This one is from the mamas to the papas. For the dads who work so the moms can stay home with the kids. It’s an age old debate. A good woman cannot be guaged by the condition of her home while raising children. I know, I know. You work 5-6 days a week, sometimes 12 hours a day, pay all the bills, put food on the table so you deserve to come home to a warm home cooked meal, a clean home and a tentative woman ready to fulfill any and all of your needs. Instead you walk through the door to find the family’s leftovers you have to microwave yourself, a trashed house, and if your woman isn’t passed out in her clothes somewhere she is yelling at you to please grab the hamper for her and take out the trash, maybe a reminder to pay a bill or two. You’re thinking she’s ungrateful because you’re feeling neglected, lazy because you can’t see anything she has cleaned since you left for work, and now you’re pissed off, the last thing you need after working your ass off all day is to “do her job” too… I get it guys,i have worked WITH my man, I KNOW how hard he works and I’m sure you and your job aren’t any different. Let me fill you in on the hours 9-5 and beyond if you work extended shifts like in my house. We have all heard some mom somewhere list all her daily tasks, planned and unplanned. What you may not have heard is the mamas thoughts that go with the tasks and the weight of it all on your woman.
So you leave for work, most likely in clothes your woman washed and maybe even laid out for you. You have a full day at work ahead of you and as you pull out of the driveway, you’re wishing you could stay home and relax all day like your woman. Meanwhile at home… depending on the age of your kids, your wife is already elbow deep changing diapers, wiping dried boogers off sleepy faces, getting kids up for school or the day (which let me tell you is a ridiculously drawn out process). Now when I wake up my kids, it typically takes at least 4 trips into each of their rooms before they finally get up. If your woman is lucky, the kids are old enough to dress themselves so you’d think her job is simple. The little little ones need to be physically dressed which can take 20 minutes per kid EASILY. My kids can dress themselves but it doesn’t make my job easier, when they make it downstairs, they need to be inspected because someone is going to be wearing yesterday’s clothes, something stained and/or torn, or something inappropriate for the days schedule. My kids like to try to wear play clothes or shorts in the snow for school. It’s not as simple as go change your clothes please, it’s a battle that usually ends in your woman yelling and counting down to your littles doom until the kid snaps and stomps off to change against their will. So now you’re just arriving to work after a quiet drive by yourself and your woman has already been covered in poop or snot, been screamed at, and run full laps through the house at LEAST 5 times and she hasn’t even tried to feed the kids yet. At this point, she is jealous of you. Wishing she got a quiet drive on the way to her job. Now food. Some moms cook big breakfasts, some do cereal or something easy. Obviously the big breakfast takes more time and effort and makes a bigger mess but the outcome is typically the same. The kids will stuff their faces, dropping food around them as they eat like it’s THEIR job, cover themselves in filth, (I know, cereal isn’t messy right? Hahaha do you know how much it sucks to scrub milk out of carpets and cracks in the floor knowing if you don’t the smell later will be horrendous? And getting wet cereal chunks out of hair with the school bus seconds away from the house!? It’s bad, real bad…), and leave the remnants of their meal right where they sat, despite your woman’s 25 reminders to at LEAST clear their dishes. Now the kids have to be reinspected for filth, most likely wiped down, the bus is right around the corner and teeth still aren’t brushed, wait, where in the hell are the backpacks and their finished homework!? So your woman will shout commands to brush teeth while making a mad dash through bedrooms and the rest of the house collecting as much homework and as many backpacks and shoes as she can find. She will inspect the brushing process and start getting shoes on people, distributing backpacks and lunches or lunch money while counting down to the kid that tried to say they brushed their teeth while their breath still smells like ass. (Your kids think your woman is pretty old and dumb and won’t notice these things. HA!) If your woman is having a GREAT day, the kids will end up with shoes on, teeth brushed, full bellies, backpacks, finished homework, and the proper outdoor clothes for the weather, about 30 seconds AFTER the bus rolls up to the front of the house and will be able to bolt out of the house in time to actually catch the bus before it drives away, usually with someone yelling as they run to the bus that something hurts or they are sick and can’t go to school and your