An Apology To Stay At Home Moms 


I owe an apology to women everywhere. Specifically, to stay at home moms.

I used to be like a lot of men who have this notion that mothers who stay home with the kids all day are either not pulling their weight, or are just sitting around doing nothing the entire day. In the past, I would often 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 that “it must be nice to sit around all day and watch TV”.

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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 rearrange the cabinets and the fridge. I had everything in the fridge lined up, labels facing out, broken down by type of food, condiments, etc. and I was extremely proud of myself.

Wanna know what my fridge looks like today?


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I got off to a really good start, and thought I could carry on that momentum of 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 that 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 AM: I get up, get my wife coffee, get my son in the shower, get his bag packed, make sure his homework is done, and make sure his teeth are brushed.

6:45 AM: I take my son to the bus stop.

7:01 AM: I walk through the door just in time to hear my three 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 AM: She gets her pancakes and juice and I usually get a thumbs up for approval from my daughter, but not always.

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

7:30 AM: The wife leaves for work.

7:30 AM – 9:00 AM: 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 two 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 AM: I get a request (they think I’m a servant from their favorite restaurant called ‘Daddy’s Cafe’) from my three 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 five minute tantrum until…*drum roll please*… SHE GETS CHICKEN NUGGETS AND JUICE. She leaves me no tip.

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

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

9:15 AM: I brush 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 AM: Diaper change.

9:20 AM: I sit back down on the couch.

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

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

10:35 AM: I finally take a shower.

10:45 AM: Diaper change (the stinky kind).

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: I manage to sit down and get a few things done for work.

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

12:00 – 12:30 PM: The kids eat lunch (surprise-more chicken!) while I do a modest attempt at trying to keep the kitchen clean while cooking their seven-course meal.

12:30 P.M – 2:00 PM: 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 field of landmines, in a house full of hostile terrorists.

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

2:30 – 3:00 PM: The girls play at the bus stop waiting for their brother to get off the bus.

3:00 – 4:00 PM: The girls lay down for naps, while 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 PM: I referee my son and daughter while they argue and fight over various, pointless issues including territory of the house.

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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 PM – 6:00 PM: I help my son with his homework, clean the house, sweep the floors, cook dinner.

6:00 PM: 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 that 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 one 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 strewn 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.

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So whomever gets home from work, whether it be 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 three 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.


A Stay At Home Dad

About the writer

Michael Cavender is a stay at home dad who spends his days teetering on the edge of insanity while trying to find the balance between being a father and best friend to his 2 beautiful girls and his rock star 8 year old son. His blog, daddyfishkins, is full of hilarious pictures and stories of how a former tough guy has been totally humbled by his two precocious daughters and too-smart-for-his-own-good son and forced to reevaluate his opinion of stay-at-home parents and women in general. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.


Brenda Payne 3 months ago

What do I think? I think some ppl in this world need to take their households back from a few undisciplined and bratty kids. It is hard work to have small children, and as a former stay at home Mom, I have been there. My house was not perfect but it was in no way the disaster this guy paints. As far as shampoo on the floor and detergent in the dog water, a swift spat on the bottom, everytime they do something like this, will soon teach them that there are boundaries and they should not be crossed. Parents cannot be their kids’ friends when they are growing up. You have to be their parent and you can be friends when they are grown, not before. If you will notice, when you try to be ‘friends’ you will find they will run over you.

Liz 3 months ago

Your overwhelmed because your kids run your day and not the thee way around. Maybe if you didn’t give them everything they wanted because they threw a tantrum your day would be better.

Liz 3 months ago

Your kids need to learn how to clean up after themselves, learn how to wait. eat at the table and you apparently let them run the house and your life instead of the other way around. Been there and done that its not that hard.

Margaret 3 months ago

I revieved flowers once and only once in 14 years. I spent 5 weeks traveling for work. He met me at the gate with 4 bedraggled kids ages 10 to 6 and a huge bouquet.

Yah, it was a struggle.

Susan 3 months ago

Please. I’ve been a stay at home mom and a work outside the home mom and staying home was SO much easier. It doesn’t have to be as difficult as this author makes it out to be.

