I have been a stay at home parent for three months. Nothing in the big stream of things, but it has given me a perspective I never had before. So I am going to start this post by saying praise to stay at home parents, because easy it is not.

Some background would probably help. I have worked all my life having had two main separate careers. Then in September of this year I resigned from my job. All I will say on that is corporate politics, politics, politics. So I left what was an increasingly toxic environment and headed home. I was used to arriving at the office at 6.45am and getting home in the evening at around 7 or 8pm and, from time to time, much later than that. I’m a bit of a workaholic. This meant that I had missed the day with the kids and all that entails for the parent at home. And because my other half is a calm, strong, wonderful mother who rarely complains about parenting, whilst holding down a successful part-time job, the little things that can drive the stay at home parent crazy were rarely mentioned. Such as the stress caused by just mentioning to Fidget that her hair requires brushing before school; or how it can take twenty minutes to put a pair of shoes on – once they have been found. Or how when you cook lunch you are informed by a finger-wagging four-year-old that the only food type wanted is cereal. Or how the morning run to nursery and school can become a rush because having dressed Little Man, put on his coat and shoes, he decides to poop his nappy. Yes, there was a part of me that wanted to take him to nursery and tell all that he pooped on the way. “Sorry about that” was to be my punchline. But I’m not that experienced yet. Better to have a clean bum and be late was the order of the day. Mum smiled at my momentary dilemma with that one, too.

My situation now is that I am currently in the final stages of interviews with two main players in my industry sector, but I do not envisage anything being finalised this side of Christmas. Luckily, my other half’s company happily allowed her to increase her part-time role to full time. She has been working full time since mid-September (and loving it), meaning that I have become the ‘home parent’ to Fidget & Little Man.

I am now the face in the morning over breakfast, the ogre who pesters the kids into their clothes, and rushes them out the door for the school run.Praise to Stay at Home Parents

I am the shopper, the washer, the cleaner and the parent on the school run who rolls his eyes at the playground gossip and politics. I placate, I referee, I soothe, I cuddle, I berate, I iron, I cook. But most of all, I love the parenting role I have assumed. I relish the extra time with the kids. Well, mostly.

I know there will be some stay at home parents who will read this and smile knowingly, and those who will want to have a ‘we-told-you-so’ bash because I have written this post about a family role I thought I had an appreciation of, but in hindsight can say, I truly didn’t. So, I tip my hat to those stay at home parents who would say “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” to those who have never experienced it. I bow to your experience … My eyes have been opened, wide. Not that I’m stressed, or anything!

Praise to Stay at Home Parents

The kids have made it official, too; ‘mummy’ is no longer the number one word in their vocabulary; it’s ‘daddeeeee!’ a hundred times a day and more. I feel for mum, because the kids now run to me, and she feels a little excluded. I’ve been there. It can hurt. But I’m quietly chuffed that they see me that way now. By doing so, I would like to think that they have signed-off on my current role; that I have passed their probation period. Although there’s lots I still need to work on. I’m a bit of a pushover and Fidget & Little Man know it (mum is vigorously nodding her head at this point). For instance, taking two tired kids who are on a Milky Bar sugar rush into the local library was not one of my better ideas! The looks we received from most of the patrons were questioning to say the least. I should have thought that one through before giving them a treat on the way.

So, I just wanted to take time to say, praise to stay at home parents. May your Christmas bring you all you and your family wish and may one of the gifts you receive be a loving acknowledgement of the role you have in the family home.

Merry Christmas.

Twin Mummy and Daddy