woman is going to yell back to try to go and call if they can’t get through the day. Now that kids are on the bus, she’s either off to attach a baby to her boob if you have littles, amuse the toddlers, or if your kids have all gone to school, start the chores. Chores. Laundry, dishes, picking up the living room, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and the bedrooms she dares enter, meals for the rest of the day and checking the schedules for the kids extracurriculars later, laundry she is going to run through every room of the house to collect because the damn kids never got into a basket, often having to sniff test questionable items which is enough to make her want to crawl in a hole and die at times. Once laundry is going she will pickup an armful of toys and garbage that’s in her path on the way to the kitchen to clean up the breakfast mess, soaking dishes, putting away food items that haven’t been devoured, sweeping the full meals worth of food the kids decided the floor looked naked without, and wiping up spills and messy surfaces and chances are, half of what they are wiping is now dried onto the table or counter so real scrubbing is necessary. If you have littles still in the house, she’s only made it to the laundry before having to stop for diapers, tears, or giggles before ever making it to the kitchen. If your woman is REALLY lucky, before using all the hot water for the dishes, she will at this point brew a pot of coffee before taking a 5 minute shower, just enough to get clean so forget the thought that she lounges in the tub, eating bon bons sipping wine. 5 minutes. Out of the shower, she pours her coffee, takes a couple sips while glancing at the calendar again willing the days schedule to stay burned into her brain, and takes off to pick up. Personally, I get through one or two rooms before laundry is done and have to stop picking up to change it over. Laundry going again, she will take two more sips of her now luke warm coffee before attacking the next room. While picking up another room, the phone rings (she hopes it’s you calling to say hello and that you love her but it rarely is) with either a kid on the other end saying they need something or an appointment reminder for an appointment that… never made the schedule!? Shit, now she has to drop everything, go back to the calendar she JUST memorized and see what can be moved or sacrificed in order to make the appointment, or drive or walk to the school to tend to the needs of the child that called. Remember, if you have little littles, she will have to change them into clean diapers and clothes, outdoor gear, shoes and carseats before she ever makes it out the door which can NOT take anything less than 15 minutes per baby or toddler plus at least 5 minutes to unload them from carseats at EVERY stop cause she can’t just leave the littles in the car while she runs into school. If there are no babies, she is still going to have to get her shoes on and make the trip so either way it’s time consuming. When she arrives back home it will be lunch time but she’s going to notice landscaping that needs attention, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, picking trash from the yard, a pile of the kids junk in the yard or on the porch, so she will divert from house work for a bit to do the labor intensive yard work because she knows you’re working all day and doesn’t want you to have to do it on your day off. Sweaty and dishevelled from the yard work, once she makes it back indoors she will take a couple more sips of ice cold coffee she will vow to heat up in the microwave as soon as she’s finished picking up that room she walked out of to run to school. But wait, the damn laundry finished while she was gone so before she picks up she has to change all of that over, again. Laundry running, she will finish picking up a couple more rooms. Remember that if there are little littles involved, she will have had to stop for lunch, trashing the kitchen AGAIN, amusing the babies along the way which means she never even made it to picking up the other two rooms yet, shes still stuck at vowing to warm her coffee before her next sip. After accomplishing picking up the best she can with the time she has, she will attempt to vacuum or sweep and mop before running to the store for food items. I don’t care if you grocery shop once a week, she’s still running to the store for something that was forgotten, prescriptions, school project supplies, SOMETHING. Walking through the errands, she will think of you again, missing you and hoping your day is less hectic than hers has been. Home from running errands and putting away whatever she bought during errands she will run a bag of garbage outside to the cans quick, slap together a snack and oh look, the kids are home already. Your woman will go back into mom mode from here, wiping faces again, tentatively listening to the triumphs and disasters of the children’s school day, pouring over notes and graded papers in