Sasha 3 months ago

This guy is simply saying what a bare bones day is like, without all the added craziness. How about we all just let someone share their experiences without attacking them on a personal level!

Raegan 3 months ago

I am so thankful for a husband who encourages me to stay at home. This year our last baby started Kindergarten and instead of saying I need to get a job, he tells me to just stay home do my normal chores and get some rest. He knows that even though they are in school my day is still packed… I do a lot of volunteer work and love having a clean house and a nice home cooked meal. My husband is spoiled but he also spoils me and is very appreciative for all I do.

Anonymous 3 months ago

Perfectly said!!! 3 months ago

I totally agree with you and glad to know I am not the only one dealing with melt downs and demands for chicken nuggets (more than once a day). All the drama about girls is true to, I have an 11 almost 12 year old girl and twin 5 year old girls. It is only quiet when they are not here and then I sit in dead quiet, it sounds so sweet.

cb 3 months ago


You are kind of an asshole.

Gerry3123 3 months ago

Of course, in the first sentence of the article this author has to insult men in general, and claim that “a lot of men” think stay at home moms do nothing. Perhaps you should stop generalizing and stereotyping based on gender. Really disgusting and disappointing.

Wendy 3 months ago

I’m a stay-at-home mom and I appreciated this article. I didn’t think this guy came across lazy at all for those of you who posted that.

M 3 months ago

The easiest job I ever had was being a stay at home mom. The worst part about that job was the boredom when I realized there was little or nothing left to do around the house and the kids were napping.

Clarissa 3 months ago

Jessica, darling, you seriously need to take a chill pill. Where did you even get half that crap from?

Rae 3 months ago

Dude, your day is a cakewalk. I can’t believe you think this is the “hardest job you’ve ever had”. I’ve been a working mom, stay at home mom and am currently part time WFH/part time SAH and no matter the situation I was doing much more than that on a daily basis. To echo another commenter, you haven’t developed any routines to make sure things get done. It’s ok, maybe you’re new at this. It takes awhile to get good at it, just like any job. But what you’re doing now is a relaxing day compared to most SAHMs I know. I’m glad you acknowledge how much work it is, but you’re missing a lot.

Oona 3 months ago

I wish I could upvote that, Jessica. This guy is such a baby.
Dude, start by making a routine and maybe you won’t feel at the mercy of your daughters’ requests quite so much.

Jessica 3 months ago

This guy is one lazy ass father. I really hate the fact that you used this whinny dad as an example. He clearly is half assing it and milking it all for what it’s worth. He is not pulling his weight and he is damn proud of it. He likes that his wife still has to do 90% of the work at home and still works full time to support the house. He gloats about it like its the best thing ever that he is screwing everyone over, is being super lazy, and is being a half ass dad. He loves it! It’s like he is saying, “Oh I have to stay home with the kids? Feel sorry for me! I have it so rough! I resent that I have to do this and because I resent it I’m going to do a very piss poor job at it! I’m not going to do what’s best for my kids or my wife! I’m not going to put anyone first or consider anyone else except myself! I am going to be selfish!” This guy is abusive and gross. Please, no one look up to him. He doesn’t deserve it. You should have never published such a horrible article that brags about abusing another person and children. He is begging for attention he does not deserve. No father should EVER act like this! And by publishing an article like this you are condoning this and encouraging this. You are also encouraging men and women to set the bar low in standards, to not adequately take care of children, and to be cruel and mean to women.

Not to mention its sexist. Saying that guys deserve special attention/treatment when they act like a father is wrong. When women act like a mother or do the things listed in the article they don’t get special attention/treatment because it is expected. It should be expected from men as well and equally.

If the roles were reversed he would be expecting to come home to a clean house, laundry done, dinner waiting, and all he would have to do is sit down and relax and maybe put the kids to bed later. If he has those expectations of her then THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHY SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE THE SAME EXPECTATIONS FROM HIM. He is perfectly capable of doing those things, he just chooses not to to spite her and to be mean to her and to prove a point and to make her suffer. He is deliberately doing this and he finds it funny. He is malicious and abusive. He is a terrible father to his kids. He is gross. Please stop encouraging abuse. Find a better article about stay at home dads, not this one. He is a terrible example. Please.

