Stay at Home Parents = Having it Easy?

My daily weekday ritual is simple.
Alarm goes off at 5:30 am, shower, dress, grab lunch and be driving by 6 am.
Drive for 45 minutes listening to an audio book, work till 4 pm, leave work, drive home for 45 minutes, dinner, family time, kids in bed by 8 pm, I'm in bed by 10pm. Simple, efficient and known.

I do have to admit that I often think how nice it would be to sleep in or stay home with the family. How nice it would be to not have to worry about the office and live the care free life that my wife and children lead. The world of playgroups, parties, game playing, music lessons, story time, math clubs. shopping adventures and chess clubs sounds like paradise!! Doesn't it? How lucky to be the parent and children!!! I want on board!

I can hear all of you stay at home parents and don't you worry. Every time the jealousy bug starts, a healthy dose of reality comes crashing down.

On Monday piano lessons were canceled because our middle child was having a breakdown and our youngest was screaming for bananas for over an hour. When I happened to call my wife she was at the grocery store to buy said bananas and learned the grocery shopping expedition was taking over three hours.

On Tuesday my wife had to cancel her yoga because the children were getting sick and when I arrived home the center our family room was covered in play dough. Literally. My wife was cleaning  and organizing four of our bookshelves in the family room and let them play with the play dough, so she could clean and get some work done.

Today (Wednesday) my wife after staying up most the night cleaning mucus and making sure the three of them could breathe and cleaning up vomit,is packing up our three children to bring them to the Pediatricians. She will spend the rest of the day caring for them, cleaning up after them, canceling all activities for the next couple days and trying to make the best of the situation.

Having been around when events are canceled, I know that trying to keep all three calm while breaking the news to them is difficult to say the least.

So what is my point?

It really isn't as easy as I'd like to think it is. Being able to be the stay at home parent certainly is priceless, but not nearly all the fun and games we'd like to pretend it is. Raising children is an art and requires the right person, a lot of hard work, and a whole lot more effort. Going to the office everyday I have the title of IT Director. It may be tiresome at times, but it doesn't compare to being the stay at home parent. My wife plays the roles of daycare, educator, nurse, personal assistant, farmer, chef, cleaning services, peapod, taxi, accountant, coach, tutor, psychologist, and playmate. Her title?? Mom.

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