backpacks, new events to the calendar, inspecting the days homework assignments and if your kids are anything like mine, she will break up a fight or two. Guys. We are talking 10 minutes into the kids being home and she’s aleady breaking up fights and if there are babies, this is all happening while balancing a human being on her hip. While the kids are snacking, she will forget to heat her coffee, sip it cold again,and get so frustrated with it she will just dump out the rest. From snack the kids will bounce into another room to do homework, she will pick up the snack mess, go to help the kids with homework and find the room they’re in trashed again with sweatshirts, socks, shoes, a couple toys, bunched up papers from backpacks and dumped boxes of 1,000 crayons they are supposed to be using for homework but are instead launching across the room at each other. Stop here for babies, because they need to be changed and fed, again. This is the point where she wants to rip out her hair and she takes a millisecond to picture your handsome face and remember why she does what she does and look forward to the second you get home so she can have grown up time. After helping with homework FOREVER because common core is bullshit and geniuses don’t get it, pleading with the kids to put finished homework in the backpacks (which somehow rarely happens because to kids, the couch is a safer place for homework?) and a sad attempt at picking up the trashed area, she will start changing kids and collecting gear for extra curriculars. In our house, that’s music and sports. Depending on the day, she will have either started dinner in the crock pot earlier or will start dinner prep before leaving so at this point she is either feeding kids or cooking before a mad dash out the door to be 5 minutes late to wherever she’s going, despite getting ready an hour beforehand because… kids. If you have a 9-5 you’re getting home and either joining the fam at lessons or taking a breather but if it’s like our house, you’re STILL at work and your woman is wishing you didn’t have to be and could be standing next to her like the other dad’s with their families, she’s missing you, appreciating that you’re missing seeing your babies (big or small) play to put food on the table. She will cheer on the kids, feeling entirely spent, wipe a few tears from their little cheeks or talk then through sportsmanship when they get frustrated with coaches or peers and of course break up fights between whatever kids aren’t involved in the activity they are there for. Once she dumps an arm load of gear back into the car, gets the kids loaded, breaks up a fight about who gets to sit where and finally makes it home, she hits the front door running. Dinner, dinner cleanup, any last homework or school project details, more diapers and feedings if there are babies, attempting to set out the next days clothes or at least make sure they made it into one of the loads she washed earlier and if not, MORE LAUNDRY, baths and showers for the kids which is a momentous battle between timing hot water, wet hair and forcing the kids in who refuse. In the midst of the pre-bedtime haul, she will glance at the clock and remember everything she didn’t get done, dusting, the rest of the picking up post kids coming home, that damn laundry, now dinner dishes, garbage that needs to go out again, something she has to bake for someones class, and the lawn mower she forgot to tuck back in the garage earlier, but then remembers you’ll be home soon and she feels like she finally got a breath of fresh air from the thought, GROWN UP TIME! By the time your woman gets around to having the kids call you to say goodnight and gets them tucked into bed, having had a short conversation about the kids day and lovingly kissing each one good night, she is exhausted beyond words because she never even made it through her coffee but then she remembers you. You’ll be home within an hour or two now and she would ideally like to have the house you work so hard to provide, perfect for you so you’re at ease when you walk through the door after a long day at work. So she gets back to work on what now feels like a deadline, two hours and counting… back to the grind, she frantically starts sweeping, wiping, picking up, EVERYTHING she had already done, but there’s no evidence of her earlier efforts, damn kids! In the back of her mind while she frantically scrubs is you. She wants to get your dinner together so it’s warm when you get there, have a nice dessert waiting for you, maybe watch a movie and snuggle when you get home, vent about the day to each other, make mad passionate love… all she has to do is finish picking up the living room, switch the laundry over one last time, take out the last bag of garbage, check backpacks for homework, make sure she didn’t miss anything on the schedule that’s needs prepping before tomorrow and check on the sleeping littles, then it’s all you baby. Then amidst the chaotic scramble to perfect everything, the