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A Letter of Thanksgiving to all Stay-at-Home Wives of Nerd Dads

As fathers, we understand that being a mother is hard. We know it in our heads and say to ourselves “Man, I sure do love that woman. She keeps up with the family so well.” I mean don’t get me wrong - being a father is tough too, but stick with me for a second and hear me out.


For the working father, we experience a different kind of “tough”. We get to go to an environment for 8-12 hours a day and work with other adults and engage in grown-up conversations and have (to an extent) a little bit freedom. This might change from job to job, person to person, and place to place – but the concept is the same no matter what you do. But just like all jobs (whether they are fun, boring, laborious, or high stress) they are exhausting and they require a little bit time to escape and enjoy life.


Stay-at-home mothers (or fathers) on the other hand, have a completely different experience. They do not have the opportunity to regularly hang out with other grown-ups or have regular adult conversations. If you have toddlers or young children, then most of her conversations probably consist of strange noises, funny faces, and answering an incessant amount of questions that start with “Why”. Her primary priority while her husband is away at work is just making sure the kids survive till he gets home. She spends another portion of her day running around the house keeping the toddler from putting things in his month, while trying to do the dishes, and getting the oldest to school on time. Furthermore, she spends “nap time” trying to catch up on laundry or clean the bathroom without waking up the kids. And yes, this might change from household to household, or parent to parent, and mother to mother. But at the end of it all the concept is still the same.


IT. IS. EXHAUSTING!


It is just a different type of exhausting.


I experienced this type of exhaustion first hand when my wife left on a week long trip. She had a chance to go visit some family that she hadn’t seen in a few years and I knew it would mean a lot to her if she could go. So, I took a week off from work and stayed home with my 4-year-old son and my 2-year-old daughter. I knew it was going to be tough, but I was not prepared for this new realm of “stay-at-home” parenthood.


The craziest part was when my daughter swallowed a quarter. No joke! My daughter is two years old and she swallowed a quarter. Nobody believed me when I told them, until we took an X-ray and found the quarter in there. She passed it and was totally fine, but it scared me to death!


That was the most intense part. The rest of the time was keeping up with the seemingly mundane tasks of getting the oldest ready for school, making meals, bath time, etc. But these tasks are anything but simple. Sure, they’re simple in the sense of put a load of laundry, put in the soap, start it up, repeat. But try doing all these simple tasks at the same time. I’m not a multitasker by nature, which means that just trying to do two things at once is a lot for me to handle. But doing the laundry, keeping up with the dishes and listening to chorus of giggles, screams, and Lego Batman will grind on anyone’s nerves at some point.


The one thing I had going for me is that my kids, I like to think, are pretty good kids. I didn’t have chase them around or force them to eat meals. They do a good job of entertaining themselves most of the time, but I still felt physically and mentally exhausted. Even so, they did make it a little easier than other kids I’ve met.


In my regular job, I deal a lot with people and plans. But the people I deal with are adults, the plans I make do not hinge around nap schedules or poopy diapers. It’s still stressful, but I’m also not trying to entertain toddlers and keep them alive all day. By the time my wife got back home I had a renewed appreciation for the work and effort she puts into my family.


Anyways, I am telling this story to let all you Nerd Dads out there know that your stay-at-home wife (if you have one) has a pretty tough job and we should show her a little more appreciation once in a while. Don’t wait till Mother’s Day or Thanksgiving Day to let her know you appreciate her and her hard work - remind her whenever you get the chance! ‘Cause Fella’s – we all need somebody in our corner letting us know that we’re being noticed and appreciated. By doing so your marriage will be better for it - I promise! So, thank you ladies for all your hard work and I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

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