Nikki Cole 6 months ago

“There are days where it all seems impossible, this staying true to ourselves, living our dreams and raising the next generations of brilliant minds and spirits. Some days leave us feeling defeated, but not all of them. Remember that some days we manage to slip into bed with our capes intact, there are those days where we’re really “crushing it”. Life is a beautiful balancing act, things are going to fall into place. All you have to do is show up everyday to do your work, to love the wee ones, to let your light shine. And on the days you’re sure it won’t work, remind yourself that it all gets done, somehow. It must be getting done, because you’re gonna wake up tomorrow and still be doing it.”

maria romaniuk 7 months ago

i ve been a stay at hom e mum for 18 years and i m very proud o f it.i ve never claimed any benefits but my husband and i have gone without to make sure our 4 kids are catered doesn t matter if its mum or dad that stays at home ,but the fact that the kids are loved and husband has never once said its easy for me to stay at home.its the mothers at school who work that have something to say. it would not done it any different.i take my ha off to you for apologising.

jennifer 11 months ago

Funny article! I am sure he does not give his kids food in bed every day and have them watch TV all day, I think he is trying to be funny! I have 3 kids and cannot wait to go back to work. This is how my day goes, you are just playing catch up all day and can never get ahead. The only thing that was different for me was the nursing. I nursed all 3 of my kids to one year and beyond. They have never had a bottle, never held a bottle and fed themselves. Nursing just took up a lot of time….putting me even more behind! My husband always says going to work is a lot easier than staying home with the kids all day long. Different pressures of course, but I will always remember this time home with them! Loved and hated every moment!!! I think the kids rule the house!

breaking news 12 months ago

Do you have any video of that? I’d love to find out
more details.

Mandy 1 year ago

So true! Though I would add that I think most stay at home parents get aggravated with themselves when they haven’t had a chance to get things done when they’d wanted to, even though we know it’s futile. Vacuuming and laundry seem to be on my list for at least a couple days before I actually get a chance to do them!

vicki 1 year ago

Love this post! Im a single parent so i work and all the house stuff is waiting for me to get home.

Mandy Tirado 1 year ago

Children are not a distraction from the “important things” – housework or anything else. Children are the important things. They do take up a lot of time and that’s what we SAHMs know before becoming SAHMs. That’s WHY we become SAHMs because nothing is more important than our precious children – our future. Who cares if the house is a mess?

If we’re paying attention to the important things, there’s no reason to eat alone and become angry over a “lost day”. There is reason to celebrate.

Discipline. Don’t cater to children, as that does them a great disservice. They’re not likely to die from a tantrum. More than likely they’ll get a headache and take an early nap, waking up in a better mood than they started out in.

Jesus asks us to bring Him the little children. It sounds like you’ve lost your joy. Bring your kids to Jesus. You’ll get that joy back. Pray.

Karen 2 years ago

LOL! Thanks for the great read. Glad you can see the other perspective. Children are emotionally exhausting, but the more time and understanding they receive from you, the better off they will be.

Cathy 2 years ago

The splinter episode is soo gross! I’m sitting in here while my 4 year old tends to his baby alive doll and watches Paw Patrol. My repeated attempts to get him to the park have gone unheeded so I just gave up. As for all the rules some parents apparently get their perfect children to follow. Well congrats on you with these rare perfect kids. I just pick my battles. Instead of telling him to eat his food somewhere specific for 50 times in a row I’m just happy when he does listen to me when it really matters. Sometimes.

mamakat 2 years ago

wow. just wow. this is exactly why i don’t spend my time with other parents or religious groups; they are equally judgey and superior to EEERYONE and are far too perfect to not spread their widely held beliefs (read; misconceptions) to anyone who even looks their way.
ffs, this guy is open and honest about being a stay-at-home-dad yet some of you people are ripping him to shreds for DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR HIS KIDS. shame on all ya’ll. ya’ll need to mind your own business, keep being rigid with your kids and start saving now for their therapy when they’re FUBAR teens, mmmk?

dear SAHD – you. rock. i am a SAHM with 2 ADHD and ODD boys (ages 11 and 6) and a little girl (age 6) and lemme tell you – working 3 jobs at the same time (which i did pre-kiddos) is FAR easier than this. nope, wouldn’t trade it but it’s W-O-R-K. i’d LOVE husband to have to switch roles and view his nervous breakdown with sympathy and a tiny bit of amusement. i prefer to let little things go rather than be an angry mommy who yells all the time and expects little soldiers instead of happy, messy, evolving little souls. good on ya!! mad props from southeast georgia!!

