Before we had children’s and I was working full time, I remember having a conversation with Stu and agreeing that if I were to give up work that I’d take on most of the housework, shopping and general running of the house as that seemed only fair.
Fast forward and we have both realised that being the stay at home parent is not the job we envisaged. I think it’s important to dispel the myth that all SAHPs do is sit around drinking tea. I wish. In fact, since my girls stopped napping, I now have less time to myself than ever before.
Team twindividuals works best when both mummy and daddy value the roles they play. For now that means, Stu bringing in the bread. He is financially supporting us and actually bringing home the bread with the shopping. My part entails caring for and nurturing our girls.
Although that sounds pretty airy fairy, by staying at home, I have more time to enrich their day to day lives with puzzles and crafts, stories and den making. Toddler groups, gym sessions and trips to the farm are so valuable and I’m more than happy to leave piles of washing and unmade beds to give them these experiences.
While I was pregnant, we got a cleaner and when we were considering me giving up work, that was a luxury we thought would go but in fact there were many more luxuries I was prepared to sacrifice before this one. Expensive clothes, a new phone and lots of take aways are much less important to me than the time I get back from having a domestic goddess.
I read another mummy say that when you have children you either need to lower your standards or get help. My standards are already pretty low but the few hours a fortnight we have mean I know all the basics are covered and I just need to keep on top of the day to day mess.
Acknowledging that it’s not my job alone to keep the house spick and span also means that if on the odd occasion our girls are playing nicely that I can actually have 10 minutes of me time. Whether that is working on my blog, scrolling Facebook or browsing eBay, I don’t think I should feel guilty that I’m not manically scrubbing toilets or vacuuming the lounge.
I feel incredibly previledged to be in the position that I can choose to stay home with my girls in these early years and even more lucky to be to afford help. For many juggling a job, childcare and running a house is the reality and to you I take off my hat.
In this house, we are a team and so sharing the chores that make our household run smoothly seems fair to us both. While he’s washing up, I’ll be wiping highchairs and sweeping up. For now we’ve got the balance just about right but it’s taken quite some time to adjust to our new roles.
How do you share chores or do you think the stay at home parent should do the lion’s share? I’d love to hear your thoughts.