This is something that I have been pondering for AGES as a parent.
In many of the households I know, both parents work and there is a schedule that gets divvied up between the two as to who does what for the kids daily in order for the household to function relatively smoothly. Everything from work outs for said parents, to packing school lunches and bags to dressing kids gets allocated to a parent and time slot and in most cases one just goes with it.
In our household we also take the different “shifts” on week days. As in the morning shift and the afternoon shift. The morning shift is handled by myself. Hubs leaves early (6h20) so he can beat the traffic and I deal with the kids whilst I also try get myself ready and out the door on time (07h20 latest). Most mornings run relatively smoothly but some mornings are just a disaster. I find that playing referee whilst in the shower is quite a challenge as I often have to get out mid soap up and handle a spat between the two darlings. Then getting myself dressed and clad in make up usually involves holding a grumpy, clingy
baby toddler whilst the elder kid moans that something isn’t working on the IPAD I’ve given to entertain for 5 minutes so I just slick my mascara on. There are normally toys strewn all over the floor of my bedroom and the toddler often goes quiet and when I think to find her, she’s unravelled the entire toilet roll all over the bathroom floor. Or she’s playing with the toilet brush in the toilet with water going EVERYWHERE. (Must remember to close the darn loo lid) Then getting the eldest dressed for school is a circus all of its own. Nine times out of ten the toddler will make poo half way thru the getting the eldest dressed which means that he runs around like a loon half nekkid, smacking his bum and wiggling his man parts around. Just try get him to put his clothes on after this.. lets just say there is sometimes a time out and shouting involved. Then tears, mostly his. Brushing teeth is the next challenge which often ends in tears (again his) because I finished brushing mine before he did or the toothpaste (which is the SAME EVERYDAY) tastes sour, off or like raspberries (WTF?).
Leaving the house is also a palaver. Getting K to the car is an art of either racing or hop skip jumping or something of the like. Once we get to school we race or hop skip jump (we aren’t allowed to “step on the lines” but this definition changes day-to-day in K’s rule book) into the class. By the time I hit the car to head into work I feel like I’ve worked a full day already. Then I sit for the better part of an hour to two hours in the most aweful traffic. By the time I get to the office I am FINISHED. If I’ve managed to eke out a run that morning I’m even MORE FINISHED.
Yesterday I got to do both shifts.
If you follow me on social media you know how *awesome* my morning was. I was considering cracking open that Tangled Tree wine I got at the momblog meet up at 07h00, so you can understand…
The afternoon shift ROCKS in comparison!!
You fetch the kid from school, you relieve the nanny, you feed the kids and then you play on the lawn or in the toy lounge until “mommy” gets home. Its AWESOME. Yes there is still some refereeing to be done and if the toddler hasn’t slept particularly well she’s slightly grumps. But you get to handle bath and bed time as a team and it’s really smooth sailing. As the afternoon shift person you also get to make supper while the kids PLAY (quite nicely actually) at your feet in the kitchen on in the “adults” lounge around the corner.
Man alive, I think I pulled the short straw on the whole shift thing!
I suggested a shift swop last night. Needless to say the man parent IS NOT KEEN on this idea AT ALL! I wonder why?
Do you have “shifts” in your home too? Which one do you prefer?