Mallory 2 years ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! for writing this article. It’s so wonderful to have a male acknowledge how difficult it really is. And to have something to share with my own husband who, in many ways, has the same mindset as you did before you stayed home.

Stay home daddy 2 2 years ago

I agree 100% with this dad. That looks like my daily schedule.. I have two little ones that are 2 years apart. Then, having dinner cooked (not burned after being a umpire for my two little ones) for my wife after a long day at work. What a job? Non-stop going. When I left my place of work, co-workers were saying that I would be bored. NOT. I’m exhausted more being a stay home dad,then working my job. I would like to give the women so much credit that has been doing this for years. This is my fourth month only.

Montira 2 years ago

YIKES, Folks! One father simply wrote a humorous column about how being a stay-at-home dad taught him how to understand and appreciate things from his wife’s point of view. Can’t we all just enjoy the column for what it is, instead of criticizing him and each other?

Waste 2 years ago

Good article. Not so good at discipline. You might have just left out enforcing punishments but I was put off the entire article ever since you said your daughter threw a 5 minute temper tantrum and then you REWARDED her for what she was throwing a tantrum about? That’s a good way to teach her that all she has to do is kick and and scream to get what she wants

andrea phelps 2 years ago

My husband was a S.A.D for a year. I think it was the most exhausting year of his life!

Nicola Pruce-Lomax 2 years ago

And yes I also think that that being a stay at home parent is much more demanding than my my paid and quite senior job from my own experience of having two kids – and absolutely agree it is underappreciated by the ,other half, but …. I have never ever tried to combine the two cos you can,t do. It!

    Waste 2 years ago

    That’s a load of crap. My mom worked full time, AND went to college for night classes while raising me and my two siblings. We grew up properly cared for and none of us have turned out badly.

Michele Cole 2 years ago

Love this and AMEN!!!

J 2 years ago

I’m surprised nobody else has commented on this, but this guy isn’t just being a stay-at-home-parent, he’s also working from home. That’s a lot different, and adds a level of stress and responsibility that stay-at-home parents who don’t work wouldn’t have.

Stacey 2 years ago

Seems to me like most of you missed the point of this article completly. You probably read it and started juding his parenting technique by 10:00AM. He was simply apologizing to stay at home parents for doing excatly what your doing now JUDGING. I have learned from experience that these ” I do it better then you parents” are usually the ones lacking in their own self the true qualities it actually takes to raise a productive member of society.Those of you saying “oh my kids don’t do this or that” becasue I have rules and teach them better. PLEASE biggest line of BS I have ever heard! Watching tv, eating a cookie, having juice, getting dirty, breaking something, being lazy every now and again ummmm hello aren’t these things that every human should be entitlted to in moderation? See one thing I can say for myself as a mother is I want my children to grow up and have as many life experiences as possible, from summer camp to fighting with their siblings and everything in between, yes even watching Spongebob. I want to guide my children through this life with the same attutide that I would like to see them obtain and use in their adult life. And that is this…always look at every situation and see the things you CAN relate to FIRST, before you form your judgement.

Cheri Postema Noorman 2 years ago

I have 4 kids… The youngest born when the other 3 were 16 mos. old, 4 yrs, and 6 1/2 yrs. so of course they were very well behaved or I wouldn’t have survived it lol! My husband stayed with them for 5 days when I was out if town when my grandfather was dying if cancer. My husband has always been very supportive …. Never negative…. But even he admits he had NO IDEA what it was really like until then. I think every mom should leave dad with the kids for 3-5 days for them to understand. Nice job to this daddy!!!!!

Jillian Gilberts 2 years ago

I had to share this and plan on making my hubby read it!

Joshua Shane Martin 2 years ago

the more kids at home the harder the job . From a stay at home dad

Shannon Ziegenhagel 2 years ago

My husband thinks we sleep all day. Ha, I wish!


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