Mike aka “Daddy Fishkins” is a married father of two girls, ages 3 and 18 months, and one 8 -year- old son. He’s a stay-at-home dad who humorously describes himself as being “driven to the edge of insanity.” Mike is a former tough guy who’s been humbled by his three children.
When he has time, Mike journals about the toughest job on the planet on his website, Daddy Fishkins. The apology letter that he wrote to stay-at-home mothers has been getting a lot of attention.
I owe an apology to women everywhere, specifically, stay at home moms. A lot of men who think that they are the “bread winners” of a family, have this notion that mothers who stay at home with the kids all day are…in a way…either not pulling their weight or just sitting around, doing nothing the entire day. I’m a bit guilty of this. In the past, I would often times get agitated with my wife when certain things around the house didn’t get done by the time I got home from work. I was guilty of thinking more than once “it must be nice to sit around all day and watch TV”.
How wrong was I? Dead wrong.
Fast forward a few years. My wife is now the one of us that goes to an office all day, and I’m now the stay at home dad. At First, I thought it would be a breeze and I’d get things around the house on a better, more efficient system. In fact one of the first things I did as a stay at home dad, was completely re-arrange the cabinets and the fridge. I had everything in the fridge lined up, labels facing out, broken down by type of food, condiments, etc. I was extremely proud of myself. Wanna know what my fridge looks like today?
So I thought it would be easy. I got off to a really good start, and I thought I could carry on that momentum to keeping the house clean, doing laundry, and having dinner on the table when my wife got home from work. Well, I was able to do this for about a week, and now, looking back I’m not entirely sure how it lasted as long as it did.
You see, I never factored in the roadblocks, and daily challenges that come along with being at home with the kids all day long. So, I will break down a more accurate account of my day to show you what I mean:
6:00 A.M: I get up, get my wife coffee, get my son in the shower, get his bag packed, make sure his homework is done, make sure his teeth are brushed.
6:45 A.M: I take my son to the Bus Stop
7:01 A.M: I walk through the door just in time to hear my 3 year old whining and crying, begging for pancakes and juice. She likes to eat breakfast in bed, while watching her shows on TV.
7:02 A.M: She gets her pancakes and Juice and I usually get a thumbs up for approval from my daughter, but not always.
7:15 A.M: I THINK about taking a shower. I can’t.
7:30 A.M: The wife leaves for work.
7:30 A.M – 9:00 A.M: This block of time is really up in the air. Sometimes I get back in bed with the girls for a while. If I don’t get in bed with them, they get up at 7:30 A.M, and to be honest, I just can’t deal with 2 girls and all the drama that comes with them when they are exhausted beyond belief and cranky by noon because they got up so early. Plus I work every night until midnight and sometimes I need the extra sleep. However it’s not always restful when every 15 minutes I’m being kicked, rolled on, jumped on, headbutted or asked for a pacifier.
9:00 A.M: I get a request ( they think I’m a servant from their favorite restaurant called ‘Daddy’s Cafe’ ) from my 3 year old that she wants “Chicken Nuggets and Juice”. After telling her it’s too early for Chicken and Juice, she immediately throws down a 5 minute tantrum until…* drum roll please: SHE GETS CHICKEN AND JUICE. She leaves me no tip.
9:05 A.M: I try and sit on the couch with my laptop in a feeble attempt at trying to get some work done.
9:06 A.M: My 18 month old is now eating chicken nuggets and drinking juice while sitting on my head.