“If Sofia and I split up, 50% of my time, I would have to spend 100% of the time with my kid. Right now, I’m rocking, like 50% coverage 30% of the time. You can’t beat those numbers.”
He is a fictional character in an over-the-top sitcom, but the numbers are the numbers. I love being a dad more than really anything in the world. My daughter is amazing. I try to take her everywhere with me. Today it was Fresh Thyme. Yesterday it was a bunch of errands. She’s a regular at Blues Games. I’ll take her by myself or Christy and I will take her together. She is the best.
Christy and I are able to share responsibilities. If I work the early shift and she works a mid-shift, she will get up with her in the middle of the night. If the shifts are reversed, the roles are reversed. In short, I’m not running 100% coverage. Ever.
I am being 100% serious when I say, I have no idea how single parents keep their **** together. I am usually exhausted between work and parenting… and I have fantastic help. I get to take nights off from getting up with her when she is screaming at 4 AM and isn’t interested in going back to sleep. If work sucked, I can tell Christy, “Babe, I need a few minutes before taking over.” And then get my bearings before being dad again. Single parents can’t do this.
Then add in pumping and other responsibilities that fall on the mother. I can keep an eye on our little crawler so that she generally doesn’t get herself into too many predicaments while Christy pumps. If Christy had to do it herself, I don’t know that she would still be pumping. Three cheers to all women that pump, regardless of the duration. That is work. Hard work. Multiple times a day. For months on end. Sometimes to just see it thrown out when the baby decides, “No, I’m not hungry anymore.” Uncompensated product plug: We love the Spectra S1.
I can do laundry… ha check that… let’s give credit where earned. Either of us can do laundry (Christy does more than I do), and the baby is supervised and entertained. Claire does this thing where she pulls everything out of the basket of freshly folded clothes. I think she is establishing dominance. Or is just a fun game developmentally. Maybe both. She sure does laugh a lot while undoing our work. That’s why I think it is part of her plan.
I can make dinner, or likely order dinner. I can do dishes. Christy can do dishes. Basically we can keep the house (sort of) running. It’s a mess like 85.7% of the time. As I type this it would seem some kind of mini-cyclone devastated our living room and kitchen. There is stuff everywhere. I’ll try to pick it up later, but the cyclone will return tomorrow.
Every now and again, I’ll head into the basement to get a lift in. Nothing fancy, years of neglect and bad dietary choices have left me more like the Pillsbury DoughBoy than really anyone that is actually in shape. But, I can do it without concern that the baby is being tended to. I deleted the post when I shifted from complaining about world politics to writing about being a dad… but I’m a big fan of the NHL 17 workout (patent pending). As you can probably guess, I’m seeing the gains you would expect from playing video games whilst lifting. But again. I can.
The thing that I really want to say more than anything. Single parents out there. I appreciate you. I don’t have a clue how you do it. Everything in the above, I take for granted. You make it all work, while trying your best to raise a wonderful human. And you succeed in doing so. I am 100% totally in awe of a single parent’s ability to manage this and manage it so well.
I see you single parents. You are amazing and a bit of inspiration.