As all parents know your life does not go on hold, slow down or accommodate a new timetable when your human joins the team, instead you find a way to incorporate them into the everyday and keep on moving. This is also the case when your partner is working towards getting his journeyman ticket and has to go to school.
We understand that there are more traditional paths in life, you know, go to school, be wild, fall in love, buy a house, get married and have children. Then there is the way we like to do things, I am sure some might say complicated – we would like to think exotic, or as exotic as two working, middle class, heterosexual, and of European decent a couple can be, who are risk averse and slightly type A. Which means we are currently in a bit of a chaotic state, I should also mention we are planning an across country move within the next two months, but that is for another entry.
By no stretch in the imagination am I comparing my partner going to school as the same thing as being a single parent, having a partner that travels or is away from home for long stretches of time, like my parents. However I would like to say hats off to those people. Raising Cillian is not work and I do get some mommy time during the day, after I try to reason with my six months old that he needs to take a nap. Sometimes mommy time is 20 minutes because god forbid he misses out on something – can we say FOMO, but it still allows me a moment to catch my thoughts or put on some mascara. It’s the other responsibilities that a Stepford Wife makes look easy, the food, keeping the house clean, and entertaining part. My mom and I both consider a bag of popcorn for the day as enough nutrients to keep one sustained. So as you can imagine when left to my devices I am not one to go out of my way to feed myself – although I love food, the effort not so much. Some people find cleaning therapeutic, I find it annoying and a hinderance on enjoying life. I have been banned from hosting events because this is the one time that I make up for all the lack of cooking I want to do the other 364 days a year (in my world you only host once a year – introverts unite at a safe personal space distance), also there needs to be a theme, if possible decorations and unlike The Barefoot Contessa I don’t have the necessary stardust in my cupboards.
I understand this moaning may insert a few eye rolls, but pre-student life I was spoiled with the amount of help my partner was able to provide. By no means is this post written to make him or any partner who is out there sacrificing their time at home, to make a better future for their family, made to feel guilty. I know that my partner would love to be a stay-at-home dad, to be a 1950’s housewife if we could afford it, but he understands that getting this certification means a brighter future for him and his nucleus. I am proud of him and want to support him as much as I can, without helping him with his math homework – I work in ishes which numbers are not. When he does get home from a long day of learning I want him to know he can play with Cillian and everything is managed.
I have learned over the last few weeks that my usual approach of making a massive todo list and needing to get everything done in that instant is not going to work. Each day I need to pick one household item to tackle – clean bathroom or buy those groceries I need to make the food, one moving item – road trip playlist, and one life item – ugh tax season. As much as I love my chips and condiments, it is a priority to me personally to make healthy dinners, as well as fun new foods for our adventurous eater to try. This means that every morning I put on my adult pants and start the juggling act that can only be classified as first world problems, and pray that no-one decides to come over for a surprise visit…