door opens and there you are, exhausted from a full day of work, disappointed that what you work so hard for now looks like a dump zone and you’re wondering WHY you work so hard. Your dinner isn’t on the table because she thought you’d be another 30 minutes and she literally just ran out of time. What you don’t realize guys is at this moment, your woman’s heart just sank down to her gut. I know what you’re thinking, I just finished saying she was anticipating your return, excited about seeing you, all day long so she should be jumping up and down like a Dallas cowboy cheerleader or something, why the hell would she be disappointed to see me? Right? It’s not you guys. This is the moment that she missed her deadline, she knows the house isn’t up to your standards, hell, it’s not up to hers! She didn’t get to set anything up for you she had planned in her head, she knows you can’t see anything she cleaned all day and that you’re probably upset with her about not having done enough while she knows her efforts were basically wasted and she can’t figute out why she tries so hard because she NEVER makes progress. (If you have babies, insert a changing and feeding here.) She will make small talk with you quick, how was your day, are you hungry, maybe a quick kiss and run off to heat your dinner or pull that load of laundry out of the dryer that won’t stop buzzing until she at least opens the dryer door. In desperation, she yells to you to please take out the trash and dump the laundry basket onto the table for her, thinking if she just finishes up the last few things around the house, you would feel better and the rest of the night could go as she planned. Shes thinking trash and laundry dumping are really small tasks that you wouldn’t mind helping with even though she feels guilty asking knowing you worked all day but she HAS to heat your dinner for you so how else? I know man, you’re grumbling and grunting about having to do housework that she should have done earlier because she had aaaaaall day while you were working to get this shit done! (Let’s remember now what you’ve already read. I told you she already ran several loads of laundry and took out the garbage at least once, you just can’t tell. Again, damn kids!) Once you’ve grumbled through your assigned tasks, if you do them at all, you’ll eat dinner while she runs around like a tornado finishing anything she can while you’re occupied eating, when all she wants to do is sit down with you and sip a glass of wine or sooomething, anything, other than clean more. This is supposed to be grown-up time goddamnit. You’ll probably shower or clean yourself up after dinner while she runs to make sure the kids didn’t leave chips or popsicles or some other surprise under the comforter of your bed BEFORE you get to it. If you’ve got a really good woman, when you make it to your bed, finally, she may rub your feet or legs or back, maybe a full body massage while she thinks about how her muscles are screaming but she wants you to feel good going to work the next day because she knows how hard you work… either way she will lay down with you, thinking ok, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for, crazy passionate love, yaaaaay! Except when she goes to touch you, you’ve already fallen asleep or she falls asleep building up to it in her head. No goodnight, no kiss, just lights out. Unless you fall asleep at the same time, chances are, someone’s upset because their partner passed out and they didn’t get any, sometimes you, sometimes her. (If you have a baby, insert another one of those glorious feedings and changes here, again.)
So what have have we learned here boys? Your woman works her ass off, selflessly, daily, just like you. This didn’t include things like sick kids or a sick woman, things that break, kids dramatic issues with peers, pets, bathroom accidents, 3 day massive school projects, emergency room visits, broken vehicles or appliances, this was just a breakdown of an average, uneventful day in the life of a real woman. She never asks for help because she wants to, the house is rarely messy because she didn’t try, she never ever forgets or fails to appreciate how hard you work for the family even if she forgets to TELL you, and she does it all wanting to be better for you. Even though you work hard too, maybe the next time she asks you to take the garbage out, you could do it without the grumbles and pick a night to rub her to thank her for all the work she does you will never see. Remember you go home after work, a mamas job, never ends.
If you read this far, chances are you’re a good guy who has a good woman so I’ll give you an extra tip. It wouldn’t hurt to throw in a date night or flowers once in awhile to remind her you appreciate the work she does as much as she appreciates the work you do, to give you BOTH a little much deserved time off from the job. Bonus: It’s time you get to spend with your beautiful woman!!
Remember boys, married or not, happy wife, happy life!