Ok, so, I’m going to be a new dad very soon. Have I been doing my research? You bet I have. I have spoken with as many parents as I can to get all the ins and outs, the dos and don’ts and major pitfalls that I can before the baby arrives.
Besides the sly comments around the lack of sleep that will engulf my life for the next year or so, there seems to be a recurring theme when it comes to the comments of working parents.
Not to sound too sinister, but parents never mention this in large groups, it’s always when I’m alone with a parent and they feel safe in the knowledge their gripes cannot be heard by other passing ears.
I’m also by no means delusional as to how hard it must be to stay at home and look after a child. However on this occasion I thought I’d write a little extract of comments I seem to hear on a daily basis.
The Working Parent
- 1 am – 6 am – The working parent gets up through the night to help feed the always hungry baby (or spawn of Satan as it is referred to during the early hours)
- 7 am – The working parent makes the awful journey to work and avoids the mass army of zombie commuters and delayed tubes
- 9 am – 1 pm – The working parent has to be at their best and work hard all day whilst fielding calls from their partner about how the angelic child they have together (notice no longer referred to the spawn of Satan) won’t sleep or eat. This often happens at crucial delivery points in the day or important meetings with their boss.
- 3 pm – The working parent almost falls asleep at their desk to be only woken by a text message stating their partner is taking the baby for a stroll in to town for a coffee with friends. Many a faint whisper of swear words can be heard around this time of the day from the working parent.
- 5 pm – The team around the working parent organise going out for drinks after work. The working parent never says yes any more and misses the banter the next day as they were not around to share the fun. More faint swearing can be heard.
- 6 pm – The working parent rushes from their desk and heads straight for the masses of commuters (all of which lack manners) and delayed trains/tubes.
- 7 pm – The working parent arrives home to open the door to a partner who looks like they have been dragged through a hedge backwards. A filthy child who’s clothes, face and nappy are all dirty. Not to mention a house that looks it has been attacked by wild dogs.
- 7.05 pm – Having not even taken of their coat, the stay at home parent almost launches in to a tirade of abuse and hostility about the difficult day they have had. The stay at home parent has not paused for breathe between each sentence.
- 7.10pm – 8-30 pm – The baby must be fed, bathed, put to sleep. The stay at home parent is no where is sight.
- 8.30 pm – 9.30 pm – The working parent must stay positive and provide constructive feedback with regard to the parenting skills of their partner. All this as the ongoing battle for who is making dinner takes place.
- 9.30 pm – midnight – Prepare clean clothes are ironed and available for the next day. Fall asleep on the couch. And of course, settle the baby every hour.
Having paraphrased all of the above from comments I hear at work from existing or new parents (I’m yet to find out myself I’d like to point out),
there is no way I think looking after a child all day would be an easy task!
Not having time to go the bathroom because the baby is in constant need of attention certainly does not sound like fun. It almost sounds like torture and I’m not really sure how anyone does it.
Making me write down the points of the working parent and thinking in depth about the counter arguments from the stay at home parents perspective really drives home how its easy to depressed or helpless. I know my role must be supportive, patient and understanding whether i go to work or stay at home with the child.
Please read the counter argument for a stay at home parent on the following link:
(Given the choice, I’d rather be the working parent, sounds a lot easier)