On the days when we both work, my husband takes on the duty of taking both kids to daycare and picking them up at the end of the day. In return, I help him out as much as possible in the mornings, waiting until everyone's gone before I eat breakfast and take a shower. Usually I feel like this is a good compromise, because having shouldered the burden of dropoff/pickup myself on several occasions I know just how hectic it can be (navigating a parking lot a with a toddler and a baby and getting the kids installed in their respective classrooms while hefting a 38572-lb carseat and an armload of bottles feels a bit like competing in a triathlon. While hobbled. And under enemy fire), but I can't help noticing that there's a fairly huge discrepancy in our mornings.
My husband, 7:30-8:30 AM: Get out of bed, shower. Get toddler, throw on any old outfit that's lying nearby, regardless of cleanliness or fit. Cook toddler a waffle, settle into kitchen table with the paper. Linger over cereal and coffee while reading every single section of paper.
Me, 7:30-8:30 AM: Get out of bed. Get the baby. Change baby, feed baby, dress baby. Bring baby out to kitchen. Empty dishwasher from night before, retrieve clean bottles. Fill bottles, insert bottles into carrying case. Entertain baby, who has become disenchanted with bouncy seat. Entertain toddler, who is requesting that someone read a book, pwease. Notice time and beg husband to hurry up. Notice too-small outfit on toddler and change his clothes.
My husband, 8:30-9 AM: Disappear into office to check email, wander around the house collecting laptop and workout gear, leisurely brush teeth.
Me, 8:30-9 AM: Toss toys at increasingly grumpy baby. Bark at toddler who is constantly underfoot or grabbing things off the counter that aren't his. Ride out at least two full-scale toddler tantrums over such injustices as using the potty or having his shoes put on. Put baby in carseat. Put bottle bag out. Beg husband to hurry, get enormous irritated sigh in response. Rush around picking up scattered mounds of toys and laundry, throw cat outside, put husband's cereal bowl in dishwasher (although seriously give some consideration to placing it under his pillow), hover over carseat making goofy faces to keep baby from wailing.
My husband, 9 AM (or thereabouts): Departs, children in tow.
Me, 9 AM: Collapse to the floor and sob with relief. Now only need to eat breakfast, shower, blow dry hair, put on makeup, get dressed, endure long-ass commute, and arrive to work on time. Note, however, that it's already NINE A.M.
Well, I still greatly appreciate that he does the daycare duty, but I'm thinking I might need to make some small changes for the sake of my sanity. Either we've all got to start getting up earlier, or we need to trade off on who gets to scurry around all morning like a decapitated chicken and who gets time to drink their coffee before it turns into a solid mass.
It's a little less chaotic on the days I stay home with the kids, but honestly, not by much. Are your mornings crazy, too?
Ask Us Anything About Parenting
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.