And the House is Still Standing!

The sun is out! The wind is blowing at a paltry 40km/h! Birds are singing frigidly in the bare March trees! It must be Spring. Well, maybe not, but here I am to say that I made it through the winter as a stay-at-home-dad. Since the Baby Girl was born, I had planned to take some SAHD time (though between you and me, I prefer "DILF"); it worked well for The Lovely Wife's plan to start a new job before the end of 2010, and I was finally in a job that offered some salary top-up, if only for a couple of months.

Time-warp to now... some three months later...

I knew that stay-at-homes did a lot of work, and that it would be challenging to have the Baby Girl every day of the week, and Five (middle child, younger son... damn, these nicknames are so confusing) for most of the week, while Seven (SEVEN! HOW DID HE GET TO BE SEVEN?) was in Grade 1. [update video montage not available]

So it was no surprise that I learned just how much work it takes to keep a house (which I did only moderately well) while keeping kids happy and, more importantly, alive all day.

Other things I learned:

1. I am a Ninja
Wait. Let me clarify. I'm not a ninja Ninja. But I have so finely tuned my senses that I can now step on a Cheerio and retract my foot before it disintegrates into a dusty pile of aaaannnnd-now-I-have-to-clean-that-up. The first week of being at home, I swept the kitchen floor more times than I think I did all last year. The floor was so clean you could eat off it (and if Baby Girl had her way, she would.).

2. Some Naps are Sacred
You'd better have a good reason to not high-tail it home from dropping off kids at school, or to decide to only let the Girl nap for a short time in the morning. This is Golden Time, both for you and her. It lets you get things done, like cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast, putting in your first (sometimes second) load of laundry, or teaching your kid to read (aka "waterboarding").

3. The Clean House is a Myth
How is it that I can be in this house all day long, constantly picking things up, and at the end of the day, it looks like a rave happened here? (Less all the glow sticks and ecstasy. There may be some children's vitamins laying around, but I swear those are legal.)

4. The Laundry. It is Never Ending. 
Seriously, people. I know I wear one of three pairs of jeans and the same hoodie for two or three days (I usually change it before it looks tie-dyed with barf) so I'm not contributing to the Pile as I used to, but is going through every bit of clothing in your drawers your new job? Because it seems that the answer to the question of "what should I do next" could always be, "Well, you could do some laundry!".

5. Don't Tell Me "At Least You Get To Rest On The Weekends" Or I Will Slap You
All week long it's a chore to remain on top of what activity is happening after school: soccer? basketball? Other soccer? Skating? Sure, the weekends are slightly lower on the insanity scale, but they were a far cry from "relaxing". But hey, at least the shopping is done! I would have done that two or three times through the week. Which is probably why we have no money to do anything on the weekends? I figure maybe once I got caught up on all the laundry and got the house into a state that didn't look like a laundromat or a dorm room, with underwear strewn about haphazardly.

 6. 8:30 is A Completely Respectable Time To Start Your Day 
Suffice it to say that getting out of bed at the same time as everyone else (not 30 minutes early to get coffee and breakfast ready, get in a hot shower, etc) is an extremely relaxing way to ease into your day. I have never gone so many days without having a shower AND NOT EVEN CARING. The three-day beard is almost expected of the stay at home dad, if other stay at homes dropping off kids at school are any indication. As long as I don't look like the Unabomber or look like I should be driving a van with no back windows, I figure I'm doing alright. 

7.  The Grocery Store Is My New Home
I swear, going into this gig I thought we would save so much money on groceries. Sure, we buy mostly organic and natural stuff, but I was sure TLW was being imprudent with her purchasing habits. I can now safely say that there is no way to shop for "a few things" without breaking the $150 mark. Also, I have no control when it comes to sale items. I don't mean to suggest that I come home with 14 kilos of basmati rice or a Bar Mitzva pack of Fruity Pebbles every time I shop, but I admit I may go off the list from time to time. I also kind of got used to parking in the spot for "pregnant women and moms with small children". And to all of you who are using that spot and NOT pulling kids out of your car? Eff. You.

8. These Blogging Stay-At-Homes Must Be On Drugs
Where, oh where do all these women (and a few men) find the time and energy to blog while getting all their shit done (My guess? Pharmaceuticals) Or maybe it doesn't get done? I suppose with more time at this gig, I could find the time to throw at least a picture up now and then as proof of life. Alas, in the spare moments of quiet solitude, I did not rush for the computer, except maybe to check the weather, download some music, or pay a bill. Blogging was an unfortunate casualty.

By the time all was said and done and I was ready to go back to work, I had decided that the stay-at-home gig was pretty sweet, and if TLW could just make a quarter million dollars a year, we could do this forever. Alas, she claims "we" need my pension more than we need me to stay at home and play house. So I guess it's back to the grind.

*Note: The title of this entry is based on this Bill Murray quote.

Posted bythemikestand at 12:32 PM  

5 stepped up to the mike:

sarah doow said... 6:16 PM, March 15, 2011  

That ninja skill is brilliant. I hope it saves you from the pain that is stepping on Lego too.

bethany actually said... 11:37 PM, March 15, 2011  

I love this post so much. Who knew your three months as a SAHD would be so educational? I had to laugh particularly at the laundry thing and the grocery store thing. SO FRAKKING TRUE.

As for how I personally, as a SAHMB (stay-at-home mom blogger) manage to post, I can assure that all the things do not get cleaned. Between homeschooling and keeping everyone fed and nursing the baby (which is when I occasionally get blogging done, by the way), the laundry and kitchen floors often get overlooked for a few days.

Heather said... 1:20 AM, March 16, 2011  

So , so true. Tomorrow I will attempt to bake bread. More than likely nothin else will get done.

chRistine said... 7:58 AM, March 16, 2011  

In 2007 we switched roles for a few (5) months - I travelled and came home on weekends while he worked here. It was educational for both of us - and we both like our roles so much more, now!

Megan said... 10:49 AM, March 16, 2011  

Okay, you had me worried there for a minute, as I thought the D of DILF was "daughter".

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