I don’t believe that enough credit is given to mothers. They have nourished the unborn child for nine months, given birth to them, raise them and they are the main influence when it comes to teaching them good from bad.In essence, the number of stay at home dads is increasing, but not enough to make a significant dent.
The first role model we have in our young lives is our mother, be it good or bad. Second are the fathers.
From us dads, they learn how a woman should be treated, the importance and discipline about going work and a lot of dads are considered the soft touch. Albeit that we are not home enough, that to make our lives a bit easy, we give in to many whims that we may consider as minor.
We might do the occasional school run and take them to a party on the weekend.
An average week day in my household consists of; mum waking at 0630, the latest, so she can have her morning coffee, and to get herself ready. Then getting the four eldest up and ready for school. The baby would wake up in the mean time, get taken down and given her milk. She would brush and braid about six feet of hair (trust me it’s no easy feat especially when knotty). Give the baby her breakfast, dress her and put her in the buggy to be out of the door by 0830 to walk to school, since she doesn’t drive.
It’s pointless getting on the bus, because it’s either full of running late.
After dropping the three eldest to school, she has to walk back, get our fourth to nursery, then she has to go shopping for lunch and dinner.
We can’t do much of a weekly shop because the kids will eat all the food in one day.
By 1315 she has to pick up from nursery and be ready for the school run by 1500.
It’s a military operation, if she misses a cue she’s late and the whole day goes down the drain, then panic could ensue. Get home, get them in their pyjamas as they await their dinner and staggered bed times.
At six, number four goes to bed, half an hour later three and five. By quarter past seven, latest number two and the eldest by eight.
Then, she finishes tidying and she can relax.
She tends to be so tired, quite a lot of the time she falls asleep on the couch whilst watching a programme.
That’s Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday my second child goes to beavers, so she gets a sandwich on the way home and to the scout hut by quarter to five until six. Thursday, unless she has help, tends to be really hard because my eldest goes to Cubs between quarter to seven to quarter past eight.
Friday they are at school until half four.
Now for the weekend.
Saturday, my eldest goes to theatre train from ten to one, then my third from half one to three. That’s an easy Saturday.
If there are parties in the interim, she doesn’t stop. Sunday is her, so called, day of rest where she gets herself organised for the week ahead. Unless there are birthday parties of course, or something organised by one of their activity clubs.
Let’s not forget that she has to maintain the house and she deals with the finances. Leave that to me and we’d be broke by day two. Her days are full. She’s also their comfort blanket, referee and guidance counsellor when they are having a bad time, she helps me edit as well and deals with any qualm I may have. She also works part time,the only time she can’t have children around. I call it her holiday.
Talking about holidays. She was invited to go on holiday with a friend and her younger sister for ten days a few years ago. I encouraged her to go and have fun, so did her mum. Three days later, she was home, she couldn’t stay away, she missed the children too much.
The only thing I have to do is get up to go to work and if I’m home early enough, make us dinner. I do the usual things like put out the trash and change a light bulb. I also try helping as much as I can when I’m home. But she has got things so organised that most of the time I end up being in the way, it doesn’t stop me though.
Like everyone, she does have her bad days, but it still doesn’t stop her. Even when she’s ill, or one or more of the children have a fever or cold.
All this is done come rain, shine or snow.
So, to all them men who think that they are being harassed or nagged, think about all the things a woman has to go through from the moment that child is born until they leave the house, what we have to do might seem trivial, but it’s a lot when it comes to helping out.
I think of my grandmothers. One had twelve children and the other thirteen. They are both from Mediterranean countries where the men’s only responsibility is to go to work. They would come home, sit, relax, go out with friends and get fed.
Imagine, in southern Italy, where my mother’s from, they come home for their lunch breaks to a three course meal and once they finish eating, they take a nap.
The women did it all alone.
To me, it’s like leaving mummy’s house for a surrogate.
I’m not of that ilk, I like to help out and the try to do my fair share, but I do joke that when I’m home she’s looking after six kids. And it’s true, us men never grow past the age of thirteen, maybe fifteen if we are lucky.
What I’m trying to say is that I appreciate everything my partner does and I do believe she’s amazing.
I also believe that all mothers are amazing, they do a terrific job and should be appreciated more.