As I sit on the couch nursing our newest little one, I watch my husband tactfully organize and pack our diaper bag. I watch as he prepares juices and snacks for some adventure he’s planned for him and our boys. I watch him simultaneously cook breakfast and tend to every interrupted request out of our toddlers’ mouths.
After looking away for a second, my eyes return to him now folding and putting away laundry. I watch him do all of this without breaking a sweat. He flawlessly is juggling all of these tasks without worry. He’s not overwhelmed in the least and almost appears to be enjoying himself. Ugh.
In the past week, I’ve seen him demonstrate this masterful multi-tasking performance countless times and every time, I’m amazed. I’m not amazed by his ability to accomplish it all, but by how effortless he makes it look.
Since welcoming our third child, my husband has taken time off of work and for three more weeks, I get to have him home all day. This not only gives us the opportunity to spend quality time together as a new family of five, but also provides me with some much-needed relief in managing the demands of our two toddlers along with our newest arrival. It’s only been a week, and he’s mastered my role as a stay-at-home-mom.
My husband has always been the cool, calm and collected one. His relaxed and laid-back nature is something I desperately need to help ground me and ease my over-analytical, type-A personality obsessed with worrying and thinking about everything and everyone.
My husband naturally just goes with the flow, able to fully enjoy the moment and not be distracted with unnecessary concerns. Me? I’m constantly running through a never-ending to-do list in my mind while stressing about how I’ll ever find time or the opportunity to get it all done. What are we going to have for dinner? When are we going to go back to school shopping? Did I schedule their dentist and well-baby appointments?
Since becoming a SAHM, there are many days, I feel like I’m rushing around barely keeping my head above water and here he is, doing a far better job than me while appearing to be completely carefree.
The house is always neat and tidy. Dishes and laundry clean and put away. Beds are made. The other day, I opened the Tupperware cupboard to find it carefully organized. I thought to myself, You’ve got to be kidding me.
He even one-ups me when preparing their meals. Do you what he had the audacity to make the other day? Homemade tortilla chips. I mean, c’mon! I can’t top that! The most creative I get is throwing some hot dog slices in their mac and cheese.
On top of it all, while I’m busy with the baby, which is all the time, he’s always engaged in some kind of fun outing with our two toddlers – Zoo, children’s museum, beach, parks, pool.
Running after and wrangling two very active, wild toddlers all day is beyond exhausting, but somehow this guy has enough energy and then some. WTF? Why do I feel like I’m always completely drained, constantly on the lookout for my next caffeine fix to help me make it until our kids’ bedtime. Besides it being somewhat sexy to see my husband masterfully handle everything with complete ease, I embarrassingly admit to be a bit annoyed.
I don’t see him enduring the everyday stress, worry or haste I often feel imprisoned by. I can’t help but think, Do I suck that bad or is he just that good?
In my mind, I pictured and anticipated him to encounter a little bit of a struggle or have a complaint here and there. I fully expected him to be a little lost at the boys’ routines and schedules or feel a little overwhelmed to handle it all. Did I want him to fail? No, of course not. Well, not completely – just enough to feel some comradery in my every day struggles and frustrations as a SAHM. Instead, he not only is doing an amazing job, he surpasses me in every way.
One week in and he’s already managed to come up with some pretty awesome parenting hacks and shortcuts I would’ve never thought of. Basically, this is just the cherry on top of the ‘I suck sundae’.
In a few weeks when my husband returns to work, I will again resume my role as the all-day ringleader to our children. I can’t promise I will have the house as neat or beds always made, and you better believe that Tupperware cupboard is not going to remain organized, but I can probably try and learn to take a page from his book.
It wouldn’t hurt to be more relaxed and not stress so much. Maybe incorporating a laissez-faire attitude will do me some good when managing our crazy, chaotic lives with three children under the age of four. There’s no need to rush around like a lunatic. After all, where’s the fire?
Constantly preoccupied with thinking about everything that needs to get done is just an unnecessary distraction. The recent addition of our third child sounds like a good time to attempt to let go and embrace a more chillaxed outlook. Time to slow it down, take things as they come and, most importantly, enjoy the moment.