU...and an even bigger thank you for writing something so accurate, clever, and funny that it went viral. Now maybe I won't have to continue to justify to idiots who ask what do I do all day

Megan Diveley
Megan Diveley

I would be embarrassed to admit these things , and you act as though you should be commended!? You admit that on GOOD DAY you often go back to bed and sleep until 9:30, after which you put your babies in front of tv all day with chicken nuggets for breakfast, and they are still in their pajamas at 2:30? You are claiming that you now know how hard stay-at-home moms have it? I have three children that I homeschool, while also working as a birth Doula, and attending school for midwifery, and I wouldn't admit to this negligence unless I had the flu or some other debillitating illness. Your wife might want to rethink who stays at home with the children. Good grief.

Suze HQ
Suze HQ

Good on you hun being a stay at home dad! Hard job trying to discipline a child never mind toddlers who have no comprehension of right and wrong. Keep up the gd work! Xxx

Jodi Dolbel
Jodi Dolbel

WOW! I envy your children! After 23 years being the stay at home Mum, my hubby is now that house wench! Mind you one is living 1200kms away and the other is 24. Even without little children he has certainly seen things from the other perspective. We both worked from home during our at home phase too, so there was that to factor in. My brother is a stay at home Dad and his kids are so awesome, so grounded.. They are out and about playing outside and doing things that Mum wouldn't do with the kids like building BMX tracks and jumps in the back yard, having cross country races! Keeping them fit and healthy which is what I see the priority in parenting is. Keeping the kitchen clean I think is the least important job and one I wished I learnt when I was at home with my little babies. I wish I took less time to clean the damn house and more time pushing them on the swing or reading to them in bed. Your kids will grow up having such a great relationship with you! Your so lucky to have this opportunity! Keep up the great work. Have loved reading your blog.

Sintrell Bryant
Sintrell Bryant

This by far is one the best and most realistic blog about the life of a stay at home parent. Life always throws curve balls, but we just do our best....but you better have that dinner ready next time. Lol

Holli Messenger
Holli Messenger

Thanks for sharing ur world. Ur kids and wife are lucky to have u. I couldn't wait to go back to work when my twin boyz turned 4 months old. Stay at home parents have the hardest jobs in the world, hands down.

Karen Lebedzinski Clement
Karen Lebedzinski Clement

Remembering the days that I poured one cup of coffee in the morning and didn't finish it until dinner time! It does get easier and actually kind of boring...two out of college and two in college now. Enjoy the craziness-quiet comes too soon!

Tracy Crosley
Tracy Crosley

I am appalled and disgusted at the amount of women in the comments who think they should judge and give unwanted, unsolicited parenting advice. I have had my share of people who tried to give me advice I didn't ask for about an issue I was having with my child(ren). The point of the article was to give people a glimpse into a day in the life of a stay-at-home parent and to offer some advice about not passing judgement on those that do the hardest job in the world. Everyone can look at other's children and think to themselves, "if it were my child, I would ______". Just remember there are others who will judge you just as harshly. Being a stay-at-home parent should cause you to empathize with the enormous amount of unexpected obstacles that children can throw at you in a single day, not judge them and add a reply as to why and how you are better at the job. That is the dilemma he is facing because he regularly judged his wife about how he could do the job better. Sadly, it seems, the ones passing the harshest judgement are the ones doing the same job. So you think you are doing a better job as a stay-at-home parent? Guess what?? Nobody cares until your child's misbehavior is made public. Try keeping your unsolicited advice to yourself and simply empathize with the struggle this parent is enduring. Judging other parents doesn't help people to relate and understand the struggles of this job. Be careful in your judgement. Karma is a bitch that will find a way to use your judgemental, unsolicited advice to bite you in the ass someday.

Jes Cooper
Jes Cooper

Great job Dad! I've been a stay at home mom for a little over a year now &other than having no "me" time I love doing it! Enjoy your time with your little ones :)

Amber Mask
Amber Mask

Props for hitting the nail on the head. As a mother of four and adding more...being a stay at home parent is not for the feint of heart. The critics with degrade you for the tv watching and the random acrs of chaos from the children, but the truth it, kids are kids and should be allowed to be so. Sounds like you're doing a great job, dad. Welcome to fight, soldier and in there. One day you'll look back and miss the war.