When I joined the Madison Mom’s Blog writing community, I wanted to ensure my blog posts were relevant for all of you. So I asked my fellow MMB contributors what they would like to read about from a stay-at-home dad’s perspective. They provided me with some awesome questions, and I plan to answer them over the next few months. But I would like to open this up to all of you for future questions or topics. Nothing is off limits, and I promise to give you an honest answer.
Here’s today’s question in its entirety:
How do you, as a stay-at-home dad, handle the usual tasks of homemaking? I know many stay-at-home parents share these kinds of tasks with their working spouse, but I also know many stay-at-home moms who do it all. What is the dynamic with your wife like? And adding onto that, does it affect your other male relationships? Do they make jokes at your expense?
Let’s Be Honest Here
My wife and I have a homemaking dynamic which ebbs and flows with what is going on in our lives.
Prior to having kids, my wife did slightly more than her share of the work around house. But now that I stay home full-time the balance has skewed in my direction.
I want to point out, however, that in no way do I come close to performing the chores on my own.
So What Do I Actually Do?
I do the dishes and the majority of the cooking. We split the cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping. But she does almost all the weekly meal planning. Some of this boils down to convenience, but a lot of it has more to do with our interests in each of the required tasks.
My wife really hates doing the dishes. They hurt her back. I don’t mind doing them. It gives me a chance to zone out for a short period during the day.
My wife likes to meal plan for the week. I do as well, but she’s better at keeping the cost of groceries down, so she winds up doing the lion’s share of this task.
We both hate cleaning, so we do the bare minimum and then hire a professional cleaning service to do the dirty work for us on a monthly basis.
I love to cook, and since I am home all day it is much easier for me to prep and cook the meals. It also gives my wife more time with the kids when she gets home from work. She plays with them, I cook kid free (most of the time).
It Works Pretty Well For Us
Sometimes I feel guilty about not doing more around the house, like cleaning, doing the laundry, etc. But, as my wife often points out, I perform all the more traditionally male homemaking tasks. I mow the lawn, managing the money and paying the bills, and performing the routine upkeep of the house. So when she helps out with the traditionally female tasks, it feels like more like a partnership than a male/female thing. I think it is safe to say my wife and I feel like we mutually support each other when it comes to the required tasks of life around the house.
What Do Your Guy Friends Think?
As for the question about my male friends, I am fortunate that all my male friends have been nothing but supportive of my decision to stay at home. To be honest, if they did ever make jokes at my expense for what I do I don’t think I would stay friends with them for much longer. I choose to spend what precious time I have in a day with the ones who help build me and my family up, rather than tear us down.