Desperate Househusband

19 09 2008

Despite the best efforts of well-meaning folks who for some reason felt uncomfortable with the thought of Mr. being a househusband were eager to see Mr. become gainfully employed, we are happily settling into our newly reversed roles: Me, as the workaholic cash cow hardworking breadwinner, and he as the bonbonaholic social butterfly hardworking toast maker.

But it’s not a simple matter of ‘Mom goes off to work while Dad stays home to raise the kids.’ We’ve got the ‘working from home twist’, in which Mom gets up at six o’clock in the morning and plunks herself at the computer in the middle of the living room and works until Dad needs a) a boob to put the baby to sleep b) someone to take Neener and Roo to school, pick them up for lunch, take them back to school after lunch, and pick them up at the end of the day, or someone to cover his Squiggles shift while he does the drop-off, pick up, drop-off, pick up routine, or c) a swift kick in the arse a little bit of gentle coaching. With me almost always in earshot, Mr. sometimes feels like I’m eavesdropping and judging every move he makes, which I more or less am he’s not only trying to get used to his new role as stay-at-home-dad, but doing so under a mother’s microscope. Which he is. And sometimes, I feel like I’m trying to get my work done in the middle of a zoo, surrounded by poop flinging monkeys, stampeding elephants, and parrots who won’t shut up long enough to let me hear myself think, while the zoo keeper sits there reading the newspaper maybe I should go work in the shed.

Now that we’ve managed to convince everyone that Mr. does not, in fact, want to find a “real job”, and that I, in fact, have a “real job”, there are still some questions about how that affects our domestic roles. So, here it is in a nutshell:

Yes, Mr. does most of the laundry except the putting away, which is currently done by nobody and it’s only a matter of time until he shrinks my new DKNY pants or turns my only white blouse pink has it down to a fine science.

Yes, I still do most of the cooking because I am a control freak, and I don’t want to eat Kraft Dinner and Chunky Beef Burger Soup every night that it’s too cold or rainy to bar b que I love to cook.

No, just because I’m the primary income earner, it does not mean that I now control the purse strings because if I did, we’d be the proud owners of several new purses.

No, just because Mr. is now a househusband does not mean that he is the head Domestic Blister bored, or disrespected, or emasculated. But it also does not mean that he is suddenly some sort of self-sacrificing superman who deserves heaps of glorious praise and admiration for knowing how to work diapers, the washing machine, and how to crack open a storybook.

That last point is a bit of a big one these days. More than one person has commented that since Mr. is now a stay-at-home-dad, he needs ” some time to himself”, ” to have a break every now and then”, and “to have hobbies” and “get out once in a while.” And to those people, I say this: Where the hell were you when I was stuck at home with the kids for the last five years? You’re absolutely right. I make sure that my darling Mr. has twice as much every bit as much time to himself as I have by allowing him to sleep through the night. He regularly gets a much deserved break from me nagging him and pointing out the things he’s doing bass ackwards. And as for hobbies, and getting out once in a while? You betcha. His newest hobby is bitching, and he’s very good at it. He writes smart-assed letters to newspaper. He calls Metro Transit to report bus drivers who nearly mow down people in crosswalks. He tracks down companies who make inferior baby products, like the bibs that turned Squiggle’s face yellow, and scores us free stuff. And he gets out plenty. He’s joining the School Association. He’s volunteering. He gets out golfing. He cleans the shed, washes the car, buys groceries, and runs errands. He gets out to drop off and pick up the kids from school a few times a day. Meanwhile, I’m chained to my desk gleefully working away, happy that I can devote so much of my time and skills to ignoring all the little things about this new situation that could drive us both crazy supporting our family financially, while my husband devotes his time and skills to also ignoring all the little things about this new situation that could drive us both crazy supporting our family domestically. And as long as he doesn’t get all cocky and think he can take over here as Domestic Blister we keep the lines of communication open, I’m sure it’ll all work out just fine.

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4 responses

19 09 2008
Katie

Love it, Amy. The husband/wife/parent relationship is so complicated anyway, having your husband home changes everything. I think mine could use a dose of “full-time” parenting once in a while…

22 09 2008
Lisa

Oh, Mrs. Blister, are you having a bad day?!

My old boss used to say she looked forward to Mondays and coming back into our office because the weekends (as a single parent) were just so exhausting!

22 09 2008
domesticblister

You know it’s been a rough one when I resort to strike-throughs. TGIM, my friends, TGIM.

22 09 2008
Confessions of a Lousy Househusband « Domestic Blister

[…] need to set the record straight. No doubt dear reader, you have read Mrs. Blister’s latest post, “Desperate Househusband”. Well, I need to fill in the blanks for […]

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