Do you remember a time, when you could literally do whatever you wanted to do? Oh man, the freedom of youth, no responsibilities, where waking up at 9am was considered an early morning. Then later on in life you meet the women of your dreams, get married, go on extravagant holidays, earn a double income, buy more toys and eat more take out than you can imagine and still not make a dent in the budget.
With that maturing of life of course, full time work puts a slight dampener on things, and sleep ins till 9am had to wait until the weekend, but man we were rich doing what we wanted and sleeping in on the weekends. Bliss.
Today I have three wonderful children. The eldest three years old and the twins are one. Glorious little creations, very cute, full of life. I love these kids more than you could possibly know, but do you know what else I love…
Shenanigans of parenthood
Now you wouldn’t believe it, but my children secretly love their mother more than me, true story. I wake up for work every day at 6am. I leave for work at around 7:20am and most of the time those little cherubs and my beautiful wife are sound asleep. Haley works Saturdays, so she gets up at 5am and leaves for work at 5:30am. Saturdays, the day to sleep in. I can’t wait to sleep in till 7:30am, what a treat.
As soon as Haley walks out the door, its like something changes in the air, tummies start to grumble, snores begin to cease, six eyes begin to open!!! Chirps and squeaks and giggles and crying begin to emanate from the children’s beds. My sleep-in day has me up half an hour earlier than my work days, let the games begin.
A typical day watching the children goes like this. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are a battle of wits, my children realise vegetables taste disgusting, so I find myself covering those garden variety shrubs with pureed fruit. The problem with covering everything in pureed pear, is that is has the unfortunate implication of causing regular and explosive bowel movements.
When this happens, it usually involves going up the back of your child, meaning that another wardrobe change is in order. You would think this might be an easy process. Have you ever tried putting clothes on a gymnast doing a tumble routine? This gives you a small clue as to what it is like to put clothes on and change the nappy of a small human.
Bath time? More like I hope the neighbours don’t think I am murdering my child time. Bath time actually goes alright, until it comes to washing hair. Now the boys are still bald as the day they were born, it is like cleaning two bald peanuts, they don’t even notice. But Chelsea is another story, she has a full head of hair and if you try to wash her hair and face, it becomes like performing an exorcism.
You hold her down as she thrashes about, yelling the power of Christ compels you! I mean how dare I try to keep her from getting lice and nits, what a terrible person I must be. Once the deed is done, there is a little bit of animosity toward me, but she soon forgets and life carries on as normal.
My personal favourite is when my toddler jumps into bed with us at 2am in the morning. My three year old can make a king sized mattress feel like a field hospital stretcher. There have been times where she will literally lie perpendicular to Haley and I, with her feet always hard pressed against my face.
In fact I have been the victim of many an assault from Chelsea’s feet, why just recently she kicked me straight in the nose, in the middle of a dream. This was a very rude awakening, but alas while she is sleeping in our bed, it is like sleeping with a drunk octopus trying to find its wallet and keys.
This is only a small snippet of what happens during the day, there are far more stories to tell, but in reality, this article really is a shout out to stay at home parents and the absolute super hero’s single parents. It is a blessing and a privilege to be a parent and the weight of responsibility to raise a child right is far greater than any task you might perform at work.
This article is also a celebration of how incredible my wife is. I have been a stay at home dad the past 2 weeks while I’m on school holidays, while Haley has worked some extra shifts at the hospital. I am knackered, I am tired, there are some days where I feel absolutely stressed with the enormity of running the household and caring for the children and Haley has done this now for three years running. She does an amazing job of it and I know my kids are in good hands. That is why, she is my hero.
Jarred is an HPE and Mathematics teacher on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, he is married to Haley and has three beautiful children Chelsea, Nathan and Ryan.