Tate works long hours. He is gone before the kids get up and doesn’t return until dinnertime, leaving him only about an hour to spend time with them. He is a terrific Father to our children. He looks forward to spending his evenings with the kids, although he is very apparently relieved when they go to bed. I am also relieved when they go to bed since I spent the past 12 hours with them and am in need of a break.
Earlier this week, Tate pointed out my lack of patience with Carson. This after a day filled with screaming and tantrums. I can imagine that when he sees me lose my temper with Carson it seems harsh. Since their time together is limited, he doesn’t have to deal with Carson’s behaviors all day. His annoyance when I lose my temper is understandable, but is certainly not appreciated.
In the hour he spends with Carson each day, he gets to be the “fun” parent. They get to wrassle and play. He rarely encounters the tantrums in this precious evening hour. The nature of my role as a stay-at-home Mom means that I deal with more behaviors, I don’t have time to play and be fun all day. However, being told by the “one hour parent” after a particularly rough day that I shouldn’t lose my temper, doesn’t sit well with me.
Bedtime responsibilities are another point of contention. The childrens’ ability to go to bed and stay asleep is of utmost importance to Tate. When one of the kids has trouble going to bed, however, he becomes incensed. This is especially true with Ella, who many nights needs to be held or patted before she’ll fall asleep. Knowing that I’ve dealt with the kids all day, Tate will offer to take over for the evening. Most times, though, I end up having to go and rescue him because he’s completely lost his patience. Amazing how after a grueling day with the kids, I’m not allowed to lose my patience, but he can’t hack his one hour of parental responsibilities.
He’s always looking for an immediate solution when Ella can’t sleep. Tate is quick to assume that she has gas, is hungry, is sick, or is just being difficult. Most times, he mutters under his breath that “she’s never going to fall asleep until you feed her again.”
Ah, yes. Use the old breastfeeding card. Use my magic boobs to shut her up. It does certainly work and would most definitely alleviate Tate’s responsibility. However, I don’t care for being told to feed her just to quiet her.
I am eternally grateful that Tate works outside the home and that I have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home Mom. I also completely understand the responsibilities of his job which require long hours away from home. I am both jealous of and annoyed at his role as the “one hour parent”. How nice it must be that he gets to do the fun parenting and that I am the only parent in the house that seems to have the magic ability to quiet our infant.
I wish that he could just learn to cope during his one hour of parenting as I do all day. Every day.