People often tell me how lucky I am to have a husband who stays home with the kids on the weekends while I’m at work. “If he works all week and has the kids all weekend, when does he get a break?” they ask. My husband works hard. He works his ass off every single day, and then he comes home and continues to work by taking care of his family. But I sort of do the same thing, do I not? I take care of the boys weekdays and work nights and weekends, and I never really stop for a break either. Women, especially those who stay at home 24/7 never get a break. But it’s not just women, it’s parents.
I’d be lying if I said the notion of a man taking care of his children should garner applause. I mean, as a father, it’s sort of his job, you know? I’d also be lying if I didn’t say that my husband goes above and beyond the call of domestic duty. That man is a parental rock star. In fact, he’s often a better mother than myself.
Yes, you heard me right. It’s not that I’m a lackadaisical mother, but I’m not your typical Betty Crocker. I’m not the queen of the house who cleans her crown after she’s whipped up a five-course meal for her family. That doesn’t mean that I don’t cook, clean, and nurture my kids unequivocally. I read bedtime stories, I kiss boo-boos, and I’m the unopposed champion of snack time, but my husband, well, he’s better.
Between the chores and appointments and work, I often run out of hours in the day. Therefore, sometimes dinner comes from a box, and sometimes the laundry stays in the dryer. Sometimes my kids wear their pajamas all day, and most of the time, their socks don’t match. I feel like I run at full-speed every day, yet I don’t always get to where I intended. Honestly, those days when I’m at work do sort of feel like a break, and when I return home, I really never know what I’m walking into after my husband has been running the household for a day.
It’s not what you think—I’m not worried what sort of shenanigans have occurred between three testosterone-driven males. I’m not worried that the house has been turned upside down or that my children will have mastered the skill of keg stands. No, it’s not like that at all.
It’s not out of the ordinary for me to come home to a sparkling clean house that smells like clean sheets and paradise. It’s not crazy for my arrival to include sweet hugs from two freshly bathed, fully fed little boys. It’s not uncommon for the smell of a home-cooked meal to lure me into the kitchen and leave me standing in a puddle of my own saliva, and it’s fairly normal to walk into a nearly unrecognizable home because my husband has painted walls, or rearranged furniture, or oh my god, is that a tile backsplash in the bathroom?
How does he do it? How does he contain our tornadic sons long enough to steam the floors? How does he seamlessly execute the perfect miniature cheeseburger cups while also remembering to use fabric softener? How does he manage to mix me the perfect “welcome home” cocktail while simultaneously scrubbing the filth off of our boys? Seriously, how?
This man is a modern day Mary Poppins with a tool bag full of voodoo magic and child hypnosis strategies.
Admittedly, his parental prosperity sometimes creates my own feelings of inadequacy. It’s not that I don’t accomplish enough—I do. It’s just that he’s so damn good at fatherhood. He makes it look so easy that I occasionally question my own methods so much that sometimes I wonder if he’s hired help while I’m away. Actually, I’m in charge of the budget, so I checked to see if he was secretly spending our money on maids, but I was wrong again. Upon investigation, I realized that, no, he hadn’t hired help and that he’s also saved us money on groceries by installing coupon apps on our phones. Dammit, he’s good!
I knew I loved him when I married him, hence the whole, you know, marriage. But I never fully understood what I was getting myself into. I didn’t realize that beneath that beautiful head of hair there lie the secrets of parental success, the perfect salmon recipe, and the charm and innovation of an HGTV contractor who also happens to have an impressive record collection.
Sure, he may leave socks lying in odd places and facial hair in the sink, but that hardly deducts from his many golden attributes. He sometimes sleeps in too late on Sundays and blows money on plants that he knows we’ll eventually kill, but his selflessness more than compensates for dead ferns. He rips all of his jeans and critiques my methodology regarding wrapping Christmas presents, but he puts his family first every single day.
So when people say I’m lucky, they’re right. They’re so right because I am lucky. I’m so, so lucky to have married this man who keeps our family functioning as both a great father and husband. And for that, I’ll gladly hand over my crown any day of the week because he more than deserves one.