Firstly, I titled this blog post “Daddy Day Care” but I hate that. It’s not Daddy day care he is the parent as much as me. He’s not babysitting when looking after his OWN kids. He took our baby for coffee and breakfast and had old women fawning over him. Like seriously. As if he was some superstar. Nope just a Dad, same as a Mum. However, these past few weekends when we have been flying solo in the parenting sense as we have both been away, I have noticed some fudemental differences in the way Mummy and Daddy do things. Different outlooks if you like.
My 3 days going it alone were rigorous. AND I ROPED IN MY MUM AND DAD. The relief of Daddy coming through the door never came for 3 nights and I was exhausted/ pissed off. (I.e jealous he was sunning it up and I was ‘stuck’ at home with the babies). The boys were fine- nothing out of the ordinary. Except Saturday night when they both decided to want me at 1am and wail. Could of been the arrival of another tooth? Could of been a gassy tummy, or just simply missing Daddy. No one was more than Mummy that’s for sure. I had that horrible “can’t split myself in two” moment. The toddler wanting me to get in his bed and cuddle and the baby wanting me to walk him around the landing to settle down. Answers on a postcard as to how to manage that one. I jumped in and out of beds more times than the cast of Geordie Shore. In the end we all attempted getting in one bed. Sunday morning we were all bleary, dishevelled messes. Roll on Daddy getting home.
My husbands experience was a lot calmer. Maybe due to my sudden sleep training with Xander which worked in 3 days just in time for my exit to Menorca. But mostly they were calmer because he is a bloody good Dad. He smashed it. Breezed it. Made it look easy. ENJOYED IT. I am yet to find anything that man can’t do and I have to say it is slightly annoying.
The boys were dressed immaculately, stylishly everyday. He sent me pictures and FaceTimed me with evidnece. Exhibit A- A gorgeous smiley toddler with the most amazing blazer and white skinny jeans. They went to a birthday party. Exhibit B- a perfectly wrapped present. They went to the barbers. Exhibit C- The toddler looking like a model. How was he managing this? He did two loads of washing- exhibit D- a picture of him applying Vanish to the grass stains on the white skinny jeans. He CUT THEIR NAILS AND TOENAILS- and we all know how hard that is. Just one stressed phone call, one broken household item was all I wanted. But nothing. How does he do it? I have a theory…
Our situation is a very traditional one. I do most of the caring for the boys as I work very part time and Daddy is full time. Therefore, his time with the boys is limited to maybe a couple of hours in the evenings and weekends. And I’m usually there too. He makes the most of this time and doesn’t spend it sweating the small stuff like Mummy. He really DOES enjoy it. I need to take a leaf out of his book. He didn’t see dressing them as a task to do and tick off. He chose their outfits with excitement and no doubt messed around with them while putting it all on. He didn’t see bathing, feeding, getting out the door as stressful because he threw himself into it- making the most of his time with his greatest loves. I thought while I was away he would learn a few things about my chaotic role and what I do day in day out. But I actually learnt more from him. Slow down, stop rushing. Relish these fantastic little humans. Even in the everyday mundane.
Stop clock watching, relax. Be silly. I mean it’s easier to do when you don’t do it everyday but I need to try it. Stop worrying. Getting away was good for me. I’ve written this blog post to re-read in a few weeks time (days) when I’ve forgotten and am stressing again. New mantra: WWDD (What would Daddy do?- wristbands coming soon). Answer- muck about, laugh, leave stuff till later, enjoy every second, remember you can’t and won’t always have these times. Don’t spend it agonising that the toddler has eaten 8 Jaffa cakes in 3 seconds. If you can’t cook dinner because you are busy having fun- get fish and chips. It won’t hurt.
And I’m happy he nailed it. Really I am (gritted teeth). No honestly, he’s fantastic. I’m happy there was a spag Bol with hidden veg cooked for my return. (FFS) I had no worries at all whilst away and am planning my next getaway already. I did, however, notice he missed a fingernail on the toddler. Not totally perfect after all.