I recently enjoyed the first dinner made by my husband in many weeks (roasted brussel sprouts! my favorite!) and it made me realize how nice we have it. With only one parent working outside the home, we have a full time kid+ house+ food+ laundry +transport and dog person dedicated to taking care of the home end of things. Adding the business end of things is a nice help with payroll, accounting and marketing, and you get a full time job plus some. This is how it has been for several years.
Enter a new project. We decided to build a small studio in our backyard, that will provide us with alternative living space other than our one downstairs room that gets smaller each rainy winter day.
So plans were drawn, research was done, materials purchased, and a building partner was secured. What I forgot was the level of involvement this project would bring. Not sure about your husband, but mine dives in headfirst and then thinks of nothing else until he is finished. Not only did the project quickly take over our small moments of conversation, it also took over ALL OF HIS TIME AND ENERGY. Nothing else could get in. None of the home stuff, very little of the kid stuff, and certainly nothing of the business stuff even crossed his mind for about 3 weeks.
And I thought; how do couples do this when they both work full time? How do you parcel out yourself to your job, your kids, your home (not to mention your dog, the errands, and the minutiae of life that goes along with being a family)?
I wish I could say we balanced it well. We didn’t. The kids were dirty, didn’t always finish their homework, and ate way too many meals on the road to and from Home Depot. But we got through the 3 weeks it took of intensity to finish the outside while the sun was shining. Now we have some time to finish off the inside much more slowly. I can only hope…
In the meantime, I just have to say hats off to those of you who are pursuing two career households while raising kids. I know it is a necessity for many of you, and some of you enjoy what it can provide for your family, but I am realizing how much harder it is than having someone dedicated as a stay at home parent.
Counting my blessings that we don’t have to make these adjustments permanent, but also know that I am more impressed than ever with other parents who are doing this regularly.