This half term I prayed for someone to move my heaven and earth.
Sorry; this isn’t about sex, I’ll save those laughs for another time. This blog is about the interesting results of an unplanned husband and wife role swap.
In short I had an extremely unrealistic artwork deadline to hit with the added joy of school hols thrown in for good measure. April and May had both been snaffled with the usual daily work and family demands. Add in my personal “over commitment” habit thus resulting in just seven days to create fifteen new artworks.
Amazingly my husband had a weeks holiday and come Monday morning the role reversal had begun. For the first two days I took enormous pleasure in leaving the house by 6.30am. Not a seconds thought did I give to the washing piles, the night before dinner carnage or daily mealtime menu’s.
Complete mental freedom. To say I was cock-a-hoot would be a understatement. Seriously, I was almost dizzy with the joy.
I had also made the conscious decision that in order to make the swap as realistic as possible, to truly experience life from his side I would do absolutely NO domestic chores whatsoever.
When I got home from work I cuddled my boys and caught up with their news. I helped with the bedtime hour and then flaked out in front of the telly before crawling into bed. Happy days.
For the first 48hrs, the mood was also buoyant from him indoors as he jested that”this housewife lark is a doddle, easy as, a piece of p*ss”
I of course resisted (and seconds later failed) the urge to point out that it wasn’t a true like for like swap. He didn’t have to chop his working day into segments to accommodate the school runs, nursery drop offs, food shopping, cooking or washing. He didn’t have to try and refocus after the bedtime hour on work tasks he’d failed to achieve during the daylight hours.
(For the full effect read that last paragraph in a shrill voice and without drawing breath)
By the end of Day 3 the chipperness was beginning to wain on both sides. The nonstop needs and demands of three small boys expecting hourly thrills and entertainment, coupled with a kamikaze one year old were starting to take their toll. And the additional pressure of providing two square meals a day quashed the repetitive piece of p*ss comments.
Daily trips to the local convenience store where also proving very costly, boring and wasteful. And it turns out my husband had also made the conscious decision to continue with a total lack of effort on the domestic front. Therefore the house had rapidly deteriorated into slumville but unlike normal, this time he had noticed!!!It was definitely too hard to cook, clean, rest and play.
A rather unexpected and annoying result of the role swap was the complete Mummy rejection from Ratbag no.4, the one year old. So much for absence makes the heart grow fonder. I was gutted and instantly resorted to baby bribery but to no avail.
For over a year I’ve bestowed love and affection on that ratbag. All our intimate, clandestine teething meetings, the fevers, the snot, the yogurt stains. Not to mention the mountains of poo. All of it amounting to absolutely nothing. Unbelievable.
In just 4 days Daddy Day Care had won hands down!
By the end of the week I was desperate for some quality time with my ratbags. Despite the discipline and energy needed to balance work with motherhood, my envy of his work freedoms had significantly reduced. I gathered a new insight into his lack of enthusiasm to tidy up on his return to the homestead. After a long day at work with a two hour round trip commute, one simply can’t be arsed!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going soft in my old age and will continue to fight endlessly for equality. I will probably go to my grave insisting he picks up his own f-ing pants. However, at least now I know that his laziness is just that. Laziness. And not as I sometimes screech, especially at a certain point in the month, a complete lack of respect for me!
And for his part, well there were genuine and heartfelt acknowledgments flowing freely from his lordship on the monotony of menu planning.
(Yes!) And the exhaustion he felt after seven full days of honest childcare was music to my ears.
There were praises galore for the SuperSix. My support network of gorgeous Mummies who graciously allowed a male to gate crash their picnic day trips on two occasions. On a personal note I would also like to thank the said ladies for subtly diluting the chat. After all what goes on in cake club, stays in cake club.
And the best result of the week other than the completion of the work deadline? Well the ratbags had a brilliant half term break.
If you ever have the opportunity to change places and walk a mile in their shoes as they say, then go for it, you might be surprised at what you learn xxx